Christopher R. Barth is a recognized leading attorney in aviation and insurance law. In his over 25 years of providing legal services,He is well-known in the defense of the aircraft leasing industry and has represented international lessors in major accident litigation.
Christopher’s aviation experience also includes the defense of aviation manufacturers, air carriers and airline consortiums, airports and municipalities, charter operators, MROs, and security companies against allegations covering a wide spectrum of issues including wrongful death, product defects, breach of warranty, negligence, faulty workmanship, breach of bailment, and negligent entrustment. Christopher has also led the defense of Warsaw and Montréal Conventions actions.
He also serves as national products liability defense counsel for a European manufacturer of regional airline turboprop aircraft. Christopher’s work also includes serving as lead counsel to foreign and domestic insurers in high-exposure, multi-party coverage litigation.
He has appeared as counsel of record in federal and state courts in 27 different U.S. jurisdictions and has been co-counsel in matters pending in three Canadian provinces. Christopher served as an expert on the General Aviation Revitalization Act in a matter pending in the Ontario Provincial court.
Christopher is an accomplished public speaker on topics of interest in the aviation area. He is routinely invited to speak at conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.
Christopher has spoken on such topics as cyber risks facing airport operators, recent developments affecting the aircraft leasing industry, U.S. jurisdictional issues to non – U.S. audiences, technological advances in aviation and the associated legal implications, insurance coverage issues for airlines, airports, lessors, and manufacturers.
Aviation Litigation Experience with Major Losses:
Christopher Barth has represented airlines, airframe and component manufacturers or lessor and suppliers in connection with the following major losses:
- November 29, 2013 LAM Mozambique near Bwabwata National Park, Namibia
- July 28, 2010 Airblue A321 near Islamabad, Pakistan
- June 30, 2009 Yemenia A310 near Moroni, Comoros
- August 20, 2008 Spanair MD-82 at Madrid, Spain
- March 10, 2008 Adam Air B737 at Batam, Indonesia
- January 1, 2007 Adam Air B737 near Sulawesi, Indonesia
- May 7, 2005 Transair Fairchild FA227 near Lockhart River, Queensland, Australia
- January 3, 2004 Flash Airlines B737 into the Red Sea
- May 25, 2002 China Airlines B747 into the Taiwan Straits
- July 25, 2000 Air France Concorde near Gonesse, France
- April 19, 2000 Air Philippines B737 at Daveo City, Philippines
Christopher’s experience includes handling cross-border matters involving aviation losses in Canada resulting in competing Canadian and U.S. litigation. His experience in these matters includes representing charter operators, a major landing gear manufacturer, and a U.S.-based parts manufacturer.
Insurance Coverage Counseling and Litigation:
Christopher has wide-ranging experience in representing insurers’ interests in complex insurance coverage disputes in the aviation, chemical, construction, newspaper and paper products, pharmaceutical, municipality and steel making industries.
He has routinely provided coverage advice concerning commercial defamation, Native American Tribe treaty rights, qui tam, environmental pollution, health hazard and asbestos liability claims, allocation of multi-year losses, and a variety of other coverage issues. Christopher has consulted with insurers about the impacts of evolving technologies on the insurance industry, especially the rise and risks associated with Blockchain technology.
Christopher has been lead counsel in handling environmental pollution coverage litigation and the settlement of claims for coverage by:
- U.S. domestic airlines for cleanup costs in connection with contamination of soil and groundwater at scores of U.S. airports
- Airports and aviation manufacturing facilities where contaminated groundwater used for drinking has generated thousands of bodily injury claims
- Steel industry where contamination of environment at mills and waste disposal sites has generated significant cleanup costs
- Pharmaceutical companies for wastes generated at their manufacturing facilities
- Chemical companies where waste disposal practices have resulted in significant off-site contamination
Beyond environmental pollution coverage matters, Christopher has been lead counsel in asbestos, benzene, radiation and other health hazard coverage litigation involving:
- U.S. airlines
- Aviation manufacturers
- Defense contractors
Christopher gained a unique insight into the aviation underwriting and claims process during separate one-month externships with a Syndicate in Lloyd’s, London and at Swiss Reinsurance Company in Zurich, Switzerland. During both programs, Christopher provided client counseling and observed all aspects of the underwriting and claims process. He also makes frequent presentations to insurers on various topics of interest.
Christopher counsels various corporate clients across a broad range of issues. He has worked with a large consumer products client to address independent contractor agreements, employment status considerations, misclassification claims under Fair Labor Standard Act, and maintenance of customer credit card information.
Christopher has worked with a leading food company on issues relating to compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act and customer privacy issues. He is routinely retained to provide advice on corporate contracts including equipment leases.
Professional Affiliations :
- Member, Illinois State Bar Association
- Member, Aviation Insurance Association
- Member, The European Aviation Club
- J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1991
- B.B.A., University of Iowa, 1988
Admissions : Illinois, 1991
Admitted To Practice :
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1991
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1995
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2001
Rate : $$$