A worldwide specialist aviation service for law firms that will facilitate immediate access to aviation experts was launched in Queenstown, New Zealand last month.
Aviation legal professionals from around the globe are meeting in Queenstown for the 31st Annual Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (ALAANZ) conference which coincides with the launch of the interNEWS service and website.
For the first time a specialist service, developed exclusively for the aviation industry, is available in Australia, New Zealand and across the Asia-Pacific region. Leveraging from the expertise and reputation of AvLaw – a highly respected international aviation consultancy firm – interNEWS is an industry first for the aviation and legal profession in the region.
The service provides law firms in the Asia Pacific region with immediate access to a comprehensive database of highly qualified aviation specialists, as well as providing the training necessary to qualify as an aviation expert witness.
In a first for the aviation industry, interNEWS will provide law firms with access to a range of aviation experts across all technical and operational disciplines. Pilots, aircraft engineers, safety specialists, and aircraft accident investigators will now be able to register on this database, dedicated to servicing the common needs of aviation and law professionals.
This new service offering was developed and will be operated by the Sydney-based specialist international aviation consultancy firm AvLaw. In New Zealand the interNEWS service will be managed by the AvLaw Pacific Operations Regional Manager, Mr Alan Ferguson, in Christchurch.
Because of technical, operational and safety aspects of aviation regulation are almost universally harmonised, highly qualified aviation expert witnesses are in high demand. Unlike most industry witnesses, aviation experts can assist with complex litigation involving airlines and other aviation activities across various jurisdictions.
Present at the launch of the interNEWS service and website were senior officials from the Civil Aviation Authorities of New Zealand and Australia along with specialist aviation lawyers from around the world.
Speaking at the launch of the service was the Managing Director of AvLaw and interNEWS founder Mr Ron Bartsch. Mr Bartsch stated: “interNEWS provides the ‘missing link’ to law firms to enable them to more effectively source and utilise the skills of aviation specialists. Due to the diversity and specialisation of the aviation industry, locating an aviation expert for a particular case can be quite a challenge. interNEWS brings together aviation experts from all technical and operational areas so they are immediately accessible to law firms. Because of the proliferation of international treaties such as the Chicago Convention, the technical, operational and safety aspects of aviation regulation is almost universally harmonised. Therefore highly qualified aviation expert witnesses are in high demand throughout the world as, unlike most industries, they are
not restricted to a particular jurisdiction. As such these experts are able to assist with cases involving complex litigation relating to airlines and other aviation activities”
Another unique feature of interNEWS is that highly experienced aviation lawyers will be assigned as case managers for each matter. “The interNEWS case managers are not only experienced solicitors but current and practising air transport pilots flying anything from Learjets to the Airbus A380” Mr Bartsch told the attendees at the launch.
Specialist aviation expert witness workshops have been developed to train aviation specialists in the skills required to become an expert witness.
“To be an effective expert witness requires far more than technical expertise. Courts apply very strict rules to the conduct of experts and to the form of expert reports. A report may contain highly technical insights but if not properly structured it can be rejected by the Court or Tribunal. Cross-examination can be a gruelling experience for someone not properly prepared.” Mr Bartsch stated.
Aviation expert witness workshops have been held in Sydney with further workshops planned in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.
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