Introduction of the Award:
The Cecile S. Hatfield award for excellence in aviation law or aviation insurance is presented annually at the Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium to a member of the aviation law and insurance industry. Recipients of the award have demonstrated career achievements that represent the highest standards and goals of the industry.
In his senior year in high school, Paul began flight training for his pilot’s license. His first “tail-dragger” time was in a two-seat Boeing Stearman aircraft that had been converted from a crop duster. He completed his flight training and received his pilot’s certificate during his first year at college at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Following an accident involving one of his own pilots and airplanes, Paul became interested in aircraft claims and accident investigation, and discovered there was a little-known niche industry involving aviation insurance claims. After selling off the family flying business in 1976, Paul moved to Dallas, Texas and entered the aviation insurance claims business full-time.
On Gary’s 16th birthday, in 1963, he soloed his first flight as his family watched from below. Mid-way thru his 17th year, Gary finished his private pilot certificate. Gary became a flight instructor at OSU and amassed over 1,000 hours of flight instructing flying year-round while in college.
After Gary’s first year at Georgetown Law, he worked as a summer trademark researcher, a job from which he was eventually fired because it was similar to proofreading a phonebook. Gary thought, “I’ve heard the phrase ‘aviation law.’ If anyone knows what that is, it would be the FAA. I will call them.” He did, and they knew about aviation law; their General Counsel interviewed Gary and promised him a spot as an intern the following summer. It was during Gary’s second year at Georgetown, he started clerking for John Yodice, a renowned aviation/AOPA lawyer.
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.
Since 1958, he has advised and represented airlines and their insurers in over 60 major air disasters throughout the world.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).
Harold Caplan specialises in aerospace and reinsurance. His experience as an arbitrator and mediator includes aviation and reinsurance. He was the originator of the Air Law Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a founder member of the British Insurance Law Association.
He is a panel arbitrator for the international court of aviation and space arbitration in Paris, and for the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Mr. Clark was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was a career diplomat in the Canadian Foreign Service, with assignments in Ottawa, Ghana, Italy and the USA. He was Director General in the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, served as Minister to Spain, Ambassador to Paraguay, to Uruguay and to Argentina, and Canadian Representative to the WTO. He represented Canada at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), chaired numerous UN Committees and Commissions, and was elected Vice Chairman of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Board in Nairobi. From 1991 to 1993, Mr Clark was Director of Policy at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in Brussels.
Any woman who starts flying lessons with a newborn son is not afraid of challenges. Cecile Hatfield is such a woman. Cecile loves to share her adventures as part of the Ninety Nines and the Florida Women’s Pilot Association that sponsored an annual intercontinental air race called the Angel Derby. In 1975, Cecile received a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Miami School Of Law, graduating with honors. With her law degree in hand, Cecile broke new ground for women in aviation law. Cecile Hatfield became the first female aviation lawyer, serving as a trial attorney for the United States Justice Department.