UK-wide - Asset Finance: Aviation Finance Lawyers & Law Firms - UK - Chambers and Partners
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UK Guide

Asset Finance: Aviation Finance — UK-wide


Allen & Overy LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Market-leading asset finance practice with outstanding capability across aviation, shipping and rail finance matters. Advises clients on sophisticated structures, including EETCs, JOLCOs and ECA-backed bonds. Regularly works with banks and corporates on industry-leading deals. Acclaimed for its well-rounded practice and its ability to provide parallel services relating to tax, litigation and restructuring.

Strengths A client says: "They are very good - I think that they are an excellent magic circle firm. They have good partners and they have good support in terms of associates."

"They are a specialised aviation team and they are good and responsive," another client remarks, adding: "They have a good grasp of the aviation market and what we need as a company."

Work highlights Acted for the lenders in the USD1.5 billion Islamic financing of 20 aircraft to IAFC for lease to Saudi Arabia Airlines.

Advised Yamal on the shipping aspects of its project to transport LNG and condensates from its plant in Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula in Arctic Russia to Asia and Europe.

Significant clients Excelerate Energy, Nordic Aviation Capital, Floreat Aviation, ING Bank, Falko.

Notable practitioners

Paul Nelson's clients say that "working on transactions with him is always a pleasure given his ability to balance the importance of a transaction with a constructive and enjoyable working environment." Nelson heads the firm's aviation finance group and is recognised for his ability to handle a wide range of financing deals and capital markets transactions.

Mario Jacovides stands out for his dedicated asset finance practice, which has an emphasis on aviation and shipping finance. "He is always good - he's a problem solver and non-confrontational," a source notes, adding: "He always helps to get the deal done." Jacovides has a wealth of experience in complex finance and leasing transactions, and is global head of the structured finance and asset finance group.

Clients single out Harry Upcott for "his attention to detail and clarity of thought." His areas of expertise include acquisition finance and syndicated lending, particularly in the aviation arena. "Harry is a delight to deal with. He is very customer-focused and combines a tremendous intellect with great industry expertise to deliver transactions in a timely manner with the minimum of fuss," another impressed client comments.

David Smith is a highly respected figure in the market and has broad-ranging experience across a variety of transactions, including government-guaranteed debt facilities and tax-based lease structures. He is well versed in rail and aviation finance, but is particularly noted for his expertise in transactions in the shipping industry.

Kevin Young advises on lease financings and export credit-backed financings, and is also sought after for his strengths in shipping company restructurings and portfolio sales. Clients value his "pragmatic and efficient" approach to matters, saying: "He's goal-driven and doesn't lose sight of the deal."

Rail group practice head Jonathan Bevan comes recommended for his expertise in heavy and light rail financings and acquisitions, and is equally at home in domestic and cross-border transactions. Sources comment: "He is very highly regarded, very client-friendly and gets the job done."

Department profile by Allen & Overy LLP

Our award-winning, international asset finance practice holds a pre-eminent position in the market. We are know for our extensive experience across all sectors of the asset finance industry, with specialists in the aviation, shipping and offshore markets.Our client base includes banks, financiers, funds, owners, airlines, lessors, manufacturers, captive finance companies, operators, borrowers, lessees, export credit agencies and government organisations.

We have a strong track record of advising on market first and award winning transactions and are ranked Tier 1 by all the leading, global directories cementing our position as a leader in the market.

Our work highlights include:

  • The lenders on a USD1.2b Islamic ijara lease financing to International Airfinance Corporation
  • Floreat Aviation Fund in relation to setting up its fund and securitisation programme focused on
    the aviation sector
  • UKEF on the $913m ECA supported Sukuk financing for Emirates representing the largest capital
    markets ECA supported financing in the aviation space
  • Yamal LNG on the shipping aspects of the shipping the project to transport LNG from its plant in
    Sabetta on the Yamal peninsula in Arctic Russia to Asia and Europe
  • The lenders, SACE and Bpifrance/Coface in connection with CHC Helicopter's Chapter 11 process,
    including advising on the leasing and insurance arrangements, repossessions advice, enforcements against and sale of helicopters which were rejected as part of the Chapter 11 process

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Strong rail finance practice with specialist expertise in rolling stock financing deals for ROSCOs and particularly noted for its considerable cross-border strengths. Also has experience advising clients, including banks, manufacturers and airlines on a full range of aviation finance matters.

Strengths "The team has an always-on-call attitude and offers pragmatic advice," a client notes, adding: "Importantly, we are happy with the fee transparency and feel we receive value for money."

Work highlights Acted for CCB in negotiating and documenting the sale and leaseback of 11 aircraft with Wizz Air, valued at approximately £350 million.

Advised Beacon Rail on its £230 million procurement of 66 CAF coaches for First TransPennine Express.

Significant clients Bombardier, Beacon Rail Leasing, Deutsche Bank, Vibrac, CityJet.

Notable practitioners

Russell Clifford is an experienced structured finance and leasing practitioner equally adept in both domestic and cross-border matters. He leads the Berwin Leighton Paisner asset finance and rail industry group, and is praised by clients, one of whom comments: "He is technically excellent and a very good negotiator, as he understands our business and commercial imperatives."

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke advises a wide range of parties, including banks and manufacturers in rail finance transactions, and draws particular praise for his detail-focused approach to matters.

Department profile by Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

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Bird & Bird - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Offers capability on aviation finance issues for clients, including airlines, lessors and banks. Works on aircraft and engine financing, with experience in operating leases and debt finance, and excels in export credit and Islamic finance transactions.

Strengths One client says: "They are very switched-on, and are quick to respond, very professional and very good at what they do."

Another comments: "Bird & Bird is one of the very few aviation law firms that provides a deep product suite at a very competitive price."

Work highlights Acted for Etihad in the USD600 million sale and leaseback of two Airbus A380 aircraft.

Acted for Emirates in the sale and leaseback of three Airbus A380 aircraft.

Significant clients Air Asia, Erste Bank, Virgin Atlantic, DVB Bank, J.P. Morgan.

Notable practitioners

Paul Briggs is "very commercially focused," according to one client, who adds: "His responsiveness, commercial awareness and knowledge of the industry are unparalleled." Briggs is a well-regarded aviation finance practitioner who works with an impressive roster of financiers, lessors and airlines.

Department profile by Bird & Bird

Department profile not yet provided by Bird & Bird. Please see their firm profile.

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Clifford Chance LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 36 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Go-to practice for aviation finance matters, with additional capability on rail and shipping-related transactions. Works with global aviation clients in complex ECA-supported financings, portfolio transfers and bank financings. Shipping clients include charterers, shipowners and financial institutions, while the rail team works with government agencies, manufacturers and operators on large rolling stock and infrastructure deals. Draws support from the firm's extensive expertise in complementary areas such as tax, litigation and insolvency to provide a one-stop shop to clients.

Strengths Clients say: "They stand out because they understand the issues, articulate those issues and try to find solutions."

Significant clients Avolon, ING Capital, HSBC, Maersk, Rock Rail.

Notable practitioners

Rob Burley handles a range of structured finance and banking matters with an emphasis on aircraft and rolling stock transactions. Clients say: "He's calm under pressure, and very commercial in his outlook and approach."

William Glaister is head of the firm's global asset finance group and is recognised as a standout practitioner in the aviation financing market. He works with a vast range of financiers, operators and lessors across the spectrum of asset finance, including rolling stock, ship and satellite financing, in addition to aviation financings. "He adopts a very commercially-minded approach," notes one source, who describes Glaister as a "solution provider who is extremely knowledgeable on all facets of financings and leasing."

Paul Carrington focuses on complex structured transactions, concentrating on transport asset finance. His practice sees him dealing with manufacturers and leasing companies in the rail and aviation industries. Clients say: "He is a superb lawyer and very smart. He has a great personality and is very easy to work with. We rely on him and he always delivers."

Ranbir Hunjan is acknowledged for his asset finance practice and draws acclaim for his strengths in aviation transactions. He represents a good choice for major international airlines and leading aircraft operators, and is described by impressed sources as "very switched-on and solution-driven."

Gavin Teague is a highly experienced practitioner noted for his knowledge of the rail finance market. He is particularly esteemed for his strengths in rolling stock and rail infrastructure financings.

Department profile by Clifford Chance LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Clifford Chance LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Dentons - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Esteemed group working with clients on a variety of aviation matters, including procurement and financing projects. Also acts for an impressive roster of major industry participants, advising on operating leases, aircraft portfolio purchases and pre-delivery payments, and maintains a fine track record for its work on corporate jet financings.

Strengths Clients say: "The team provides a partner-led service so that clients get the benefit of specialist industry knowledge, as well as a commercial attitude to transactions, which allows them to focus on the issues that are important while also protecting our interests."

Work highlights Advised Air Nostrum on the USD100 million delivery of four Bombardier CRJ 1000 aircraft.

Advised Goshawk Aviation on the USD590 million sale and leaseback of four B797-8 aircraft.

Significant clients Emirates, VTB Bank, Airbus, TUI Travel Group, Axis Bank.

Notable practitioners

Serge Sergiou is a highly regarded aviation finance practitioner and acts for an impressive range of lenders, lessors, manufacturers and operators across financing, tax-based leasing and operating leasing, as well as acquisitions and sales. He is described as a "hands-on partner" by a client, who adds: "He's very practical and down-to-earth in his approach, and has a good sense of humour, which is appreciated."

Nick Chandler is recognised for his cross-border strengths in aviation finance and has a fine reputation for his advice on ECA financing and aircraft operating leasing. An impressed source comments: "He's a really good guy - pleasant, reasonable and experienced." Chandler heads the firm's aircraft financing and leasing practice.

Paul Holland leads the firm's banking and finance team in London, and is an experienced adviser on aircraft asset finance. He represents a strong choice of counsel for commercial banks, airlines and operating lessors.

Sarah Dyke has experience handling numerous asset finance transactions on a domestic and international basis, and is particularly highlighted for her corporate jet financing work. "Sarah is a great lawyer - she's very well organised and has a very sharp mind and ability to quickly grasp the gist of any commercial issue," notes a client, who adds: "She's greatly accommodating, a great communicator and a very nice person to work with."

Department profile by Dentons

Dentons is best known for its work on commercial aircraft financing and leasing transactions, and advises a range of industry participants, including airlines, lessors, banks and manufacturers.
We advise a number of the world's leading airlines on their aircraft procurement and financing projects, including Qatar Airways, Emirates, the AirAsia Group, the TUI Travel Group, and Azul Brazilian Airlines. We have also advised on the strategic share purchases of airlines.
We also advise operating lessors Avolon, Cheung Kong and ORIX on a range of transactions, including aircraft portfolio purchases, operating lessor financings, pre-delivery payment and leasing transactions.
Outside of commercial aviation, Dentons advises on corporate jet and superyacht financings, but also for HNW individuals and operators.
The team also regularly advises major bank institutions on export credit-supported financings of a range of assets, particularly into Africa.
Dentons also advises on shipping and rail transactions, including for TUI Cruises, DVB Bank, Bank of London & the Middle East, VTB Bank (PJSC) and GB Railfreight Limited.
Dentons also advises a number of banks and financiers on general asset finance transactions including receivables and invoice discounting transactions, finance and operating leases and financing transactions in respect of a wide range of assets such as medical, technology, energy and plant and machinery assets.

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Hogan Lovells - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Recognised for its ability in aviation financing matters, as well as its work with rail industry groups. Clients include ECAs, equipment manufacturers, air carriers and financial institutions. Areas of expertise include ECA-backed financings, portfolio transactions, tax-based financings and securitisations. Also noted for its work with infrastructure developers and government authorities.

Strengths Clients hail the team as "excellent," praising the practice for being "on top of issues and willing to go the extra mile."

Work highlights Acted for Germania Fluggesellschaft in its acquisition of 25 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

Advised Pembroke Capital on the conditional sale of a USD250 million portfolio of six Airbus A320-200 aircraft on lease to Qatar Airways.

Significant clients UBS AG, Société Générale, AerGen Aviation Finance, Babcock Mission Critical Services, African Export-Import Bank.

Notable practitioners

Robert Fugard is described by his clients as a "knowledgeable and experienced partner." He is regularly sought after for his expertise in aviation transactions and is noted for his strengths across structured finance, securitisation and tax-based financings.

Simon Gwynne concentrates on a range of asset finance deals and is noted by sources for his "strong reputation in the rail sector," where he is regularly called upon for his strengths in rolling stock financing. His practice also extends to big-ticket assets such as telecommunications equipment and shipping finance.

Department profile by Hogan Lovells

Department profile not yet provided by Hogan Lovells. Please see their firm profile.

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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Outstanding aviation asset finance practice that continues to expand. Expertise covers EETCs, financing and operating leases, and ECA-backed transactions, among other areas. Highly regarded for its ability on large cross-border transactions for global clients, including banks, airlines and financial institutions. Also sought after for its expertise in Islamic finance transactions.

Strengths Clients say the team is "skilled, knowledgeable, pragmatic and able to get deals done within required time lines."

Sources say: "They have a good client base and they really do top-level work."

Work highlights Acted for Accipiter Holdings in its portfolio financing for 43 aircraft, valued at in excess of USD1.2 billion.

Advised Investec on two separate portfolio financings concerning the acquisition of 16 aircraft.

Significant clients Aircastle, Deutsche Bank, Doric Asset Finance, Macquarie Bank, SMBC Aviation.

Notable practitioners

James Cameron regularly works with manufacturers, operators and lessors. "He's very knowledgeable, he knows what points to focus on," notes one client, who adds: "He is well plugged in to the market." His practice includes portfolio transactions, joint ventures and export-credit transactions.

Nick Swinburne is "commercial in his approach to transactions and is relaxed and approachable," notes an interviewee, who adds: "He understands our business, which is invaluable when working on time-sensitive matters." Swinburne's work includes advising investors, operators and equity investors on leasing and asset-based financing transactions.

Department profile by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Norton Rose Fulbright - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Houses a deep bench of practitioners who provide leading expertise in shipping and aviation finance, and significant ability in rail financing matters. Regularly acts for clients, including banks, financial institutions, shipowners and airlines, and ROSCOs on complex cross-border deals, including EETCs, JOLCOs and portfolio transactions. Maintains particularly notable strength in rolling stock franchising and train procurement.

Work highlights Advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a £900 million rail financing in partnership with Angel Trains.

Advised Nordea Bank on the USD800 million senior secured credit facility for Golar LNG Partners.

Significant clients Prime Capital, Saudia, Amedeo, Apollo Aviation, FlyNas.

Notable practitioners

The "fantastic" Giles Brand is regularly called upon for his expertise in leasing and structured financing in the aviation industry, and represents a good choice for complex debt financings, including ECA-supported transactions.

Simon Chamberlain is adept in handling major aircraft leasing transactions, as well as advising his aviation clients on operation and ownership issues. He regularly works with major airlines and has significant experience in aviation regulatory matters.

Duncan Batchelor comes recommended for his strengths on cross-border deals, with a focus on aircraft portfolio transactions. He leads the firm's aviation practice and is well known for his ability to handle structured finance transactions, aircraft leasing and PDP financings.

Owen Mulholland acts for an impressive roster of clients, including financial institutions, aircraft lessors and airlines, and is recognised for his expertise in export credit financing and cross-border structured financing.

Senior associate James Collins is experienced in asset finance matters across the transport sector and is particularly noted for his work in the aviation industry. He is well versed in operating and finance leases, export credit-supported financings and Islamic structures, among numerous other transactions.

Simon Hartley is widely known for his extensive asset finance practice. His work is focused primarily on international transactions within the shipping industry. He earns particular praise for his "fairness, calmness and pragmatism."

Harry Theochari handles a range of structured financings, capital market transactions and restructurings. His main focus is the shipping industry, where he works closely with private equity funds and hedge funds, among other clients.

Simon Lew is esteemed for his expertise in shipping finance transactions, and sources describe him as "a specialist on the leasing side." He is also well versed in advising on aircraft, rolling stock, and offshore oil and gas assets.

Richard Howley is widely regarded for his strengths in the shipping finance market. He enjoys a fine track record for his syndicated debt facilities and structured financing work, and is also noted for his counsel on transportation contracts negotiation.

The "hard-working and impressive" Catherine Johnson focuses on ship sale, purchase and leasing transactions, as well as syndicated debt facilities. She is particularly sought after for her strengths in the financing of new and old vessels.

Eleanor Martin draws acclaim for her expertise in offshore vessel and equipment financing, and is noted for her strengths in ECA-supported financings. Sources praise her "very knowledgeable and diligent" approach to matters.

Tom Johnson heads the firm's rail department in London and acts for an impressive client base, including ROSCOs, train operators and train financiers. One impressed client describes him as "a very competent lawyer" and values his "approachable and friendly" demeanour.

Louise Auty comes recommended for her expertise in major rail financing transactions. An appreciative client singles out her "attention to detail and knowledge of the industry," saying that "she is an incredible lawyer" who does "an amazing job."

Department profile by Norton Rose Fulbright

Department profile not yet provided by Norton Rose Fulbright. Please see their firm profile.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Adept aviation finance practice that regularly acts for financial institutions, airlines and aircraft lessors. Acts on complex cross-border transactions such as ECA-backed financing, EETCs, cross-border leasing and JOLCOs. Also noted for its expertise in airline insolvency proceedings.

Strengths A source says: "I have found the team to be client-oriented, efficient and always helpful."

Another highlights the firm as "very responsive" and "very proactive," and values its "strong grasp of the aviation market."

Work highlights Acted for Investec in its role as a lender in a loan facility for a joint venture between World Star Aviation and York Capital for the post-delivery financing of a mixed aviation asset portfolio.

Acted for Emirates across a number of sale and leaseback transactions, covering 18 Emirates aircraft.

Significant clients Jackson Square Aviation, Macquarie AirFinance, Mitsubishi, DVB bank, Aircastle.

Notable practitioners

Debra Erni is highly regarded for her advice on the finance and leasing of aircraft, and is particularly noted for her work in the Japanese market. "I have always found her service to be superb," notes one source, who adds: "I consider her strengths to be deep knowledge of aircraft and engine leasing transactions, analytical skills, finding solutions to issues and speedy responses."

Adam Beavill is regularly called upon by operating lessors, financiers and airlines for his expert asset finance counsel. "He was on top of things and he made sure our interests were covered," reports a client.

"Very able and proactive," senior associate Rakhi Savjani possesses a sophisticated finance practice which focuses on the aviation industry and acts for a distinguished roster of clients, including airlines, operator lessors and financiers.

Graham Tyler acts for financial institutions, lessors and airlines, and comes recommended for his experienced handling of operating leases, finance leases and export credit-supported transactions. "He understands our business model very well, he knows what we're looking for and it's helpful to work with someone like that," a client comments.

Department profile by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

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REN Legal - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Established aviation finance practice that offers a broad range of services to clients including banks, operating lessors and airlines. Noted for particular expertise in aircraft engine financing and leasing, operating leasing and sale and leasebacks. Demonstrates significant expertise in asset-backed and receivables financings.

Significant clients SMBC, Infinity Transportation, DVB Bank, AerCap, Castlelake.

Notable practitioners

Norman Fraser excels in the aircraft and engine portfolio acquisition and financing, and is also regularly engaged to assist with the structuring of aviation-related joint ventures. He regularly acts for private equity funds, banks and lessors. "I find him very commercial and practical and professional to deal with," notes a client.

Christopher Jackson is an experienced leasing and asset finance practitioner, and he maintains a fine reputation for his work in aircraft and engine leasing and sales. He also regularly advises clients on aviation procurement and after-market support, and is praised by commentators for his "sensible and commercial" approach to matters.

Adam Longney is recognised for his expertise across the aviation sector and is a good choice of solicitor for international leasing and financing transactions. A satisfied client comments: "He's a very good lawyer - he's strong technically and also has a good commercial sense."

Department profile by REN Legal

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Stephenson Harwood LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Impressive asset finance practice with ability across shipping, rail and aviation matters. Notable rail finance practice advises on rolling stock procurement and leasing structures. Strong shipping finance work with international banks and shipowners on tax leasing, restructurings and ship sale and purchase. Experience in aviation deals includes financing for commercial aircraft and corporate jets. Also noted for its counsel on complex plant and machinery financings.

Strengths Clients say the team is "very attentive and client service is very good, and there's good reach into the rest of the firm when other experts are required."

Work highlights Advised DNB Bank across three separate financings valuing USD450 million to enhance the liquidity of Teekay Shipping.

Advised CAF on a £600 million rolling stock procurement in relation to the Arrival Rail Northern Franchise.

Significant clients Macquarie, SMBC, Alliance Laundry Finance, DVB Bank, Altavair.

Notable practitioners

Richard Parsons's clients value his "first-class service," describing him as "excellent, accurate, comprehensive and focused in regard to client interests - and a pleasure to work with." He is acclaimed for his aviation financing expertise and regularly works with lessors and banks.

Dean Norton advises operators and owners on matters pertaining to LNG carriers and their construction, chartering and financing. He is also known for his ability to handle offshore financings.

Mark Russell works with major global shipowners and leading financial institutions, and is sought after for his advice on LNG financings, as well as debt transactions and leasebacks within the maritime industry. An impressed source comments: "I think he is a very good lawyer, he's very experienced and very good to work with."

Graeme McLellan is noted for his dedication to asset finance and comes recommended for his advice on rolling stock financing. He heads the rail team and has wide-ranging experience across portfolio acquisitions and sales, complex loan financings, operating and finance leasing, and structured tax leasing transactions.

Ian Mace leads the firm's global ship finance practice and garners much praise from his clients, who say: "Ian is a very experienced hands-on lawyer who can clearly explain the standpoint of each party." He is noted for his adept counsel on debt finance and joint venture vehicles.

Lisa Marks is singled out by clients as "extremely clear, flexible and commercial," and is also described as "unflappable and very pleasant to work with." She is an experienced rail finance practitioner who is regularly sought after for her advice on asset-backed lending and finance and operating leases.

Department profile by Stephenson Harwood LLP

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Vedder Price - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 28 partners
- 39 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Strong asset finance practice increasingly recognised for its particular strength in aviation finance. Regularly works for clients including ECAs, operating lessors, investors and manufacturers on complex cross-border leases, warehouse loan facilities and government-supported financings, among other matters. Represents a strong choice of firm for corporate jet and helicopter financing.

Strengths Clients say: "They are close to the client, always available and always open in communication. They deliver on what is agreed and the process is clear and transparent."

Work highlights Advised China Aircraft Leasing Company on its operating lease of an Airbus A321neo to Hawaiian Airlines.

Advised NORD/LB in relation to the USD200 million Floreat Aircraft portfolio financing.

Significant clients DekaBank, Aircastle, AerCap, Helaba Landesbank, Westpac.

Notable practitioners

Gavin Hill is a highly esteemed aviation finance practitioner noted for his wealth of experience across financing, leasing, and acquisitions and sales. Sources praise his "excellent and efficient service" and also describe him as "pragmatic - he gets things done and is good at finding solutions."

Neil Poland is described by clients as "not just an attorney but an effective negotiator." His practice includes export credit financing, joint ventures and operating lease structures. He works for a number of airlines across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Derek Watson has "very strong drafting skills and understands what matters to us," notes one appreciative client, who also describes him as an "outstanding negotiator." He is recognised for his expertise in cross-border aircraft financing and is regularly called upon for his advice on portfolio transactions and export credit-supported financings.

New partner Dylan Potter joined the firm in September 2017 from Allen & Overy. His clients say that he is "highly experienced across a number of asset classes," and praise his "great interpersonal skills." His practice centres on commercial debt and finance lease transactions, focusing on the aviation and shipping industries.

Department profile by Vedder Price

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Watson Farley & Williams - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 34 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Highly regarded shipping finance practice with additional capability in aviation financing matters. Works on large cross-border financing structures for shipping and offshore clients, including asset sales, structured securitisations, and sale and leasebacks. Regularly sought after for its advice in relation to matters concerning offshore oil and gas, LNG and ports and logistics. Aviation financing expertise includes work relating to commercial aircraft, corporate jets and helicopters.

Strengths Clients describe the team as "the top law firm in the shipping space."

Work highlights Advised Sovcomflot on its USD339.68 million facility from Sberbank, to finance the acquisition of three Ice-Class shuttle tankers.

Advised on the sale and leaseback of two A330 aircraft by TC-CIT, a joint venture leasing vehicle between CIT Aerospace and Century Tokyo Leasing.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, ING Bank, Golar LNG, DVB Bank, HSH Nordbank.

Notable practitioners

Rex Rosales comes recommended for his adroit handling of structured finance transactions and is described by clients as "very knowledgeable in the aviation field." He is also noted for his work in the rail space and heads the firm's transportation practice group.

Nigel Thomas is highlighted for his expertise in ship finance and advises clients on commercial shipping, the cruise industry and offshore matters. "He's an excellent lawyer and very easy to deal with," notes one happy client.

The "excellent" David Osborne focuses on shipping and offshore industry financings. "He knows the industry very well," notes one interviewee, while an appreciative client praises his ability to "understand straight away what you are trying to do and how it should be documented."

Department profile by Watson Farley & Williams

With asset finance lawyers in all 14 of the firm’s offices, WFW has more specialist asset finance partners than any other international law firm. In addition to the size of our practice, the WFW Asset Finance team has a depth of experience, breadth of expertise and level of sophistication in our work that makes WFW stand out from other firms.


Maritime

WFW possesses the largest dedicated maritime finance legal team of any firm in the world, advising in every segment of the shipping industry, including wet and dry bulk, containers and container boxes, drilling rigs and offshore support vessels, cruise, yachts and ferries. Beyond purely maritime transport, our team also has considerable expertise in related sectors such as offshore oil and gas, LNG and ports and logistics. 


Aviation

WFW’s full spectrum aviation finance and leasing practice advises across a wide range of aviation assets, including commercial aircraft, helicopters, and corporate/private jets. The team is at the forefront of developing innovative financial structures, acting for financiers and owners/operators alike. Our Aviation team is a leader in ECA financings, as evidenced by the firm’s appointment as one of just four firms to a panel eligible to work on deals financed by the UK, French and Germans ECAs for Airbus financings. 


Rail

WFW has a growing Rail practice and already advises key players, both operators and financiers.

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WFW Global Head of Transport Rex Rosales is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Quebec and is a fluent French speaker. He maintains a strong practice in France, working closely with our Paris team on numerous transactions. WFW is a member of the Europeans ECAs panel for Airbus financing and, as such, Rex counts French ECA Coface as a key client, in addition to working in the UAE and Kazakhstan. WFW Global Head of Maritime Lindsey Keeble also has considerable experience in France and maintains strong relationships with the French banks, having spent four years in the WFW Paris office. Nigel Thomas and Chris Lowe have both spent time in the Singapore market, heading up the WFW office there, and Nigel also spent time as the head of the firm’s Oslo office. Meanwhile, Jahnavi Ramachandran acts for a range of clients on Indian matters, and has advised the ECAs on the financing of seven Airbus A320 aircraft for Indian airline IndiGo.


White & Case LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for High-calibre aviation finance practice regularly instructed by banks, ECAs and operators. Skilled in debt financing structures, ECA-backed financing, operating leases and leveraged leasing. Also excels in capital markets financings and additionally noted for its advice on regulatory matters and cross-border issues, particularly in emerging markets.

Strengths Clients praise the firm for its "good mix of professionalism and competence with approachability and ease of working."

"I find them very good indeed. I think they are one of the strongest at aviation finance at all levels," an impressed client remarks.

Significant clients Euler Hermes, Thomas Cook, Alpha Trains, Barclays, Crédit Agricole.

Notable practitioners

Adrian Beasley works closely with leasing companies, operators and banks, advising them on lending arrangements and capital market transactions in the aviation space. Clients say of him: "He's personable, looks for resolutions and has a can-do attitude."

"Strong and experienced lawyer" Justin Benson heads the firm's asset finance for EMEA group. His practice sees him advising a number of banks and other financial institutions on matters within the aviation sector. Sources say: "He is very commercial and has an excellent sense of humour, which he uses to his benefit and the benefit of his clients."

Department profile by White & Case LLP

To learn more about our practice, please visit: whitecase.com/law

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Winston & Strawn London LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Highly capable aviation finance team with strength across a broad range of matters for aviation industry clients, including financial institutions, lessors, airlines and equity investors. Represents an excellent choice for high-value cross-border aircraft finance and leasing transactions.

Strengths One appreciative client praises the firm's "clear and prompt responses" and adds that the team's "awareness of industry practice ensures that advice goes beyond the purely legal."

Work highlights Acted for a syndicate of European and Japanese lenders, led by BNP Paribas, in relation to the USD750 million financing and intercreditor arrangements of three aircraft delivered to LATAM.

Advised Finnair on its Airbus A350 JOLCO financing, valued in excess of USD400 million.

Significant clients Helaba, Wings Capital, Aer Lingus, SMBC, Deutsche Bank.

Notable practitioners

Mark Moody comes recommended for his cross-border aircraft financings and highly esteemed for his export credit-supported financing work. "He provides an excellent service, which goes beyond the purely legal," reports a client, who goes on to describe Moody as a "master in his field."

"Very experienced and trusted partner" Chris Boresjo is highly regarded for his aviation financing and leasing work. He is regularly sought after for his counsel on airline joint ventures and restructuring matters, and is also noted for his litigation experience.

Department profile by Winston & Strawn London LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Winston & Strawn London LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Star Individuals

Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

William Glaister is head of the firm's global asset finance group and is recognised as a standout practitioner in the aviation financing market. He works with a vast range of financiers, operators and lessors across the spectrum of asset finance, including rolling stock, ship and satellite financing, in addition to aviation financings. "He adopts a very commercially-minded approach," notes one source, who describes Glaister as a "solution provider who is extremely knowledgeable on all facets of financings and leasing."

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Band 1

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

James Cameron regularly works with manufacturers, operators and lessors. "He's very knowledgeable, he knows what points to focus on," notes one client, who adds: "He is well plugged in to the market." His practice includes portfolio transactions, joint ventures and export-credit transactions.

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Band 1

Allen & Overy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mario Jacovides stands out for his dedicated asset finance practice, which has an emphasis on aviation and shipping finance. "He is always good - he's a problem solver and non-confrontational," a source notes, adding: "He always helps to get the deal done." Jacovides has a wealth of experience in complex finance and leasing transactions, and is global head of the structured finance and asset finance group.

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Band 1

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Nick Swinburne is "commercial in his approach to transactions and is relaxed and approachable," notes an interviewee, who adds: "He understands our business, which is invaluable when working on time-sensitive matters." Swinburne's work includes advising investors, operators and equity investors on leasing and asset-based financing transactions.

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Band 2

White & Case LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Adrian Beasley works closely with leasing companies, operators and banks, advising them on lending arrangements and capital market transactions in the aviation space. Clients say of him: "He's personable, looks for resolutions and has a can-do attitude."

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Band 2

White & Case LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Strong and experienced lawyer" Justin Benson heads the firm's asset finance for EMEA group. His practice sees him advising a number of banks and other financial institutions on matters within the aviation sector. Sources say: "He is very commercial and has an excellent sense of humour, which he uses to his benefit and the benefit of his clients."

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Band 2

Vedder Price

From the Chambers UK guide

Gavin Hill is a highly esteemed aviation finance practitioner noted for his wealth of experience across financing, leasing, and acquisitions and sales. Sources praise his "excellent and efficient service" and also describe him as "pragmatic - he gets things done and is good at finding solutions."

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Allen & Overy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Paul Nelson's clients say that "working on transactions with him is always a pleasure given his ability to balance the importance of a transaction with a constructive and enjoyable working environment." Nelson heads the firm's aviation finance group and is recognised for his ability to handle a wide range of financing deals and capital markets transactions.

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Vedder Price

From the Chambers UK guide

Neil Poland is described by clients as "not just an attorney but an effective negotiator." His practice includes export credit financing, joint ventures and operating lease structures. He works for a number of airlines across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

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Band 2

Watson Farley & Williams

From the Chambers UK guide

Rex Rosales comes recommended for his adroit handling of structured finance transactions and is described by clients as "very knowledgeable in the aviation field." He is also noted for his work in the rail space and heads the firm's transportation practice group.

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Band 2

Dentons

From the Chambers UK guide

Serge Sergiou is a highly regarded aviation finance practitioner and acts for an impressive range of lenders, lessors, manufacturers and operators across financing, tax-based leasing and operating leasing, as well as acquisitions and sales. He is described as a "hands-on partner" by a client, who adds: "He's very practical and down-to-earth in his approach, and has a good sense of humour, which is appreciated."

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Band 2

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Graham Tyler acts for financial institutions, lessors and airlines, and comes recommended for his experienced handling of operating leases, finance leases and export credit-supported transactions. "He understands our business model very well, he knows what we're looking for and it's helpful to work with someone like that," a client comments.

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Band 3

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

The "fantastic" Giles Brand is regularly called upon for his expertise in leasing and structured financing in the aviation industry, and represents a good choice for complex debt financings, including ECA-supported transactions.

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Band 3

Bird & Bird

From the Chambers UK guide

Paul Briggs is "very commercially focused," according to one client, who adds: "His responsiveness, commercial awareness and knowledge of the industry are unparalleled." Briggs is a well-regarded aviation finance practitioner who works with an impressive roster of financiers, lessors and airlines.

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Band 3

Dentons

From the Chambers UK guide

Nick Chandler is recognised for his cross-border strengths in aviation finance and has a fine reputation for his advice on ECA financing and aircraft operating leasing. An impressed source comments: "He's a really good guy - pleasant, reasonable and experienced." Chandler heads the firm's aircraft financing and leasing practice.

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Hogan Lovells

From the Chambers UK guide

Robert Fugard is described by his clients as a "knowledgeable and experienced partner." He is regularly sought after for his expertise in aviation transactions and is noted for his strengths across structured finance, securitisation and tax-based financings.

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Addleshaw Goddard LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Rory MacCarthy of Addleshaw Goddard LLP is a highly experienced aviation specialist, regularly called upon for his advice on high-value transactions in the industry. He is also highlighted for his considerable strengths on related regulatory matters.

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Winston & Strawn London LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Moody comes recommended for his cross-border aircraft financings and highly esteemed for his export credit-supported financing work. "He provides an excellent service, which goes beyond the purely legal," reports a client, who goes on to describe Moody as a "master in his field."

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Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Richard Parsons's clients value his "first-class service," describing him as "excellent, accurate, comprehensive and focused in regard to client interests - and a pleasure to work with." He is acclaimed for his aviation financing expertise and regularly works with lessors and banks.

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Band 4

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

Duncan Batchelor comes recommended for his strengths on cross-border deals, with a focus on aircraft portfolio transactions. He leads the firm's aviation practice and is well known for his ability to handle structured finance transactions, aircraft leasing and PDP financings.

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Band 4

Clyde & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Bisset is well known within the aviation market, with sources saying: "He is very good at the corporate jet side." His practice includes lease financing, aviation regulatory issues and operating leases. He sits as the head of the aviation finance team.

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Band 4

Winston & Strawn London LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Very experienced and trusted partner" Chris Boresjo is highly regarded for his aviation financing and leasing work. He is regularly sought after for his counsel on airline joint ventures and restructuring matters, and is also noted for his litigation experience.

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Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Rob Burley handles a range of structured finance and banking matters with an emphasis on aircraft and rolling stock transactions. Clients say: "He's calm under pressure, and very commercial in his outlook and approach."

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Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Paul Carrington focuses on complex structured transactions, concentrating on transport asset finance. His practice sees him dealing with manufacturers and leasing companies in the rail and aviation industries. Clients say: "He is a superb lawyer and very smart. He has a great personality and is very easy to work with. We rely on him and he always delivers."

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Band 4

Simon Chamberlain

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

Simon Chamberlain is adept in handling major aircraft leasing transactions, as well as advising his aviation clients on operation and ownership issues. He regularly works with major airlines and has significant experience in aviation regulatory matters.

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Dentons

From the Chambers UK guide

Sarah Dyke has experience handling numerous asset finance transactions on a domestic and international basis, and is particularly highlighted for her corporate jet financing work. "Sarah is a great lawyer - she's very well organised and has a very sharp mind and ability to quickly grasp the gist of any commercial issue," notes a client, who adds: "She's greatly accommodating, a great communicator and a very nice person to work with."

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Debra Erni is highly regarded for her advice on the finance and leasing of aircraft, and is particularly noted for her work in the Japanese market. "I have always found her service to be superb," notes one source, who adds: "I consider her strengths to be deep knowledge of aircraft and engine leasing transactions, analytical skills, finding solutions to issues and speedy responses."

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REN Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

Norman Fraser excels in the aircraft and engine portfolio acquisition and financing, and is also regularly engaged to assist with the structuring of aviation-related joint ventures. He regularly acts for private equity funds, banks and lessors. "I find him very commercial and practical and professional to deal with," notes a client.

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Band 4

Dentons

From the Chambers UK guide

Paul Holland leads the firm's banking and finance team in London, and is an experienced adviser on aircraft asset finance. He represents a strong choice of counsel for commercial banks, airlines and operating lessors.

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Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Ranbir Hunjan is acknowledged for his asset finance practice and draws acclaim for his strengths in aviation transactions. He represents a good choice for major international airlines and leading aircraft operators, and is described by impressed sources as "very switched-on and solution-driven."

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Christopher Jackson

REN Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

Christopher Jackson is an experienced leasing and asset finance practitioner, and he maintains a fine reputation for his work in aircraft and engine leasing and sales. He also regularly advises clients on aviation procurement and after-market support, and is praised by commentators for his "sensible and commercial" approach to matters.

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Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

Owen Mulholland acts for an impressive roster of clients, including financial institutions, aircraft lessors and airlines, and is recognised for his expertise in export credit financing and cross-border structured financing.

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K&L Gates

From the Chambers UK guide

Philip Perrotta of K&L Gates is a well-regarded aviation finance practitioner with a fine track record advising on aircraft, engine and other aviation asset transactions. He acts for an impressive roster of operators, lenders and lessors.

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Allen & Overy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Clients single out Harry Upcott for "his attention to detail and clarity of thought." His areas of expertise include acquisition finance and syndicated lending, particularly in the aviation arena. "Harry is a delight to deal with. He is very customer-focused and combines a tremendous intellect with great industry expertise to deliver transactions in a timely manner with the minimum of fuss," another impressed client comments.

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Vedder Price

From the Chambers UK guide

Derek Watson has "very strong drafting skills and understands what matters to us," notes one appreciative client, who also describes him as an "outstanding negotiator." He is recognised for his expertise in cross-border aircraft financing and is regularly called upon for his advice on portfolio transactions and export credit-supported financings.

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Up and Coming

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Adam Beavill is regularly called upon by operating lessors, financiers and airlines for his expert asset finance counsel. "He was on top of things and he made sure our interests were covered," reports a client.

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Up and Coming

Addleshaw Goddard LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Rebecca Garner of Addleshaw Goddard LLP is a rising star in the aviation market and comes recommended for her financing and leasing work. "She was extremely professional and technically excellent. She supported us brilliantly through negotiations, ensuring we got the commercial and legal outcome we desired," a client reports.

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Up and Coming

REN Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

Adam Longney is recognised for his expertise across the aviation sector and is a good choice of solicitor for international leasing and financing transactions. A satisfied client comments: "He's a very good lawyer - he's strong technically and also has a good commercial sense."

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Up and Coming

Vedder Price

From the Chambers UK guide

New partner Dylan Potter joined the firm in September 2017 from Allen & Overy. His clients say that he is "highly experienced across a number of asset classes," and praise his "great interpersonal skills." His practice centres on commercial debt and finance lease transactions, focusing on the aviation and shipping industries.

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Associates to watch

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

Senior associate James Collins is experienced in asset finance matters across the transport sector and is particularly noted for his work in the aviation industry. He is well versed in operating and finance leases, export credit-supported financings and Islamic structures, among numerous other transactions.

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Associates to watch

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Very able and proactive," senior associate Rakhi Savjani possesses a sophisticated finance practice which focuses on the aviation industry and acts for a distinguished roster of clients, including airlines, operator lessors and financiers.

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