GvW Graf von Westphalen has been providing comprehensive advice in the field of aviation for years. Due to the various economic operators and the respective special characteristics also as regards the legal issues, we further divide the aviation sector into legal advice

  • for the companies of the aerospace industry,
  • for airports and
  • in connection with airlines.

Despite the differences between the individual economic operators in the aviation sector, there are also close connections. We deem ourselves to be well equipped for the legal issues in this field with our unified, multidisciplinary team of legal professionals.


With more than 100,000 employees and an annual turnover in the mid-double digit billion Euros, the aerospace industry is an important economic factor in Germany.

Our team has extensive experience in providing legal advice and in particular contract design with regard to the entire supply chain of the aerospace industry. We are familiar with the industry-specific particularities, such as the standard quality requirements in the market.

In the last few years, advice on mergers and acquisitions as well as on complex restructurings have been a focus of our activities. GvW Graf von Westphalen has provided advice on transactions in the aerospace sector with an overall volume of more than EUR 1 billion in recent years. Among those were smaller, mid-sized and large transactions, mostly with international participation. Together with selected foreign cooperation law firms, we also regularly coordinate cross-border transactions and projects.

In particular, our multi-disciplinary approach has regularly proven very helpful; examples include our comprehensive expertise in foreign trade as well as state aid and subsidies.

As regards prevention, we are especially active in compliance, such as developing organizational structures and work processes in the areas internal export control, embargoes and sanctions as well as customs compliance.

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In addition, our team has extensive experience in advising (regional and international) commercial airports. We advise private airport operators, the competent regulatory authorities as well as the airport owners and potential acquirers. A focus of our work regards providing legal advice on the preparation and modification of the complex infrastructure of airports. This pertains to issues of planning and environmental law (e.g. implications of aircraft noise) as well as financing by fees, subsidies and non-aviation revenue.

In this context, our state aid and subsidies expertise is also regularly sought, such as in connection with the operation of airports, investment in infrastructure or designing tables of charges.

Moreover, we are familiar with the legal particularities and practical challenges associated with the sale of airports, including the sale to international investors.

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Finally, in addition to the aspects mentioned above, our team is very experienced as regards the legal particularities relating to airlines. Amongst others, we provide advice on employment law aspects, on individual employment law but also on complex disputes under collective law and even industrial disputes.

Apart therefrom, we work as an integrated team with our insolvency law experts on the specific issues associated with airlines and have gained extensive practical experience in this respect, which also proves very helpful when we advise on mergers and acquisitions.

The legal issues that arise in connection with airports find their mirror image in the requirement of airlines to lawfully design their access rights and related fees and to have them legally reviewed, as the case may be.

In doing so, we in particular also combine our state aid and subsidies expertise with our experience in procurement law.

Finally, our broad practical experience as regards the representation of airlines in connection with air passenger rights constitutes a special feature of our practice.

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