George Tompkins Jr. is Of Counsel in the New York office. Having practiced aviation law for five decades, George has represented the interests of airlines in all aspects of their operations, both in the United States and worldwide. He has spearheaded changes in international law as it applies to the liability of airlines. George has tried numerous high-profile cases and has argued numerous appeals in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has represented airlines in numerous proceedings before U.S. regulatory agencies.
George has been lead trial counsel for many domestic and foreign airlines in defending passenger liability lawsuits arising from major aircraft accidents throughout the world. Since 1958, he has advised and represented airlines and their insurers in over 60 major air disasters throughout the world. George has also been lead counsel in lawsuits brought by airlines or their insurers as plaintiff against air traffic control providers, aircraft and engine manufacturers and airport operators in the United States to recover aircraft and engine damage, and for indemnity and contribution for passenger liability claims.
Widely recognized in international air law, he was appointed to the Special Study Group to advise the International Civil Aviation Organization on modernizing the Warsaw Convention liability system that applied to international air transportation since 1929. As a result, George played a significant role in drafting the language of the new Montreal Convention 1999 that modernized and consolidated the Warsaw system. That language was adopted in 1999 at the Diplomatic Conference in Montreal, where he was a delegate on behalf of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In addition to aviation, George also has extensive experience in appellate litigation, insurance litigation, international law and product liability/mass tort practice. He has argued numerous appeals in precedent-setting cases in federal and state appellate courts, including two cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.