Chris Leuchten is an associate in Baker McKenzie's International Commercial Practice Group in Washington, DC. He focuses his practice on federal regulation, civil litigation, and internal investigation for clients in the transportation, aviation, infrastructure, and technology industries. He also advises on international trade and public policy.
Prior to joining the Firm, Chris was a regulatory associate in a top-ranked aviation practice firm in Washington, DC. Previously, he was a legislative aide for US Senator Mark Begich, a law clerk for both the US Senate Judiciary Committee and the Office of the General Counsel of the US Department of Energy.
Chris's pro bono practice involves representing incarcerated clients on resentencing before the DC Superior Court and advising nonprofit organizations on contracts.
Chris represents domestic and foreign air carriers, airport operators, airport sponsors, technology companies, drone/unmanned aircraft system stakeholders, and other corporate entities. Chris advises clients on all types of aviation and transportation related regulatory issues, including matters before the US DOT, FAA, FMCSA, TSA, NTSB, and PHMSA.
Chris has experience in airline route proceedings, international aviation, surface transportation, NEPA environmental review, commercial motor vehicles, infrastructure public-private partnerships, air carrier certification, airport grant assurances, air carrier antitrust immunity, Part 77 obstruction evaluations, enforcement, internal investigations, and judicial review of agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act. Chris also has experience related to export controls, sanctions issues, and state and federal public policy.
Representative Legal Matters
Successfully defended the County of Orange California from claim of a grant assurance violation in relation to John Wayne Airport.
Advised Facebook on wide variety of drone projects, including a project to increase connectivity through use of high-altitude, solar-powered drones.
Represented Delta Air Lines in DOT international route proceedings, including successful effort to secure valuable daytime slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport and for frequency allocation to Beijing Capital International Airport. Also advised a major US cargo carrier on DOT route authorities.
Secured Part 107 waivers for drone operators and advised on counter-UAS.
Advised venture-backed technology start-up developing autonomous passenger air transportation on securing approvals for initial operations.
Led team on multijurisdictional review of telecom, environmental, corporate, and aviation regulations for planned technology infrastructure projects in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Advised on internal investigation of air carrier.
Counseled technology company and real estate clients on FAA Part 77 obstruction evaluation requirements for development near airports.
Advised clients on the procedures and approvals pursuant to the Airport Privatization Pilot Program.
Counseled clients on environmental law and NEPA compliance in relation to infrastructure projects on the East and West coast.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice - Member
- ABA Forum on Air and Space Law - Member
- ABA Drone Law Committee - Member
- District of Columbia~United States (2016)
- Maryland~United States (2015)
- New York University School of Law (J.D., cum laude) (2015)
- Boston College (B.A.) (2007)