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Seward & Kissel LLP

Work +1 212 574 1200
Fax +1 212 480 8421
New York, Washington DC

James H Hancock

Work (212) 574 1200
Seward & Kissel LLP

Work Department

Corporate Finance; Structured Finance and Asset Securitization; Maritime and Transportation Finance; Business Transactions (M&A/Private Equity); Investment Management.


James H. Hancock is a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Corporate Finance Group.  Jim has practiced at the Firm since 1966, and has been a partner since 1974 and a member of the Firm’s three-person Policy Committee, the principal management committee, since 1998. 

During his years at the Firm as an associate and his first several years as a partner, Jim was a full time member of the Firm’s Tax Group, focusing on real estate and investment partnerships, project financing, leveraged leasing of aircraft and other equipment and the tax issues of several of the Firm’s global corporate clients.  However, during the past twenty years he has spent a greater portion of this time doing transactional work in asset based lending and structured finance and has participated in the development of a wide range of financial products, including rated notes backed by mutual fund distribution fees, aircraft lease based enhanced equipment trust certificates, and the use of revenue share interests to finance closely held businesses, and in the negotiation and documentation of associated transactions.  In the course of this practice he has been involved in the organization, capitalization and financing of several businesses formed to provide financial products to the financial community and continues to provide legal services to those businesses in connection with their capital raising, financing and transactional needs.  In addition, he continues to represent one of the Firm’s largest institutional clients with its securitization programs. 

Jim is also head of the Firm’s aircraft finance practice.  He has represented airlines, aircraft manufacturers, aircraft leasing companies and aircraft financiers in the acquisition, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial aircraft and has represented hedge funds and other investors in connection with their investments in commercial airline start-ups and in distressed debt of airlines and aircraft financing vehicles.  He has also represented many non-aviation companies in connection with the purchase, sale and financing of whole and fractional interests in corporate aircraft and arrangements for the management and charter of such aircraft.  He is the former chair (2000-2004) and vice-chair (1996-1999) of the Aircraft Financing Subcommittee of the Commercial Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. 

He has been listed in The Best of the Best USA 2007 and 2009 published by the Legal Media Group and in the Euromoney Legal Media Group 2008 Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers. 

Jim is a member of the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  He continues to be active in several of the tax, aviation and structured finance committees of those associations.  He is also a member of the Tax Review, an exclusive group of current and former tax partners from major US and international law and accounting firms.  He has been a frequent speaker at meetings of these groups and at other continuing legal education conferences. 


Bar Admissions: New York.


Jim is a member of the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He continues to be active in several of the tax, aviation and structured finance committees of those associations. He is also a member of the Tax Review, an exclusive group of current and former tax partners from major US and international law and accounting firms.


LL.B., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1966; LL.M., Tax, New York University School of Law, 1971; B.A., Kentucky Wesleyan College, 1963.

United States: Finance

Asset finance and leasing

Within: Asset finance and leasing

Seward & Kissel LLP’s transport finance team consists of specialized partners in aviation finance and maritime finance. The New York-based James Hancock focuses on aviation-related investment, distressed debt and aircraft financing, having acted for a number of capital managers and investment banks in 2016, during fleet acquisitions, various loan facilities and sale and lease transactions. Shipping and maritime specialist Lawrence Rutkowski (also in New York) acts for corporates, shippers and finance groups, and was lead counsel to Diamond S Shipping III and its related subsidiaries regarding a $460m cross-border facility to refinance an existing credit facility, which provided financing for 30 vessels. DNB Bank, Euronav, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Dynagas LNG Partners are also clients.

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