The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Clifford Chance

31 WEST 52ND STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019-6131, USA
Work +1 212 878 8000
Fax +1 212 878 8375

John Howitt

Work +1 212 878 8250
Clifford Chance

Work Department

Banking & Finance


John Howitt is a partner in the US Finance and Restructuring Group of Clifford Chance specializing in asset finance. In particular, he focuses on aircraft finance, including leveraged lease transactions, operating leases (domestic and cross-border), new and used aircraft purchases (including portfolio acquisitions), sales (including portfolio sales) and sale-leasebacks, securitizations, restructurings and manufacturer support arrangements. John also has considerable experience in bank and private placement credit transactions, including asset-based financings; domestic and Latin American debt restructurings; acquisition and recapitalization financings; project financings; domestic, Eurodollar, and Eurocurrency loans; loan and note swaps; sales and participations; letter of credit facilities; and commercial paper facilities.


University of California at Los Angeles School of Law (JD), 1978; University of California at Los Angeles (BA, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 1975

United States: Finance

Asset finance and leasing

Within: Leading lawyers

John Howitt - Clifford Chance

Within: Asset finance and leasing

The New York-based asset finance group at Clifford Chance specializes in acting for investment banks, operating lessors and export credit agencies (ECAs) in matters ranging from aircraft securitizations to fleet acquisitions. Emily DiStefano assisted a private equity-backed financing provider, Global Jet Capital, on a $2.5bn leveraged acquisition of GE’s entire North American corporate aircraft portfolio. Joint practice head Zarrar Sehgal, who also leads the firm’s global transport and logistics group, is well versed in aviation capital markets transactions, having acted for Goldman Sachs in its role as underwriter in relation to Apollo Aviation Group’s second aircraft securitisation, Apollo Aviation Securitization Equity Trust 2016-1; a $510m issuance of asset-backed notes used to acquire a fleet of 32 aircraft. The team also advised Goldman Sachs on a $300m secured warehouse facility, in which Apollo Aircraft Trust 2015-1 was the borrower. Patrick O’Reilly and practice co-head John Howitt advised PK AirFinance on a loan to Wood Creek Capital Management to finance the acquisition of Volito Aviation’s aircraft leasing business.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments by:
Clifford Chance

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to