DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Transportation Department

Nationwide - Canada
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What the team is known for Well-established global firm with a strong footprint in the transportation industry. Lauded for its extensive experience in the rail sector, the team regularly represents shippers in disputes against railway companies, notably in rail level of service arbitrations and final offer arbitrations. Highly regarded for its expertise in the aviation sector, advising domestic and international air carriers on regulatory and litigation matters, including defence against class actions. Also provides transactional and commercial advice for players in the aviation industry, with particular activity in aircraft finance.

Strengths A client praised the team's dedication, stating: "They are very agile, and never take more than two days to gives us an answer, which is great. You can notice there is real teamwork; everyone always knows exactly what we were working on."

Another source agreed: "The team works very well together," adding that it "offers a range of experiences that create a well-rounded team."

Work highlights Acted for Colombian carrier Avianca on all ongoing aspects of its Canadian operations, as well as certain international mandates.

Assisted Procureure Générale du Québec with a lawsuit brought against CP in relation to liability of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster.

Notable practitioners

Andrew McFarlane has expertise in both aircraft and aviation equipment financing. He advises a range of industry players from carriers to banks and lessors.

Catherine Pawluch co-heads the aviation department and is highly experienced in advising carriers on their Canadian operations. She is adept appearing before industry regulatory bodies, and frequently acts for airlines establishing themselves in the Canadian market and on ongoing tariff compliance, liability and foreign ownership considerations.

The "experienced and knowledgeable" Forrest Hume is well versed in handling disputes relating to rail freight, representing clients in both litigation and arbitration proceedings. One source highlighted his "good insight into the inner workings of the CTA and the railways."

John Landry heads the firm's litigation group within Canada. He offers a range of experience, including representing clients in level of service complaints before the Canadian Transportation Agency. One source stated: "John is direct and concise, offering good suggestions and direction. He also has extensive knowledge and offers helpful guidance when considering strategies."

Aviation department co-head Laura Safran advises clients on a wide range of regulatory matters from licensing, certification and tariffs to employment and operations. She is additionally active in aircraft acquisitions. A client deemed her to be "one of the most knowledgeable lawyers I have ever come across."