Aviation and logistics is a core industry sector for our firm. Leading aviation and other transport and logistics enterprises have relied on WilmerHale over the years for advice and representation on a wide range of European Union (EU) and Member State economic, safety, environmental and other sector-specific regulatory issues. In addition, we are regularly involved in high-profile state aid and antitrust and competition law proceedings involving our aviation and logistics clients in the EU and its Member States. Clients include international airlines, airline associations, airports, aircraft manufacturers, aircraft MRO services provider and other aviation businesses as well as railway companies, railway equipment manufacturers, postal and express delivery services and other logistics service providers. We also work for Member State governments, the European Commission and multinational aviation organizations in regard to sector-specific issues. Read about our global Aviation practice.
WilmerHale's regulatory lawyers in Europe have counseled airlines and other aviation clients on international and EU rules on operating licenses, traffic rights, foreign ownership restrictions, airport charges, and pricing for passengers and cargo; the EU computer reservation systems regulation; the EU ground-handling regulation and the EU slot regulation, including the ability of airlines to trade airport landing and take-off slots. Our International Trade, Investment and Market Access Practice has assisted clients in the aviation and logistics sector to comply with EU and Member State national security-related rules, including anti-terrorism measures and export control. Finally, we have represented aviation and logistics clients in private and regulatory litigation both before the EU courts and before national courts, including before the German Supreme Court.
With a premier global Antitrust and Competition practice, WilmerHale has acted for major European airlines in numerous proceedings before the European Commission, national competition authorities and EU and national courts to obtain approval for some of the largest airline mergers in Europe and to secure immunity for major airline alliances. We have defended airlines against allegations of unfair pricing and represented them in worldwide cartel investigations. Our State Aid team has also been involved in a series of EU state aid cases in the aviation and logistics sector before the European Commission and before the EU courts in Luxembourg.
Our European aviation and logistics team also has experience advising clients from both the private sector and from government, including the European Commission, in the policymaking and legislative processes. As a result, we can provide in-depth insight into these processes. In this regard, our clients benefit from the experience that a number of our colleagues have had in senior positions in government, including Matthias Wissmann as German Federal Minister of Transport, Claus-Dieter Ehlermann as Director-General for Competition and Head of the Commission's Legal Service, and Martin Seyfarth as Chief of Staff in the German Federal Ministry of Transport. Our aviation and transport policy work includes advice with respect to the unbundling of networks and operations in the European railway market, the negotiation of air service agreements, the liberalization of the transatlantic aviation market, the implications of the European Court of Justice's "Open Skies” judgments, the resolution of intergovernmental disputes and the reform of the European airspace management and design with a view to creating a "Single European Sky.”
Finally, WilmerHale's broad regulatory and policy background in aviation and logistics and our insight into these industry sectors helps our clients achieve favorable commercial outcomes when structuring joint ventures, strategic alliances and other cooperative arrangements, when negotiating mergers and acquisitions or other transactions, and when designing distribution, agency and maintenance agreements. Working hand-in-hand with our Corporate and Transactional lawyers, our aviation regulatory and policy lawyers ensure compliance with the complex regulatory environment in the aviation and in other transport industries, without losing sight of the commercial goals of our clients.