Next Generation Partners

Aviation finance in France

Norton Rose Fulbright

Praised for its ‘incredible industry knowledge’, Norton Rose Fulbright remains a leading outfit in aviation finance, where the firm covers the full range of matters including regulatory matters and new financing structures. Financial institutions, operating lessors and airlines regularly turn to the practice to handle cross-border transactions and day-to-day operations. George Paterson heads the team and is noted for his experience acting for banks and export credit agencies as well as airlines in a wide array of financing matters. Insurance supported financings, syndicated lending and tax-based structures are amongst the competencies of counsel Sébastien AllainAlex Wass is a further key partner in the practice, while Marc Hamilton moved to the firm’s Dubai office in 2023.

Practice head(s):

George Paterson

Other key lawyers:

Alex Wass; Sébastien Allain


‘Very good efficiency and communication. Perfect work.’

‘Flexible, deep market knowledge, excellent interpersonal skills.’

‘The team has incredible industry knowledge. They are always ready to give advice and go the extra mile. The team is also very client friendly and it’s a please to work with them on a daily basis.’

‘Sebastien Allain is very practical and always finds a solution, even in tough spots. His ability to present complex issues in a simple manner is a core competence of the team.’

Key clients


Société Générale

Toronto Dominion Bank

BNP Paribas

JP Morgan

Bank of America



Euler Hermes

BPI France


Export Development Canada

Crédit Industriel et Commercial

Work highlights

  • Advised the Airbus ECAs and Société Générale in the financing of ten A321neo Aircraft for Pegasus Airlines.
  • Advised Natixis on the Balthazar-supported limited recourse financing of 3 A220-300s to Goal/KGAL on lease to Air Baltic.
  • Advised Société Générale on a sustainability-linked loan to Air France for the financing of one A350 aircraft.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird established its aviation finance practice in Paris in December 2022 with the arrival of Laurence Hanley, former practice head at Stephenson Harwood, who focuses on advising borrowers in financings, complemented by expertise in regulatory matters, tax, and SPC vehicles. Embedded into the firm’s wider network, the practice also regularly handles cross-border matters and counts clients hailing from Indonesia and Japan amongst its portfolio.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Hanley

Other key lawyers:

Maria Miller


‘The team are experts in French legal matters relating to aviation leasing, trading and finance. They have strong industry knowledge and work efficiently.’

‘A unique team of highly skilled professionals, obviously on pure legal matters, but also on commercial and technical fields, and with excellent market and industry knowledge.’

‘Maria Miller is an excellent lawyer who provides commercially driven strategic advice to clients in a manner that is concise, efficient and well-researched. She is a much trusted adviser on French corporate law and aviation matters.’

‘Their adaptability, versatility, and their ability and eagerness to work as a team with their client.’

‘Great team with a complete vision of the industry. They really try to understand the point of view of the person they represent to defend their interest in the best way. Diverse team regarding gender and ethnicity, which is a great strength. Easy to communicate with.’

‘Great professionals, knowledgeable and smart. Easy to communicate with.’

‘Good knowledge and excellent handling of matters.’

‘Maria Miller – efficient and responsive and reliable.’

Key clients

Société Air France

Transavia France

Air Côte d’Ivoire

Air France Hop

Work highlights

  • Advised Société Air France in the sale and leaseback of eleven Airbus A220-300s, with Japanese investors, involved in all stages of the transaction from negotiating the lease agreements to the deliveries of the aircraft.
  • Advised Société Air France on its refinancing via JOLCO and SLL, of one new Airbus A350-900 with Japanese investors and the Tokyo Branch of a major European bank as debt arranger.
  • Advised Transavia France in the twelve years operating lease of eight new A320neo.


The aviation finance expertise at HFW spans business aviation as much as commercial, with the firm’s client portfolio consisting of a wide variety of companies such as airlines, airports and insurers. Fleet restructuring and insolvency matters form part of the group’s advisory capabilities under the leadership of Pierre Frühling, an experienced aviation lawyer whose know-how ranges from transactional work to regulatory and litigation. Alix d’Arjuzon was appointed to Counsel in April 2023 and has a specialisation in environmental matters in relation to the aviation industry.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Frühling

Other key lawyers:

Alix d’Arjuzon


‘HFW are very pragmatic in their approach. The cooperation with us and the counterparty was very good. Sufficient availability of partner and expertise in various fields.’

Key clients



Air Corsica


Allianz AGCS

All Nippon Airways

Arkia Israeli Airlines



Blade Urban Air Mobility

Camair Cameroun Airlines

Cargo Air

Cathay Pacific

Channel Jets



Croatia Airlines

Delta Air Lines


El Al

Global Aerospace

Goshawk (SMBC)

Hi Fly

Jung Skies Croatia

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Korean Air

La Réunion Aérienne


Madagascar Airlines

Mont Blanc Hélicoptères/HBG Group



Sirius Aviation Capital

Vietnam Airlines

Wizz Air

Work highlights

  • Advised Air Corsica on the modernisation of its fleet, consisting of buying and leasing a fleet of new generation Airbus A320neos, as well as a large batch of ATR-72 XT “green” aircraft.
  • Represented the lessor Goshawk in the insolvency proceedings of Lion Air before the commercial court of Paris.
  • Advised Blade Urban on entering into its large-scale cooperation agreement with Héli Sécurité (France) and French operator Monacair (Monaco), covering the fleet of the 3 operators and integrating the distribution systems into Blade Urban.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

The acquisition and disposal of individual aircraft as well as fleets are core areas of expertise for Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, whose practice is regularly sought out to advise on tax-based, Islamic, and commercial financings alongside securitisations and other variations of financings. Alexander Premont assists lessees, lessors, equity investors, and banks on asset financings, including commercial and business aircraft, while Tam Tran is a go-to advisor for international banks, often in matters with cross-border elements. Sustainability-linked loans form part of Guergana Zabounova's advisory portfolio, while Alexandre Salem focuses on project and asset finance, handling matters such as Balthazar-backed transactions.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Premont

Other key lawyers:

Alexandre Salem; Guergana Zabounova; Tam Tran; Cassandre Porgès


‘Hogan Lovells is one the most well-established law firms in Paris with an outstanding aviation finance team which is committed to deliver no matter what. Alexander Premont and his team are responsive and demonstrate pro-active and straight to the point advice at each step of our transactions.’

‘They are market-aware and have a good understanding of the commercial demands of our clients and of our own internal requirements and concerns. They always manage to find the right solution with clear advice on complex legal issues.’

‘Alexander Premont is a talented lawyer who has a strong experience. He knows the industry inside-out as well as our internal requirements. He helps us with decisions-making and always provides good advice during cross-border transactions. He is reliable and has good leadership and negotiation skills.’

Key clients

Air France-KLM

Deutsche Bank

Oyat Aviation

Credit Agricole CIB

Société Générale


BRED Banque Populaire

Simaero Leasing Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as mandated lead arrangers and a syndicate of 14 international banks in relation to a €1.2bn sustainability linked financing to Air France-KLM.
  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, CIC and several other French financial institutions as arrangers and lenders in relation to the financing by way of a Japanese Operating Lease of new Airbus A350-900 aircraft to Air France, to be delivered in December 2023.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's aviation finance practice reflects the firm’s global strengths in this space, where the group counts clients such as lessors, arrangers, and manufacturers amongst its portfolio, advising them on the gamut of English and French law transactions. A specific focus of the practice lies in debt restructuring as well as sale and leaseback transactions, with additional capabilities relating to cross-border matters.  Asset finance expert Alexia Russell heads the team and offers particular expertise in ECA-backed financings. Philippe Monfort is another key member of the team and is qualified in France as well as England and Wales.

Practice head(s):

Alexia Russell

Other key lawyers:

Philippe Monfort; Lisa Tavlaridis


‘Responsive, well-structured team, good resource allocation, very helpful, great final product.’

‘Lisa Tavlaridis is an excellent up-and-coming associate.’

Key clients

French Ministry of Defence


RIVE Private Investment

Société Générale

Turning Rock Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised RIVE Private Investment, LCI and Turning Rock Partners on their joint acquisition of a $115m portfolio of 19 helicopters as part of the expansion of their international helicopter leasing platform in Europe and beyond.
  • Advised the French Ministry of Defence in relation to the carrying out of their A400M aircraft programme and in connection with the preparation of new contracts and amendments to the existing contractual documentation.
  • Advised a group of lessors, together owning approximately 30 aircraft and/or aircraft engines in Lion Air’s fleet, regarding safeguard and receivership proceedings initiated before the French courts relating to the French subsidiaries of Indonesian airline group Lion Air.

Odi-Sé Avocats

The ‘high-performance team’ at Odi-Sé Avocats counts commercial as well as business aviation amongst its capabilities, and is additionally well versed in financings relating to helicopters and the defence sector. Founding and managing partner Matthieu de Varax leads the team and is well regarded in relation to business aviation, though commercial and military aviation are also part of his advisory repertoire. Thomas Boone is also noted for his expertise in the financing and leasing of large assets.

Practice head(s):

Matthieu de Varax

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Boone


‘High-performance team, attentive and available with very good knowledge of operational and even technical questions, which is a major asset.’

‘The Odi-Sé team has unique expertise in Europe covering all sectors of aeronautics and in particular business aviation. Their experience includes excellent knowledge of the market and the points of view of the different players (customers, banks, manufacturers). They are always available for information and advice, and know how to be innovative in proposing solutions in complex situations.’

‘Matthieu de Varax has extensive experience and a very broad network in the industry. He is exceptional in his competence, availability, reliability and negotiation skills.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading French bank as arranger and lender on the finance leasing of one ATR 72-600 operated by Air Tahiti.
  • Advised a Chinese lessor on the leasing of two Airbus A320neo aircraft to Air Corsica.
  • Advised an Irish lessor on the sale and lease back of two factory new Airbus Helicopters H145 D3 aircraft operated by Babcock.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood‘s aviation practice has recently undergone major changes, with Laurence Hanley leaving for Bird & Bird in December 2022 and Edward Campbell retiring in the same year, while Florent Rigaud joined the firm from Reed Smith  in June 2023 and now acts as practice head; his portfolio includes secured debt financings, tax-based lease structures, and portfolio sales, amongst others.

Practice head(s):

Florent Rigaud


‘Stephenson Harwood (Paris office) is responsive. Its service is good for value. ’

‘Florent Rigaud’s advice is succinct and to the point.’

Key clients

Transportation Partners

Sienna Private Credit