Haynes and Boone, McMillan, and Guanes, Heisecke & Piera Enter into Ground-Breaking Relationship with IATA for Legal Services across The Americas


Following a competitive bidding process conducted in late 2014 and early 2015, an alliance comprised of Haynes and Boone, LLP (United States), McMillan LLP (Canada), and Guanes, Heisecke & Piera (Paraguay) has secured a three-year joint retainer to act as the primary legal services provider for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) across all of the Americas and Caribbean. The relationship will be quarterbacked by McMillan out of its Montreal office, where IATA also has its head office.

The innovative arrangement between IATA and the alliance members will see them working together to provide IATA with a full range of legal services across North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  To this end, the alliance team members will leverage an innovative “One-Stop Shop” approach, which will see the three firms working hand in hand and pooling resources.  Local collaborators have also been enlisted in several countries and all of the participants will use state-of-the-art collaborative web tools to manage matters, budgets and invoices on a unified and seamless way for IATA.  The alliance will introduce innovative technologies that are intended to normalize costs, enhance predictability and promote efficiency and cost-effectiveness throughout the covered geographic area.

Éric Vallières, co-Chair of McMillan’s Aviation Practice, Janice Sharry, head of the Aviation Practice at Haynes and Boone, and Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Piera, head of the Aviation Practice at Guanes, Heisecke & Piera will each act as Regional Managers.

Jeffrey N. Shane, General Counsel of IATA, said: “We were impressed by the alliance’s innovative “One-Stop Shop” approach as well as with the quality and depth of the alliance’s network.  The alliance’s unique and creative fee arrangement is also expected to bring us greater cost predictability, and its centralized billing platform will bring much greater efficiency to the management of our external legal bills across the entire continent.  We look forward to this collaborative effort to support the activities of IATA on behalf of our membership.”

Éric Vallières, who will also assume full responsibility for the administrative aspects of the relationship and who will be the single point of accountability for IATA, declared that: “This represents an exciting time for us at McMillan.  We have had a longstanding relationship with the aviation industry and with IATA in particular, and the firms that form the alliance are honored to have been selected as primary legal services providers of IATAfollowing a very thorough process. The alliance is deeply committed to assisting IATA with its legal needs across the Americas and we enthusiastically look forward to this collaborative effort.

Jan Sharry added:  “We are excited about the opportunity to further expand our services to the aviation industry in this collaborative and innovative arrangement for IATA. We bring with us a depth of experience representing both U.S. and foreign commercial passenger, cargo and charter carriers and believe that this relationship will enhance our ability to meet the needs of our aviation clients.  We also believe that this creative partnership with our client will enhance our ability to provide cost-effective and innovative arrangements with all of our clients.”

Alex Piera commented: “We are delighted with the opportunity of working closely with IATA on this new initiative.  Our Alliance has substantial experience and intimate knowledge of the aviation industry. We are confident that these factors will significantly contribute to advancing the legal work of IATA in the Americas.”

IATA is the trade association for the global airline industry.  The organization works with its member airlines and the air transport industry as a whole to promote safe, reliable secure and economical air travel. IATA currently represents some 250 airlines or 84% of total air traffic across the globe and handles over USD 385 billion of financial transactions annually.

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