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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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France > Aviation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Aviation

Index of tables

  1. Aviation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Benjamin Potier - Clyde & Co LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Aviation clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Clyde & Co LLP’s key strength is the representation of airlines and insurers in major loss cases, but the group also advises on commercial contracts, product liability mandates and regulatory issues. Practice head Maylis Casati-Ollier, Fabrice Pradon and legal director Benjamin Potier all provide strong litigation expertise. Recent work includes acting for Air France, AXA and other insurers in the AF.447 loss case and representing West Caribbean Airways and insurers in multiple lawsuits in France concerning a 2005 accident in Venezuela. Other clients include Chubb, AIG and Air France.

DLA Piper’s core areas of expertise are litigation and arbitration, but the team is active in a broad array of mandates, including corporate work and commercial contracts, particularly in IP and IT. Vonnick Le Guillou, who specialises in advising aircraft manufacturers and their insurers on air crash mandates, heads the department, with Stéphane Lemarchand and Gregory Tulquois also key contacts. Recent work saw the group assist ATR with the drafting of a master services agreement and the implementation of a SaaS solution in aircraft manufacturer ATR’s IT systems. Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty instructed the department to defend its insured, an air display pilot, in proceedings brought for damage to a Mustang aircraft following an accident at an air show. Airbus and AXA Corporate Solutions are also clients.

HMN & Partners has an excellent reputation in the market and is particularly strong in handling aviation accidents, with the group’s expertise spanning advisory work in expert proceedings and criminal investigations, representation in civil and criminal trials and advising on settlement negotiations. Senior partner Simon Ndiaye has a strong track record in acting for major insurance companies in product liability and aircraft accident cases, both domestic and international.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s practice group focuses heavily on litigation and arbitration proceedings, with Thomas Rouhette specialising in product liability cases and Laurent Gouiffès providing strong expertise in high-profile arbitration and mediation mandates. The firm largely acts for manufacturers, insurers and reinsurers.

Clifford Chance regularly handles a wide range of high-value corporate instructions for Airbus, often with a strong international component. Fabrice Cohen and Dessislava Savova, who has expertise in commercial contracts, are the key names. The promotion of Sandrine Colletier to counsel in May 2017 has further increased the group’s strength in arbitration. Recent work includes advising Airbus on the disposal of Vector Aerospace and its subsidiaries to StandardAero Aviation and assisting Airbus with the global reorganisation of the Airbus Group.

Courrégé-Foreman is mainly active in litigation matters, but also has strength in regulatory mandates. Co-founders and key contacts Mauricia Courrégé and Simon Foreman have a strong domestic practice, but also undertake international work. Courrégé recently acted for Safran Helicopter Engines in criminal and civil proceedings following a fatal helicopter crash caused by a stopped engine, while Foreman represented a professional pilot in a prosecution for infringement of air regulations. Other clients include Paris Aéroport, Global Aerospace and La Réunion Aérienne.

The aviation department at HFW acts for airlines, insurers and aircraft lessors in a wide array of matters, ranging from transactional work to accident-related matters, where, in regard to the latter, it handles litigation and regulatory instructions. Practice head Pierre Frühling, who splits his time between the firm’s Paris and Brussels offices, recently led advice to Aircalin on the restructuring and renewal of its fleet, including on the acquisition of new aircraft and on the maintenance and finance work pertaining to the operation. Other work includes assisting Delta Air Lines with the implementation of the European and French rules governing passenger name records. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Waypoint Leasing and AXA Corporate Solutions are other clients.

Soulez Larivière et Associés’ aviation practice is strongly centred on the recurring accident-related work for French aviation authority DGAC. Work concerning private plane accidents is another core strength, where practice head Daniel Soulez Larivière is the name to note. The team predominantly advises corporate clients, but also acts for individuals in litigation. Astrid Mignon Colombet is especially active in criminal law cases and regulatory matters; Aurélia Grignon and Capucine Lanta de Bérard are other key contacts for accident-related work.

Squire Patton Boggs is highly active in advising on matters following high-profile aviation accidents. Key practitioner Carole Sportes has long-standing expertise in handling all stages of the judicial process, from expert proceedings to settlement negotiations. Clients include airlines, insurers and reinsurers, including Lufthansa and the insurers and reinsurers of Flash Airlines. Recent work includes handling passenger claims in France for Swiss International Air Lines and representing Air New Zealand in the criminal investigation related to an accident involving one of its aircraft in 2008.

At FTPA, the team handles product liability issues; aircraft accidents; the construction, operation and maintenance of aircraft; aircraft lease agreements; and sales and purchase agreements. Its recent work has a strong litigation focus, but the group also undertakes significant advisory work. Robert Corcos is a key practitioner in a team that also includes Serge-Antoine Tchekhoff.

Jones Day acts mainly for airlines in a variety of litigation matters, but is also active in advisory work concerning corporate policy and regulatory issues. Practice head Ozan Akyurek led the team in assisting an aircraft leasing company with strategic procedural choices regarding, among others, jurisdiction, grounds of action and possible defendants following an aircraft accident. Air France, XL Airways and Turkish Airlines are other clients.


Aviation finance

Index of tables

  1. Aviation finance
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Aviation finance clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Norton Rose Fulbright is highly active across a broad array of aviation financing instruments, with experience including aircraft lease structures, export credit agency financings, sale and leaseback agreements and Japanese operating leases. The team has particular strength in cross-border instructions, regularly involving more than one foreign jurisdiction. Asset finance specialist Alex Wass assisted Export Development Canada with the financing of four aircraft for Canadian airline Chorus, which were intended for lease to a subsidiary of Iberia. George Paterson acted for BNP Paribas on a complex combined French tax lease and US-EXIM-backed financing of five aircraft for SunExpress. Marc Hamilton, who has expertise in French optimised lease structures, advised CIC on the financing of four Airbus aircraft for Turkish Airlines involving several international banks. Crédit Agricole, Export Credits Guarantee Department and Euler Hermes are other clients.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s team ‘demonstrates expert knowledge and skills together with a top-notch ability for execution’. The group has ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of the asset financing industry’ and provides clients with ‘a true sense of partnership between the lawyers and their clients’. The department has a varied workload ranging from credit export agency financings to acquisition financing and pre-delivery payment financings, frequently with an international element. The ‘excellent’ and ‘extremely responsive and commercial’ Alexander Premont, who is dual-qualified in English and French law, ‘treats every matter with the utmost importance and professionalism whatever its size or value’; he jointly heads the team with Olivier Fille-Lambie. Highlights included advising Chinese investment company HNA Group on its $1.2bn takeover offer for airline catering company gategroup, and assisting the same client with its acquisition of an approximately 50% stake in Servair from Air France. The team also assisted GE Capital Equipment Finance with the disposal of its portfolio of corporate jet financings in the UK and France. Babcock International Group, Natixis and UBS are other clients. Richard Jadot joined HFW

Watson Farley & Williams LLP provides ‘a great level of service with quick feedback and a substantiated analysis of the issues’ and is ‘business-oriented and efficient in delivering while protecting the clients’ interests’, Core areas of strength include cross-border matters such as financings through export credit agencies and Japanese operating leases, more specifically leases with call-option (JOLCO). Practice head Charles Viggers is ‘fully dedicated to the deal’ and ‘detail-oriented’. Highlights included assisting new client China Aircraft Leasing Company with the financing, refinancing and delivery of aircraft to Turkish company Pegasus Airlines, advising on commercial financings, prepayment of the financing and a JOLCO refinancing. Other work includes acting for Société Générale on the drafting of all finance and security documents relating to the refinancing of ten helicopters. Other clients include ATR, Deutsche Bank and Natixis.

HFW predominantly acts for French airlines, particularly on matters with an international component. The team’s core practice includes fleet restructurings and aircraft and helicopter acquisitions. Recent work includes advice to Aircalin on the restructuring and renewal of its fleet and assisting Air France with the financing of a Boeing long-range aircraft. Waypoint Leasing and Aigle Azur are other clients. Practice head Pierre Frühling splits his time between the firm’s Paris and Brussels offices. Following the arrival of Richard Jadot in 2017 from Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, the group also has one partner exclusively based in Paris.

Ince & Co France SCP has a strong focus on commercial aircraft and business jet financing and particular strength in international lease structuring. Practice head Laurence Hanley is the main contact, with Andrew Charlier having notable expertise in business and private jet financing, private jet ownership structures and the negotiation of management agreements. Clients include Air France - KLM, HOP and Wijet.

Stephenson Harwood’s team has a strong track record advising on operating lease and export credit financing matters, but also handles sales and leasebacks, asset debt financing and bond and capital markets transactions. The presence of Edward Campbell – who is a member of the French, English and US bars – ensures the team is well placed for cross-border work, such as handling the French aspects of a bridge loan facility and, consequently, the repayment of the facility through an asset-backed securitisation for Merlin Aviation Holdings. The group also advised Lion Air Group on the acquisition and financing of a number of aircraft, engines and flight simulators, including assisting with the New York law aspects of EXIM bank financings. Other clients include CIC, CIT Bank and Air Côte d’Ivoire.

White & Case LLP is a key name for cross-border mandates, with expertise spanning asset financing, export credit financing, refinancing and tax leases. Recent work includes advising Société Générale on the financing of two Airbus helicopters. Victoria Westcott left for Reed Smith.


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