Thomas J. Whalen Mr. Whalen handles international legal issues for clients, particularly in the field of aviation law: providing corporate and regulatory advice to foreign airlines; handling international arbitration disputes; documenting and advising on the sale, financing and leasing of aircraft and engines; handling the defense of foreign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; and providing export controls and export sanctions advice.
Mr. Whalen has had extensive litigation
experience at both the trial and appellate levels. He successfully argued the
case of Helicopteros Nacionals de Colombia SA (Helicol) v Hall, 466 US 408
(1984) before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Helicol case is the
landmark precedent on the issue of the jurisdiction of US courts over foreign
companies on claims arising outside of the United States.
Mr. Whalen also argued
Stencil Aero Engineering Corp v United States, 431 US 666 (1977), and in 2011,
the deportation/ immigration case of Kawashima v Holder, 132 S. Ct. 1166 (2012).
Mr. Whalen was also the lead counsel in several precedent-setting decisions
before United States Courts of Appeal: Jifry v Federal Aviation Administration,
370 F3d 1174 (DC Circuit 2004); Lunsford v United States, 570 F2d 221 (8th
Circuit 1977); Laker Airways Ltd v SABENA Belgium World Airlines, 731 F2d 909
(DC Circuit 1984); and South African Airways Dole, 817 F2d 118 (Dc Circuit 1987)
Mr. Whalen was a U. S. delegate on the drafting committee for an international
convention on the recognition and enforcement of security interests in mobile
equipment, including aircraft and engines. This Convention has come into force
as the Cape Town Convention.
Mr. Whalen has spoken at professional meetings on
aviation legal subjects and has published numerous articles on such subjects as
the regulatory obligations of foreign air carriers operating to the United
States, the Montreal Convention, and the U.S. economic sanctions and their
effect on aviation.
He also prepared a compact disc training program called
“Your Airline’s Response to Tragedy” to help airlines respond effectively to a
major aircraft accident in the United States.
Mr. Whalen is a graduate of
Georgetown University Law Center (JD in 1963) and was law secretary to the
Honorable Gerald McLaughlin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit (1963-1964). He is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and the
District of Columbia.