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 17 years. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, is counsel to its DC Branch, and serves on the RAeS Membership Services Board. He has 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

  • Japan Air Lines on USD 7 billion terminal re-development at JFK airport.

  • AIA on an all-cargo, perishable goods: airport in Hendry County, FL.

  • IAG, British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus on acquisition, alliance and antitrust immunity.

  • 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 a 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, Paris ICDR arbitration, and other matters arising out of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery incidents and grounding.

  • Highstar and Oaktree Capital in the equity purchase 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, JDS, NextEra and several large real estate developers and wind-turbine, renewable energy provides in FAA airspace hazard determinations.

Professional Honors

  • Band 1, Chambers USA Aviation Regulatory - National, 2006-2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement, 2010-2019
  • Who's Who Legal, Aviation: Regulatory - DC, 2009-2019
  • Best of the Best USA, Aviation, Euromoney/Legal Media Group, 2009, 2011-2019
  • Experts Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group, 2007-2019
  • Irish Legal 100, 2010-2012

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Royal Aeronautical Society - Member Services Board. London, England (2016-present) Counsel to its DC Branch (2005-present), Fellow (2006)
  • Flight Safety Foundation - General counsel and secretary, 2004-present
  • American Bar Association - Forum on Air and Space Law - Chair (1994-1996), Executive Committee Member (1994-present)
  • American Bar Association - Section of Antitrust Law
  • 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
  • Member, Wings Club, International Aviation Club (President - (2015-16)
  • AeroClub of Washington - Member, John Carroll Society, Federalist Society, Army Navy Country Club, Thomas More Society, The Army & Navy Club, Shanghai International Aviation Arbitration Court -Arbitrator to the Experts Committee 2014
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - Task Force on Safety Information Protection - Vice 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

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “Crises Management,” Flight Safety Foundation, International Aviation Safety Summit, Nov. 4, 2019. Taipei, Taiwan

  • Moderator, “Update on Products Liability Cases and a Case Study on Major Accident Litigation: Plaintiff and Defendant Strategies,” 12th Annual McGill Conference on Aviation Liability, Litigation & Finance. Oct. 18, 2019. Montreal, Canada

  • Moderator, “Recent Developments in International Trade Affecting Aviation,” Aviation Working Group. Oct. 17, 2019. New York, NY

  • Moderator, "Airline partnerships, alliances, competition law and sustainability," CAPA Airline Leader's Summit, May 3, 2019. Dublin, Ireland

  • Moderator, "Where To: North America's Approach to Open Skies," CAPA 2019 Americas Aviation Summit, March 19, 2019. Denver, CO