Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM) is on standby to defend Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific against potential claims from more than 1,200 pilots. The threat of law suits follows a Hong Kong High Court ruling that Cathay Pacific breached the employment contract of one of its pilots by forcing him to accept an increased work load. In April, the High Court granted Cathay Pacific pilot Murray Gardner an injunction to block changes to his employment contract. In the test case, the High Court also declared that Cathay Pacific breached an agreement that it had entered into in 1999 with the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers’ Association (AOA). Cathay Pacific instructed JSM on the Gardner case, so it would be surprising if the firm were not used again. Robertsons’ senior partner Michael Lintern-Smith, who is representing the pilots, told The Lawyer that claims against Cathay Pacific are likely to be filed by the end of October. The Hong Kong firm has a longstanding relationship with the AOA. Newspaper reports suggest that if the pilots’ action is successful Cathay Pacific could face a bill of HK$600m (£46.6m).