Areas of Practice
Education
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1970
  • Columbia College, B.A., 1961
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6223
FAX: +1 202 261 0651

William Karas represents aviation clients in a variety of complex and dynamic regulatory and commercial settings. His multi-tiered practice encompasses economic regulation, airline antitrust matters, and general commercial transactions. He is deeply ingrained and esteemed in the aviation industry, and his extensive regulatory experience enables him to address a variety of aviation matters, Department of Transportation (DOT) enforcement actions, strategic airline alliances, cabotage issues, citizenship matters, route authorizations, airport fee disputes, air political matters, and numerous other relevant rulemakings and regulatory initiatives. On the antitrust front, he has years of experience defending airlines in class action antitrust litigation and in pursuing antitrust immunity for airline joint ventures in DOT proceedings.

As a recognized authority in the field, he is also frequently sought after to counsel clients on business law issues relating to airline bankruptcy/reorganization. He also advises ocean shipping interests on various maritime-related issues, including the Jones Act, compliance with shipping statutes, and clearances through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Representative Matters

  • Secures antitrust immunity or clearance from various worldwide jurisdictions (including the US) for implementation of integrated revenue-sharing airline joint ventures.
  • Defended a European airline in connection with a suit for substantial damages from an abusive and disgruntled passenger alleging various tort, contract, and discrimination infractions. For reasons stemming from the Montreal Convention, the case was ultimately dismissed with prejudice by a federal district court.
  • Represents an Asian airline in the English High Court in a suit by another major carrier for contribution concerning competition law claims relative to an alleged global pricing conspiracy.
  • Advised two airline clients on DOT Enforcement Office pursuits in connection with tarmac delay incidents, and negotiated Consent Order for one such client.
  • Defended airline in patent infringement suit relating to the use of electronic passports. The Federal Circuit upheld denial of relief. A contrary outcome would have impacted adversely all airlines operating internationally.
  • Advised an Asian airline on the applicability of the filed rate doctrine in connection with class action antitrust claims.
  • Defended an Asian airline in US and European investigations and civil suits relating to the imposition of fuel surcharges.
  • Advised a governmental entity regarding shipping law changes to allow use of non-US vessels to transport liquefied natural gas between US offshore points and the US mainland.

Noteworthy

  • Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, 2006, 2008, 2009 

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