Transportation: Aviation: Finance

Transportation: Aviation: Finance - Nationwide


第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York. 

What the team is known for Maintains a very strong reputation, with an impressive New York offering bolstered by a strong London presence. Represents a significant portion of the top leasing companies, and offers recognized expertise in the most sophisticated of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are excellent and we get very good service from them." 

"A truly great firm." 

Work highlights Counsel to Milestone Aviation Group during multiple helicopter financings, including a $261 million Deutsche Bank term loan facility and a $250 million Rule 144A offering of unsecured notes. 

Represented Avolon in the $636 million asset-backed securitization for its new special purpose company, Emerald Aviation Finance, developed to refinance existing debt. This portfolio consists of 20 aircraft, signaling a departure from traditional Avalon methods of funding.

Notable practitioners  

Partner John Howitt is a renowned attorney in the asset finance space, with a practice particularly focused on aviation finance. Areas of expertise include operating leases, aircraft purchases and securitizations. Sources say he is "easy to reach and practical."

Zarrar Sehgal is a seasoned professional in international aviation finance transactions, with expertise in matters such as structured and acquisition financings. Market observers confirm that he is "very prominent in this area."

The globally active Geoffrey White recently represented LATAM Airlines Group in connection with the issuance of over $270 million of notes guaranteed by the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). Sources describe him as a "terrific" presence in the aviation finance space.

Emily DiStefano is recognized for her strength in secured debt financings in the aviation space. She recently joined the firm as a partner, and is viewed as "a fine addition" by market observers.

Significant clients AerCap, Aviation Capital Group, AWAS, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Leading the aviation industry in financing matters for the world's biggest airlines, ranging from enhanced equipment trust certificate (EETC) deals to capital market debt offerings. Internationally recognized for its involvement in many of the most prominent deals in the past year.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"If you're going to a specialist, you want someone who sees the most cases. As a firm, they are very knowledgeable in aviation, and they have a long history in this area."

"They are personable, practical, very responsive and diligent. They are also extremely competitive in terms of pricing."

Work highlights Advised a syndicate of leading financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, on the $1.4 billion refinancing for Air Canada. The complex transaction involved $1 billion in Canadian and US currency, in addition to a $400 million credit facility.  

Represented Citibank as structuring agent in British Airway's first EETC issuance. The $927 million transaction will finance 14 new aircraft.

Notable practitioners  

Elihu Robertson is hailed as "a leader in promoting change," and "a very global attorney." He is a seasoned professional in representing clients such as airlines, lenders and lessors in issues related to aircraft finance. He recently represented a group of financial institutions in a high-value EETC offering by Continental Airlines.

Impressed market observers laud finance practice chair Drew Fine as "one of the best" in the space. His broader financing practice includes a focus on aircraft financing, and he was recently retained by JPMorgan Chase as counsel in a $750 million unsecured credit facility.

Helfried Schwarz "has a very good feel for the market, providing practical advice with a calm demeanor," notes one interviewee. Schwarz is well versed in aircraft and equipment financing matters such as EETCs, airline bankruptcies and restructurings.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, AerCap, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, BBAM Aircraft Leasing & Management.

Band 1 | Vedder Price

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Chicago and New York.

What the team is known for Highly impressive international aviation finance practice serving clients such as airlines, commercial banks and government agencies. Regularly involved in the most prominent airline bankruptcies of recent years, and experienced in EETC financings and Cape Town Convention matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their knowledge base is incredible - they have some of the top attorneys."

"Not only do they provide good advice on legal aspects, but they understand the commercial dynamics." 

Work highlights Represented Air Canada in its first EETC financing, which enabled its acquisition of five new Boeing aircraft in a $714 million deal. The matter was also the first ever non-US EETC.

Advised Export-Import Bank of the United States on a capital markets financing for International Lease Finance's lease of two Boeing aircraft to Emirates.  

Notable practitioners  

Dean Gerber advises an array of clients on aircraft financing matters, including government agencies and lessees. His specialties include leveraged leasings and securitizations such as EETCs, and he is described as a "world-renowned expert on Cape Town Convention matters - he is top shelf."

Ronald Scheinberg focuses on equipment financings, representing clients such as airlines and commercial banks. He is praised as "one of the smartest lawyers in aviation," and recently represented Lloyds TSB in an $800 million portfolio sale to Goldman Sachs.

Joshua Gentner "is very good at transactions, and is focused on what the client wants," say sources. He specializes in aircraft matters and has particular expertise in cross-border leasing transactions.

Geoffrey Kass specializes in structured financings and is known for his expertise in commercial and private aircraft matters. One client notes: "He's very sharp legally, but also he's very practical."

Jeffrey Veber is well versed in transportation finance, with more than 15 years' experience, and is praised as a "significant contributor." Clients such as lenders, lessors and finance companies make use of his skill in a range of aviation matters.

Significant clients Banc of America Securities, DVB Bank, Export Development Canada, Natixis, RPK Capital Partners.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
key office is New York.

What the team is known for Has an enviable range of experience involving airlines around the world. Active on cross-border matters, particularly transactions in Latin America. Specialties include aircraft leasing, securitization and aviation repossessions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very knowledgeable about the industry and very knowledgeable about what the needs of the clients are."

"They've always been terrific." 

Work highlights Represented the guaranteed lender, Apple Bank for Savings, in relation to an Ex-Im Bank guaranteed secured loan. The proceeds financed four new Boeing aircraft for a leasing subsidiary of Vnesheconombank.

Represented GE Capital Aviation Services in its purchase and leaseback of a total of 13 A320 aircraft from Mexican airlines Interjet and Volaris.

Notable practitioners  

John Pritchard has established an excellent reputation as a "pillar of the aircraft finance community." He has 20 years' experience and is renowned for his expertise in asset-based financing, with a focus on aircraft. One client praises him as being "one of the best in the world."

Fred Bass has developed a solid position as a prominent attorney in domestic and cross-border transactions involving aircraft and airlines. His expertise includes the purchase and sale of aircraft and EETCs.

MJ Spelliscy focuses on domestic and international asset-based financing matters. She was recently part of a team advising LOT Polish Airlines on the Ex-Im Bank financing of five new Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Phillip Durham recently represented BBAM Aircraft Management in the purchase, leaseback and secured financing of a Boeing 777 aircraft and a Boeing 787 aircraft to LATAM Airlines Group. His work spans Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and clients range from individuals to international financial entities.

William Piels is known by peers as "an excellent lawyer." His 25 years' experience representing clients such as aircraft operating lessors and financial institutions have earned him a solid reputation in the marketplace.

Significant clients SouthWest Airlines, Willis Lease Finance, JetBlue Airways, CIT, GE Capital Aviation Services.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation in the field, with impressive knowledge of aviation finance structures. Areas of focus include M&A, bankruptcies and securities offerings in the aviation space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"An excellent firm, with superior quality at reasonable rates."

Work highlights Represented Wells Fargo in connection with its aircraft leasing joint venture with Avolon Aerospace Leasing, with the initial aim of accruing a $500 million portfolio.

Represented a group of initial purchasers, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, in an innovative $630 million capital markets offering of EETCs. The offering enables Dubai-based Emirates airline to lease aircraft from DNA Alpha.

Notable practitioners  

John Hoyns leads on matters for one of the team's most prominent clients, United Airlines. Interviewees note his "tremendous deal knowledge and negotiating skills," and his "strong grasp of a client's commercial objectives." 

Steven Chung is described by one interviewee as "a practical, deal-focused guy" who will "work in a collaborative manner which reaches a solution that protects his client." He is building an impressive reputation in matters such as aircraft portfolio securitizations.

Significant clients United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Republic Airline, Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Air Lines. 

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Recognized strength in a broad range of aviation finance matters, including aircraft and engine financings, airline securities offerings and fleet restructurings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very good; they're creative, extremely hard-working and very diligent on our behalf."

"They are worth every penny." 

Work highlights Acted as special aircraft financing counsel for American Airlines and AMR during Chapter 11 proceedings related to the complex financial restructuring arrangements of over 1,000 aircraft.

Represented Sukhoi Civil Aircraft in the sale and lease transaction of 3 Sukhoi Superjet 100s with Lao Central Airlines.

Notable practitioners  

John Curry has an impressive portfolio of work in aircraft finance transactions, with a focus on capital markets offerings and EETCs. His success in both domestic and cross-border matters leads one impressed client to claim: "I don't think anyone knows more about the legal aspects of financing than John does, on both debt and leasing."

Significant clients Aeroflot, Air France-KLM, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Rossiya Airlines.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York. 

What the team is known for Represents manufacturers, lessors and financiers of aviation equipment. Experienced in airline bankruptcies and liquidation of equipment portfolios. Offers expertise in matters such as securitizations and pass-through trust certificate debt structures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their strength is that they are very business-oriented so they help me zero in on key business issues. They help me see what's important and what's not."

"They have a broad-based team, and we can call them to deal with any issues that arise." 

Work highlights Advised Mitsui & Co on its establishment of a joint venture with GE Aviation to enable the development of a new aircraft technology.

Handled the transfer and leasing transactions of commercial jet aircraft from AWAS to major airlines in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The matter involved lease financings and restructurings of lease financings.

Notable practitioners  

James Tussing has established an outstanding reputation in the aviation industry and is described by one impressed observer as "one of the top ten worldwide in the field." His rich experience representing clients from airlines to financial institutions qualifies him as a prominent expert in areas such as reorganization and equipment financing litigation.

New York-based partner Sean Corrigan focuses on representing airlines, borrowers and lessees. Areas of expertise include leveraged and cross-border leasing, lending transactions and syndicated loan facilities.  

Significant clients Apollo Aviation, Jackson Square Aviation, KfW IPEX Bank, AWAS, Republic Airways Holdings.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for A well-established name in the marketplace, representing a wide range of clients in aviation finance. Areas of specialty include US Ex-Im Bank transactions, privatization, and rates and charges.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Smart people who are good to work with." 

Work highlights Represented Ethiopian Airlines in its $1.1 billion financing of 11 Boeing aircraft, with the support of US Ex-Im Bank.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Schumaecker handles a range of aviation issues, including cross-border asset-based financings. He recently advised JPMorgan Chase as a placement agent on a US Ex-Im Bank-supported aircraft bond financing for Cathay Pacific.

Mark Lessard recently advised BNP Paribas in connection with its role as liquidity facility provider in a high-value issuance of Class A and Class B notes by Emerald Aviation Finance. One interviewee attests that "he has the intelligence to handle large-scale and complex matters."

William Bowers is recognized as an "established player" in the aviation finance market. His name continues to be associated with expertise in aircraft portfolio securitizations, and he recently advised Natixis as the liquidity provider and depositary for the Hawaiian Airlines Series 2013-1 Pass Through Certificates. 

As leader of the firm's equipment finance team, Payson Coleman has built a robust reputation representing equipment financiers and airlines.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, Etihad Airways, Macquarie Airfinance, Rolls-Royce.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation in the aviation community for representing a range of clients, including leasing companies, arrangers and export credit agencies. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very good negotiators and they provide very good legal services."

"They are very flexible, customer-oriented and even-keeled." 

Work highlights Represented JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup Global Markets as underwriters in the $409 million IPO of leading Latin American airline Avianca Holdings. The proceeds from the introduction of the airline on the NYSE are to finance plans for a fleet modernization.

Represented BBAM Aircraft Management in a purchase and lease deal involving parties in the USA, Ireland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, concerning the purchase of five aircraft from Boeing, to then be leased to Cathay Pacific.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Smith is widely regarded as a leader in the aviation finance space, with a particularly strong reputation in the flourishing helicopter leasing and financing area. "Mike has a clear analytical mind, is an excellent draftsman and has a breadth of experience. I think we're lucky to have him," reports one impressed client.

Christian Hansen has a strong reputation in the aviation industry, notably with respect to the Latin American market. He is lauded by one client as being "very experienced in aviation law, and he has excellent contacts within the aviation industry."

Richard Smith's long experience in the aviation finance arena has enabled him to build a broad practice with expertise in a range of matters, including Islamic financings and Japanese operating and leverage leases. He recently advised BBAM Aircraft Management on the purchase and lease of four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Cathay Pacific.

Ji Hoon Hong is described by one observer as "a really terrific lawyer in EETC transactions - very careful and thorough." His practice focuses on structured debt capital markets. 

Significant clients Aviation Capital Group, Deutsche Bank, BBAM Aircraft Management, JPMorgan Securities, Citigroup Global Markets.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Maintains a solid reputation for handling transactions regarding new aircraft fleets, and cross-border work encompassing matters in Europe, Asia and South America. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Very consistent and professional. They provide a seamless service across a variety of activities."

"They are very knowledgeable in the aviation industry, and understand the dynamics of the industry well. They're efficient, effective and responsive."

Notable practitioners  

Aviation head Timothy Lynes has an impressive track record in aviation finance. His areas of focus include structured aircraft sales and aviation insurance, among many other areas. He is described by one client as "a problem solver - he excels, and that is based on being dedicated to the industry and experienced, having seen almost everything."

Thomas Healey's aviation practice covers the North and South America markets and focuses on the aircraft workout aspect of airline reorganizations. His solution-finding ability is praised by one client, who considers him "very knowledgeable on the specifics of the legal aviation business."

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Chicago.

What the team is known for Represents major operating lessors and lenders in complex transactions, with a particular emphasis on aircraft portfolio acquisitions and securitization transactions, and a prominent reputation in the private jet space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very solid. Both corporate and entrepreneurial."  

Work highlights Represented Wheels Up in what is considered the largest order of propeller-driven aircraft in history, for up to 105 King Air aircraft and maintenance service in North America and Western Europe from Beechcraft for $1.4 billion. 

Advised eight financial institutions as lessors and lenders to American Airlines in leveraged lease structures following the Chapter 11 proceedings of its parent company AMR.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Mulitz has a solid reputation for his work in jet aircraft and helicopter transactions, including acquisition leasing and financing and portfolio sales. One impressed client claims that "his dedication to the projects is commendable. He has vast knowledge of the aviation space, and many connections."

Significant clients HSH Nordbank, Comair, SunTrust Equipment Finance and Leasing. 

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Shortly prior to publication, Marc Latman joined Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP from Norton Rose Fulbright. Latman specializes in lease and debt financings for high-value aviation equipment. His representations of lenders, operators, lessors and lessees in specialty areas such as Cape Town Convention matters lead peers to say he is "definitely an up-and-comer," and "very highly regarded."

Elizabeth Evans recently joined Dentons from Jones Day. Evans handles a range of matters, including complex aircraft purchases and equipment leasings. She also has strong experience in more unique areas of aviation finance such as airport development projects. Her clients include passenger and cargo airlines, and Fortune 500 corporations.

Jeffrey Tenen recently joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. Tenen focuses on aircraft finance and leasing, representing both domestic and foreign carriers such as Compania Panemena de Aviacion.

Senior counsel Rory Kelleher of Sidley Austin LLP is recognized for his impressive aircraft finance and equipment leasing practice. He routinely represents aircraft and engine manufacturers in domestic and cross-border transactions.  

Alan Gordon Brenner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is "highly attentive, very experienced and very good at managing expenses." He handles financing transactions in the USA, Latin America, Asia and Australasia.

William Callaway of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP represents clients such as airlines and financial institutions in financing transactions across Africa, Europe and South America.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.