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Aviation

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Meet the team

We have one of the largest aviation practices by lawyer numbers and geographical spread, developed specifically to advise our clients wherever they need us.

“Acclaimed for its deep bench of lawyers that offers extensive industry experience.” Chambers Global, 2015

Our practice works with airlines, banks and financiers, lessors, manufacturers, insurers, governments and regulatory bodies.

Our lawyers advise airlines on the full range of their legal needs. This includes fleet selection programmes, partnering arrangements with fellow carriers, travel companies and other third parties, competition law compliance and a range of employment issues. Our team advises on major aircraft financing and leasing transactions. We bring to lessors, financiers, and airlines, finance lawyers based in major financial centres and beyond to act on ‘first of their kind’ and market significant transactions.

Our aviation disputes team supports our clients on aircraft lease defaults and repossessions, risk management as well as contractual and insurance issues worldwide. It has advised on many of the major aviation cases over the last few year.

We deliver

  • A full-service aviation practice.
  • Advice underpinned by experience of advising on all sides of the aviation industry.
  • A track record advising on innovative, market-leading aircraft financing structures.

Our areas of work include

  • competition and regulatory
  • commercial agreements
  • corporate finance
  • dispute resolution and litigation
  • employment
  • finance and leasing (including operating leases, finance leases, helicopter financings, Japanese operating leases, export credit financings, PDP financings, French tax leases, sale and leasebacks, purchase contracts, securitisations, and engine financings)
  • insurance
  • environmental and carbon trading
  • Islamic finance
  • restructuring and insolvency
  • intellectual property and technology
  • tax.

Our recent work

  • Advising Emirates on a US$913m Sukuk, marking a world first for utilising a UK Export Finance backed Sukuk for an aircraft financing, the first time that a Sukuk has been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft and the first ever Sukuk financing for A380 aircraft.
  • Advising Abacus Holdings, a consortium of 11 Asian airlines and a leading global distribution system for travel and hospitality bookings in Asia Pacific, on its disposal of a 65% stake in Abacus International Pte to its joint venture partner Sabre Corporation. The airlines comprised All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, DragonAir, Malaysian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Silkair, Singapore Airlines, Eva Air and Garuda Indonesia.
  • Advising Apollo Aviation on multiple portfolio acquisitions of aircraft on lease to airlines worldwide, and on credit facilities to finance the acquisitions.
  • Advising easyJet on a fleet selection project for current generation and new generation aircraft, resulting in the airline placing a firm order for 35 current generation Airbus A320 Aircraft, 100 new Generation airbus A320neo aircraft and securing purchase rights for a further 100 new generation Airbus A320neo family aircraft.
  • Advising Delta Airlines on the acquisition of Singapore Airlines’ 49 per cent stake in Virgin, and securing (unusually for a major airline transaction) unconditional clearance for the transaction in the EU, China and South Africa, as well as regulatory clearance from the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Advising Amentum Capital and HSH Nordbank on enforcing their rights under a lease agreement and the Cape Town Convention against a defaulting operator, and assisting in the grounding and repossession of an Airbus A330 aircraft at OR Tambo International Airport. This was the first time a grounding and repossession had been carried out in terms of the Cape Town Convention in South Africa and without a court order.

Awards and accolades

  • Debt and equity-linked deal of the year - Emirates ECA-backed Sukuk - IFLR Middle East Awards 2015
  • Tax lease deal of the year award, 2015 – Airfinance Journal
  • Export credit deal of the year, 2015 – Airfinance Journal
  • South America deal of the year, 2015 – Airfinance Journal
  • Aviation deal of the year, 2014 – Global Transport Finance Awards
  • Latin America aircraft debt deal of the year, 2014 – Global Transport Finance Awards