Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LeClairRyan Announces Major Expansion of Aviation Industry Practice

Diane Westwood Wilson

Mark A. Dombroff

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- LeClairRyan today announced a major expansion of its Aviation Industry Practice with the addition of 17 attorneys and staff from Dentons. The expanded practice will be led by veteran aviation attorneys Mark A. Dombroff and Diane Westwood Wilson, both of whom have been named Shareholders in LeClairRyan.

"We are delighted to bring this highly experienced team into our firm, led by two individuals who have gained recognition for their work on some of the world's most prominent aviation cases," said LeClairRyan CEO C. Erik Gustafson. "Mark, Diane and their team have a deep range of experience in all facets of aviation law, including litigation; NTSB investigations; regulatory, administrative and enforcement matters before the FAA, DOT, TSA, State, Justice, and other federal and state bodies; airport and aircraft security, employment issues, and the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)."

"The addition of Mark, Diane and their team significantly bolsters our already robust national litigation practice," said LeClairRyan Litigation Department Leader Elizabeth K. Acee.  "The team's substantial regulatory and litigation talent, added to our full-service platform, will greatly enhance the depth and breadth of services we already provide to our clients."

Dombroff, who will be based in the national law firm's Alexandria, Va. office, has over four decades experience in all aspects of representing the aviation industry, including insurance companies and brokers.  He began his career in 1970 as a trial attorney in the FAA's Office of the General Counsel. He subsequently moved to the DOJ's Aviation Unit. During his last five years at DOJ, Dombroff was the Director of the Civil Division, responsible for 100 lawyers and all domestic and international aviation and admiralty matters. He moved into private practice in 1985, counseling airlines, other aviation sector companies, and non-aviation companies with corporate flight departments. Since that time, he has represented airlines on such prominent cases as the Arrow Air crash in Gander, Newfoundland; US Airways crashes in New York (Flight 405 and 1549, the "Miracle on the Hudson"), Charlotte (Flights 1016 and 5481), and Pittsburgh (Flight 427); and the Alaska Airlines crash near Los Angeles (Flight 261). In addition to Arrow, US Airways and Alaska Air, he has represented such carriers as Colgan Air, National Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Mesa Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Trans States Airlines, Virgin America, Spirit Airlines, and Empire Airlines, as well as Virgin Galactic.

Westwood Wilson, who will be based in LeClairRyan's Manhattan office, has over 30 years of experience in complex and multijurisdictional matters, representing clients internationally and throughout the United States. She provides strategic counseling and representation to a wide variety of airlines, airports and manufacturers in the aerospace and other industries in state and federal courts, as well as assisting them in long-term strategic business decisions. Her prominent cases included representing EL AL Israel Airlines, Ltd. in the landmark United States Supreme Court multilateral treaty case that established the Montreal Convention as the exclusive cause of action, barring recovery under any other alternative theory of liability. She also represented the airline defendants in the Chan v. Korean Air and Olympic Airways v. Hussain, Supreme Court cases, and has been involved in numerous other petitions to the Supreme Court. Over the course of her career, Westwood Wilson has also represented Air Century, Air India Express, Continental Airlines, Tropic Air, Swissair, British Airways, American Eagle, Japan Air Lines, TWA and others on cases involving crashes, turbulence and other matters.

"I have no doubt that LeClairRyan's agile and entrepreneurial spirit will be embraced by our clients," said Westwood Wilson.

"On behalf of our entire Aviation Practice Team, including lawyers and support staff, we are very excited to be at LeClairRyan, a firm that is committed to supporting and growing an aviation practice," added  Dombroff.  "This move is a very positive development for our clients."

About LeClairRyan

As a trusted advisor, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and litigation. In this role, the firm applies its knowledge, insight and skill to help clients achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses. With offices from coast to coast, the firm represents a wide variety of clients nationwide. For more information about LeClairRyan, visit

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