Civil Aviation Authority Investigations and Prosecutions

Drystone has dedicated Aviation experts and also accepts instructions  via solicitors or direct access. For individuals who do not have a solicitor and are not necessarily best suited to direct access, we can help direct you to a number of specialist solicitors who will be able to assist with your case.

Drystone Chambers can assist clients from the outset of CAA investigations into alleged breaches of The Air Navigation Order. We can advise on potential issues, evidence gathering and interviews with the investigators or written statements under caution. Early engagement can often reduce problems later.

Where there is evidence of breaches having occurred, we have been involved in negotiating alternatives to prosecution, for example cautions or alternatives such as remedial training or demonstrating competence. We also have a good working relationship with a range of expert witnesses and can call upon their services if appropriate.

We are able to provide a comprehensive service when defending allegations in Court and clients range from individuals to major international airlines.

Criminal Prosecutions

As well as regulatory prosecutions, Drystone has been involved in defending prosecutions brought by the CPS in aviation related cases. As examples, Drystone successfully defended in manslaughter allegations in the cases of:

R v Hoyle

R v Hill  – the Shoreham Air Show crash
BBC News report
Daily Mail news report

Regulatory interviews

Irrespective of prosecutions, the CAA often conduct regulatory interviews where they have concerns about an individual’s abilities or where there are breaches of the legislation. Such interviews can have significant consequences as they may lead to licence suspensions or even revocation.

We can assist in advising clients on the likely format and content and how to approach and prepare for such interviews. We also accompany clients to interviews and represent their interests.

CAA Appeals

There is a statutory right of appeal against certain CAA decisions. We have considerable experience in conducting such appeals. We can deal with any preparatory paperwork and written representations as well as collating evidence and witnesses and conducting the appeal itself.


Drystone has been involved in several inquests involving deaths occurring + aircraft accidents.  We can provide a comprehensive representation service in such cases.

Civil Actions

Drystone act for insurers or individuals involved in civil claims resulting from aircraft or aviation related accidents. We have been involved in substantial High Court claims and mediations. We also have a good working relationship with a range of expert witnesses (for example J2 Accident Investigations https://www.adsadvance.co.uk/j2-sets-the-bar-in-air-accident-investigation.html ) who we can instruct on behalf of clients.

Aircraft Ownership and Operation

Drystone is able to assist aircraft owners and operators advising on or drafting, ownership, including joint or fractional ownership, leasing or operating agreements. This includes issues relating to different aviation authorities and international operational implications.

For more information please contact our clerks on 020 7404 1881 or via email to clerks@drystone.com. We will discuss your case with you and then arrange the right representation for your matter.

Aviation Barristers

Karim Khalil KC

Call 1984     Silk 2003

Stephen Spence

Call 1983

Andrew Price

Call 2003

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