Kenneth Quinn

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Ken Quinn is a partner in the North America International Commercial Practice Group in Washington, DC. He is Global Chair, Aviation, and co-chair of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems multidisciplinary team.

Ken is a former chief counsel of the US Federal Aviation Administration (1991-93), counselor to the Secretary of Transportation (1989-91), and senior advisor to the Office of the President-Elect (1988). He has served as general counsel and secretary of the Flight Safety Foundation for the past 15 years. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, is counsel to its DC Branch, and serves on the RAeS Membership Board. He served as President of the International Aviation Club (2015-16).

Practice Focus

Ken acts as litigation, regulatory, enforcement, antitrust, and commercial counsel to several domestic and international airlines, aerospace companies, lenders/lessors, private equity/hedge funds, online travel and social media companies, developers and other aviation companies.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Delta in successful litigation in DC Circuit, 5th Circuit, Northern District of Texas, and FAA in a dispute with the City of Dallas and Southwest over flights at Love Field.

  • Facebook on wide variety of drone projects, including a project to increase connectivity through use of high-altitude, solar-powered drones.

  • Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk on development of manned aircraft systems using drone technology.

  • GS Yuasa, a Kyoto, Japan battery manufacturer relating to FAA, NTSB, and JTSB investigations, claims, ICDR arbitration, and other matters arising out of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery incidents and grounding.

  • Oaktree Capital in the winning bid then sale of equity in Aerostar, the groundbreaking public-private partnership for the long-term lease and management of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • GECAS, ACG, and other aircraft lessor on FAA policy issues and international aircraft transferability issues.

  • Monday, Vornado, Related Companies, and several large real estate developers in airspace hazard determinations.

  • Bombardier and Learjet in certification, litigation and enforcement matters.

  • Dozens of companies involving the commercial and military use of drones including the first grant of a night-time commercial drone operation.

  • Represented coalition of airport passenger screening and security companies after 9/11.

Professional Honors

  • Band 1, Chambers USA Aviation Regulatory - National, 2006-2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement, 2010-2017
  • Who’s Who Legal, Aviation: Regulatory - DC, 2009-2017
  • Best of the Best USA, Aviation, Euromoney/Legal Media Group, 2009, 2011-2017
  • Experts Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group, 2007-2017
  • Irish Legal 100, 2010-2012

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Royal Aeronautical Society - Counsel to its DC Branch, Fellow (2006)
  • Flight Safety Foundation - General counsel and secretary, 2004-present
  • American Bar Association - Section of Antitrust Law
  • American Bar Association - Forum on Air and Space Law - Chair (1994-1996), Executive Committee Member (1994-present)
  • American Bar Association - Torts Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • American Bar Association - Aviation and Space Law Committee
  • American Bar Association - Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice
  • Wings Club - Member
  • International Aviation Club - Member
  • AeroClub of Washington – Member
  • John Carroll Society – Member
  • Federalist Society – Member
  • Army Navy Country Club – Member
  • Thomas More Society – Member
  • The Army & Navy Club - Member
  • Shanghai International Aviation Arbitration Court - Member, Arbitrator to the Experts Committee 2014
  • International Aviation Club of Washington, DC - Elected president, 2015
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - Task Force on Safety Information Protection - Former Chair
  • High Level Safety Conference - Delegate, February 2015


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (2016)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2012)
  • District of Columbia~United States (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (1996)
  • Illinois Supreme Court (1985)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (1985)


  • DePaul University College of Law (JD with honors) (1985)
  • Northern Illinois University (BS Finance) (1982)


  • English


Author, "Sky’s No Longer the Limit," American Bar Association – The Air & Space Lawyer, Volume 30, No. 3, 2017

Co-author, Chapter on “NTSB Investigations of Aircraft Accidents” in “Litigating the Aviation Case,” American Bar Association, Fourth Edition, 2017

Co-author, "Ownership and Control of US Air Carriers, Aviation Regulation in the United States," American Bar Association, 2014

Speaking Engagements

Moderator, “Information Protection – Litigation Perspective,” Flight Safety Foundation International Air Safety Summit (IASS) 2018, Seattle, WA, 12 November 2018

Moderator, “Challenges and Opportunities for the French-US Aviation Markets,” French American Business Week, Washington, DC, 17  October 2018