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Speaker George N Tompkins, highly respected lawyer, involved in the representation of domestic USA and international airlines in the aftermath of commercial aircraft accidents over the past 50 plus years, including principally the handling of passenger death and bodily injury claims governed by the liability rules of the 1929 Warsaw Convention and the additional international law instruments and intercarrier agreements that evolved from 1955 through 1996 which, together, comprised the fragmented “Warsaw Convention Liability System” for 70 years. George Tompkins shares some of his personal experiences in navigating his way through the, at times, severely turbulent “skies” of the Warsaw System, defending the legal position of the airlines whose liability was governed by the System, while at the same time seeking ways and means of improving upon the System for the mutual benefit of the airlines and their customers, the insurers of the airlines and the aviation industry manufacturers and their insurers. He shares his views on the emergence of recent storm clouds which, if not dispersed, may turn the smooth skies created by the liability rules of the Montreal Convention of 1999 into a thunderstorm. 

About the speaker:

George N Tompkins, Of Counsel, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP

George Tompkins has been trial and appellate counsel in numerous major aviation accident cases and other “high profile” and precedent-setting cases and has represented numerous airlines on instructions of liability insurers in over 60 major air crash disasters. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at professional meetings, conferences and law schools throughout the world. Numerous articles of his have been published in legal periodicals worldwide. George was Editor of The Aviation Quarterly, published by Lloyds of London Press (LLP), from its inception in 1996 until publication ceased in 2000. He was Editor of Lloyd’s Aviation Law, a bi-weekly newsletter published by LLP from 1982 until publication ceased in 1996. His treatise on “Liability Rules Applicable to International Air Transportation as Developed by the Courts in the United States – From Warsaw 1929 to Montreal 1999”, was published by Kluwer Law International in 2010. George now serves on the Board of Editors of Air & Space Law, published by Kluwer Law International in The Hague. 

Royal Aeronautical Society
22 November 2011