Zayba Drabu

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74445129
United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74445129
Zayba Drabu

Zayba Drabu



Zayba Drabu is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer based in London.

Zayba has a varied aviation practice and primarily represents lessors and banks in asset finance-related disputes and matters including the delivery and delay of aircraft, contractual terms, maintenance obligations, defaults, redelivery obligations under aircraft leases and termination.

Zayba also has experience of international arbitration matters and cross-border contractual disputes. She has advised on claims and defences under the arbitration rules of the major arbitrational institutions, including the LCIA, ICC and LMAA. She also has experience of non-contentious matters, including coordinating and advising on multijurisdictional legal regulatory reviews, advising on aviation regulatory issues and drafting and negotiating various contracts.

Professional experience

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  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales

Advising / acting for:

  • A claimant - in an ICC arbitration in respect of a claim for liquidated damages as a result of non-excusable delay in the delivery of two aircraft under an aircraft purchase agreement.
  • An international airline - in a LCIA arbitration in respect of a shareholder dispute.
  • An aircraft lessor - in a High Court litigation in respect of claims as a result of a lease termination and the diminution in value of the Aircraft as a result of non-compliance with the terms of the lease agreement.
  • A defendant to a High Court claim - in respect of a breach of contract claim. Successfully defended a Summary Judgment application and mediated a settlement of the claim.
  • The respondents - to a LCIA arbitration in relation to numerous allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and a claim amounting to US150m and brought a counterclaim for US$240m as a result of breaches by the claimant of numerous contracts. The claim was settled.
  • Numerous syndicates of banks and operating lessors - in respect of lease terminations, enforcement of mortgages and aircraft repossessions around the world. Where necessary taking action in the English High Court to obtain injunctions and orders for delivery up. Working closely with local counsel to assist in the drafting and making of applications for delivery up in the local courts and working alongside aviation consultants and the clients to recover aircraft and engines.
  • AirTanker Limited - in respect of its legal due diligence and operation of the Voyager Aircraft.
  • The claimant - in a successful ICC Arbitration claim for US$21m under a contract.  
  • A client - in respect of its rights pursuant to two separate aircraft purchase agreements (with two different aircraft manufacturers) as a result of delays due to technical issues (including claims for liquidated damages and force majeure).
  • Acommercial airline - in relation to its rights to assign, re-allocate or cancel upcoming deliveries of aircraft under its purchase agreement with a manufacturer.
  • A client - on its rights in respect of an engine purchase agreement and the ongoing technical issues it was encountering (including its rights under the warranty and potential rights outside the scope of the warranty).

Zayba is recognised by Legal 500 2021 as "superb litigator, who masters the most difficult problems to gain optimal results for clients. A rising star." 

Chambers and Partners 2021 described Zayba as an Associate to watch and that "She takes a pragmatic view and ensures the responses she provides are clear and useful"  and "She inspires great confidence and is very approachable."