Keystone Law

Hugh O'Donovan

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Hugh is a barrister who has specialised in aviation regulatory, corporate, commercial and competition law for over thirty years and is recognised as one of the most experienced and highly respected aviation lawyers in the UK. Over this period he has gained extensive experience in private practice as a barrister, as well as heading the Aviation Regulatory and Commercial practices of three international law firms.

He has acted for an extensive number of airlines, airports, regulators, governments, investors, financiers and travel companies. Hugh’s practice is international and he has acted for such clients around the world, including advising governments and regulators in Africa, Asia and elsewhere on the development of national civil aviation policy and regulation. He has advised on a number of airline start-ups, restructurings and strategic initiatives.

As a barrister Hugh has rights of audience in all national courts and tribunals and he has also appeared at hearings before the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the European Commission.

Hugh is a trained and experienced mediator and has sat as an arbitrator in aviation-related disputes.


Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2016, Hugh worked at the following firms:

- Ince & Co

- Denton Wilde Sapte

- Richards Butler


- Advising European fund manager STAR Capital Partnership LLP on crucial air transport regulatory issues and approvals relating to its acquisition of global aviation group, ASL Aviation Holdings DAC

- Advising airline start-ups including easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, Air Astana, Iceland Express, Zoom, Citywing, and Norwegian Air UK

- Advising on mergers and acquisitions including British Airways/British Caledonian, British Airways/CityFlyer Express, easyJet/Go-Fly, and easyJet/GB Airways

- Advising governments and regulators such as the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the governments of the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Bermuda (including drafting primary and secondary air transport legislation in Bermuda), and overseas governments in Africa and Asia

- Advising airports and airport companies including BAA, Changi (Singapore), Isle of Man, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, Bournemouth, Doncaster, Southend, Plymouth, Bristol, Pembury, and the Airport Operators Association

- Advising numerous airlines and air carriers including easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Virgin Atlantic, Flybe, PrivatAir, Citywing, Aurigny, Air Astana, Air Europa, Tam, Blue Wing Airlines, Loganair, CityJet, FedEx, Pegasus, Swissair, TAG Aviation, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon, Daalloo, Avianca, Buraq Air, Manx 2, Aurigny, Blue Islands, Flybe, Qantas, United Airlines, WestJet, and Surf Air

- Advising travel agents and travel companies including Opodo, Odigeo, Norwegian Holiday, Canadian Affair, and Purple Ski