Next Generation Partners: Aviation Finance

Next Generation Partners: Shipping Finance

Rising Stars: Shipping Finance

Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance) in Hong Kong

Baker McKenzie

A leader in the region, Baker McKenzie’s asset finance group represents major airlines, lessees, lessors and lenders. With its ‘globally integrated approach’, the firm draws on its extensive Asian and global networks; engaging its aviation finance practitioners in complex assignments involving the financing, leasing, restructuring and the granting and enforcement of security in relation to aircraft and corporate jets. With over three decades of experience in aviation finance, Andrew Lockhart heads the group, focusing his practice on asset and structured finance matters. Acting for major airlines in China in relation to aircraft transactions is a sweet spot for Allen Ng. Other key contacts in the group include Jane Wang and William Turner.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Lockhart

Other key lawyers:

Allen Ng; Jane Wang; William Turner


‘Faithful understanding’

‘The team demonstrated expertise in aviation and cross-borders transactions. They adopted a globally integrated approach, and always satisfactorily delivered the transactions even under very tight schedule.’

‘The team is extremely professional, both legally and commercially. They are a one-stop shop for aviation finance.’

Clifford Chance

Praised for its ‘deep experience’, Clifford Chance counts banks, financial institutions, lessors, and investors among its key roster of clients and is noted for its demonstrable capability in handling aviation finance deals. Commended for his ‘exceptional knowledge’, Paul Greenwell leads the team and focuses on asset and structured finance matters, with notable experience of aviation and aircraft finance-related mandates in the PRC and Japanese markets. Hetty Lam is a ‘very experienced and efficient operator’, and advises on cross-border leasing and financing transactions arising out of the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

Paul Greenwell

Other key lawyers:

Hetty Lam; Jeffrey Ip; Jonathon Leung


‘Deep experience and very polished and efficient service. First class.’

‘Paul Greenwell has exceptional knowledge and is a class act. Hetty Lam is a very experienced and efficient operator.’

‘Good team of people, with excellent industry experience. Also offer international coverage through the CC brand.’

‘All very strong technically and the associates regularly benefit from secondments within the industry, giving them excellent context and experience.’

Key clients

CDB Aviation

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises

CK Asset Holdings

Clover Aircraft Leasing Company Limited

Goshawk Aviation

Merx Aviation Finance

NWS Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Goshawk Aviation (as seller), NWS Holdings and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (each as seller’s guarantor) on the sale of Goshawk Aviation’s commercial aircraft leasing platform to SMBC Aviation Capital Limited.
  • Acting as English law and US law transaction counsel for various major international and PRC operating lessors in connection with their exposure to Russian airlines and counterparties (including, but without limitation to, Aeroflot) as a result of the imposition of US, EU and UK sanctions and export controls.
  • Advising various major international operating lessors, creditors and financial institutions on contingency planning and strategic advice in relation to their exposure to Hong Kong Airlines, as well as their rights and remedies under the UK restructuring plan and Hong Kong scheme of arrangement.

Clyde & Co LLP

Counting airlines, lessors, banks and financial institutions among its key roster of clients, Clyde & Co LLP is well-placed to operate across multiple jurisdictions, spanning mainland China, Singapore, and Australia, advising on commercial and business aircraft finance matters, refinancings, leasing issues, sales and purchase transactions. Stuart Miller, who has considerable experience advising on commercial aircraft and private jet aircraft mandates, jointly leads the team alongside Fei Kwok, whose focus lies in catering to clients with a PRC emphasis on a cross-border basis, including assisting Chinese companies entering Asian markets and those engaged in Sino-foreign joint venture projects in China.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Miller; Fei Kwok

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Cheng


The addition of Conor Warde from Mayer Brown in February 2023 has significantly revitalised CMS’s shipping finance practice. Tim Elliott leads the practice, sharing the helm with Warde, who contributes his expertise in advising clients on transactional, corporate, regulatory, and policy matters within ship finance and maritime transactions. Elliott’s specialisation spans a wide array of debt and leasing transactions across various asset classes, with a particular emphasis on offshore oil and gas shipping. London-based consultant Keith Wilson handles some Asia-related aviation finance and leasing work.

Practice head(s):

Tim Elliott; Conor Warde; Keith Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Kathy Wong; Simon Barrell


‘The lawyers are highly professional and experienced. They can handle different types of leasing projects, and the quality and efficiency are guaranteed.’

‘Conor Warde pays attention to customer needs, pays attention to service feedback, and can establish a continuous and good partnership with customers.’

‘With his rich experience in dispute handling, Tim Elliott can put forward contract proposals from the perspective of future dispute handling, which can well protect the rights and interests of the company.’

Key clients

Bumi Armada Berhad

CCB Asia

CCB Financial Leasing Corporation Limited

GasLog Limited

China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited

CMB Financial Leasing

CM International Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

Equinor UK Limited

GE Energy Financial Services

ICBC Financial Leasing

Jiangsu Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Jiangsu Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd

Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. Ltd

Seaspan Corp

Shandong Huachen Financial Leasing Co., LTD

Work highlights

  • Advised a PRC financial leasing company on the lease financing of three roll-on/roll-off vehicle and passenger ferries to be utilised in Europe.
  • Advised a shipping company on the sale of 12 vessels to the respective bareboat charterer upon its exercise of the purchase option under the respective bareboat charter.
  • Advised a private equity fund based in Asia and Europe on the financing through a combination of European and Asian banks of certain of its container vessel assets.


The team at HFW is noted for its ‘comprehensive knowledge’ of the transport industry and is well-placed to provide ‘professional legal advice and feasible solutions’ to a range of large-scale airlines and lessors operating in Greater China. Justin Sun heads up the aviation finance practice and handles a broad range of aviation finance transactions, including aircraft finance, leasing, trading and repossession matters. Patrick Cheung spearheads the Hong Kong and China shipping finance practice, and boasts a robust non-contentious offering.

Practice head(s):

Justin Sun; Patrick Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Whitney Chan; Lorraine Chiu; Tony Wong; Chloe Chow


‘The team has rich industry experience, combined with shipping practice, to provide customers with professional legal advice and feasible solutions.’

‘HFW is one of the best shipping law firms to work with. HFW exhibits comprehensive knowledge of the shipping businesses and outstanding professionalism in advising shipping-related commercial transactions.’

Key clients

ICBC Financial Leasing

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co. Ltd

ABC Financial Leasing

SPDB Financial Leasing Co. Ltd

Airport Hongyuan Logistics Co., Limited

Fly Meta Leasing Co., Ltd

China Exim Bank

COSCO SHIPPING Ports Chancay Peru

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel to the lessee, ICBC Financial Leasing’s Irish subsidiary in a transaction involving the refinancing of three A320neo aircraft on lease to two different American airlines, all registered in the US FAA Registry
  • Advising COSCO Shipping Ports in relation to a 15-year US$975 million loan with a syndicate of lenders led by Bank of China and includes Bank of Communications Co., Ltd., China Minsheng Banking Corp. Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone Branch, and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Co., Ltd.

Ince & Co

Ince & Co acts for lessors, financiers, airlines, business jet managers, MRO service providers, OEMs and airports on a broad range of matters, from cross-border operating leases, finance leases, sale and leasebacks to syndicated financing secured by aircraft, ECA financing and aircraft lease novations, among others. The team also houses a strong business aviation practice, with demonstrable experience in corporate jet acquisition, finance and management mandates. Tonny Lee is a key contact in the team.

Other key lawyers:

Tonny Lee

King & Wood Mallesons

Counting commercial banks, ECAs, lessors, and airlines among its key roster of clients, the team at King & Wood Mallesons advises on the full range of aviation financial product offerings. Notably, the team has been actively engaged in assisting with the recovery of the Hong Kong and Asian aviation industry which stands as a testament to its robust Asian and mainland China resources. Practice head Katherine Ke represents PRC and international lessors and financiers in the leasing and financing of commercial aircraft and business jets. Since publication, former joint practice head Ashley Wong departed in May 2024.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Ke; Ma Feng; Wang Ling


‘Strong client focus and intense attention to detail.’

‘The KWM Hong Kong team is very professional and can work bilingually in Chinese and English, which is very important for the linkage of domestic and overseas businesses; professionalism, efficiency, and dedication are our impressions of them.’

‘The team are very thoughtful, enthusiastic, efficient and conscientious.’

Key clients

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

HNA Aviation Group Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead transaction and English law counsel for CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. in the sale and lease back of three Airbus A321 neo aircraft to Viva Aerobus.
  • Advised HNA Aviation Group Co., Ltd. as the investor in the successful USD6.2 billion debt restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines (HKA).

Mayer Brown

With an ‘outstanding understanding and knowledge of the industry and industry players in Asia’, the team at Mayer Brown serves as a trusted adviser to major airlines and financiers across the aviation and shipping sectors, handling a broad spectrum of work encompassing multi-jurisdictional aircraft and ship leasing transactions, export financing, as well as aviation dispute management, litigation, and arbitration matters. Richard Stock leads the aviation finance practice, representing clients in a range of proceedings seeking to navigate the challenges and opportunities in the aftermath of the pandemic within the aviation market, especially in China and Hong Kong. Counsel Evelyn Lok is another key team member, contributing not only to the commercial airline aspect but also to corporate and private jet financings. In the latter role, Lok regularly advises international banks providing financing for new and used corporate jets. Hallam Chow advises both Chinese and international lenders and borrowers in outbound and inbound aviation asset finance transactions. Following Conor Warde’s departure to CMS in February 2023, Maggie Cheung has taken the helm of the maritime finance offering. Cheung is particularly well-versed in handling PRC-related transactions within the realm of ship finance and leasing. Since publication, Ashley Wong joined from King & Wood Mallesons in May 2024.

Practice head(s):

Richard Stock; Maggie Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Evelyn Lok; Hallam Chow; Bill Amos; Sandy Zhang; Ashley Wong


‘A fabulous team, very together in their working and consistent in their work product.’

‘A highly experienced and dedicated team. They are available and constructive in their advices.’

‘Good attention to details. Always keen to go the extra mile to deliver a top-end service.’

‘Richard Stock and Evelyn Lok are a safe pair of hands who we have full confidence in.’

‘The corporate jet finance team at Mayer Brown, Hong Kong has significant experience in both transactional and recovery work and this makes it one of our key SE Asia law firms. They bring a balanced approach to our negotiation with clients and have a strong grasp of the commercial drivers. They are quick to react and are able rapidly to respond to the demanding timelines often required by our customers.’

‘Richard Stock and Evelyn Lok have proven in many occasions their personal ability and commitment to make deals happen, to suggest solutions and negotiate on behalf of the bank to solve complex issues and protect the bank’s interests, including in repossession scenarios. They are amongst the very best lawyers for business aviation and certainly the best in Asia.’

‘The team has an outstanding understanding and knowledge of the industry and industry players in Asia. They are very experienced and extremely reactive with a remarkable negotiation capacity and ability to suggest solutions in complex situations.’

Key clients

Credit Agricole Asia Shipfinance Limited

Silversea Cruises Ltd

GTLK Asia Limited

China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising on the enforcement of ship mortgages and the recovery of funds from the collapse of Genting Cruises incident.
  • Advising China Light and Power on an offshore LNG terminal project.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The shipping finance practice at Norton Rose Fulbright regularly acts for Chinese and international leasing companies, banks, shipowners and sponsors, leveraging its vast office network to advise on a range of international shipping matters. Becky Tai leads the team and advises on maritime and offshore structured financing transactions across a wide range of asset types including LNG carriers, cruise ships and high-specification drilling rigs.

Practice head(s):

Becky Tai


‘Becky Tai is experienced in maritime container secured and structured financing. She understands client’s needs and provides constructive advice efficiently. She is always professional and responsive.’

‘Professional, responsive, experienced in maritime container financing.’

Key clients

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

China Merchants Financing Leasing (Hong Kong) Holding Co. Limited

CIMC Financial Leasing (Hong Kong) Ltd.

CITIC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.


ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP

Strategically positioned within a globally interconnected network, the team at Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP maintains notably strong ties with numerous regional shipowners, who reap the benefits of the firm’s extensive industry knowledge, including its acumen in offshore and LNG matters. The team has the capability to provide guidance across key industry sectors, encompassing equipment financing, commodities, offshore construction, and energy; this depth of expertise extends across a wide array of financing techniques. Heading the team is Peter Lee, renowned for his extensive expertise in non-contentious shipping transactions, particularly for Chinese shipowners and PRC leasing companies involved in a diverse range of sale and purchase transactions. Lianjun Li also co-leads the team, and is a highly seasoned arbitrator and litigator, recognised as a go-to adviser for international shipping matters. Tat Pan, splitting his time between Hong Kong and Shanghai, complements Lee’s efforts by providing support in matters involving the sale and purchase, as well as lease and loan financing, of ships and containers.

Practice head(s):

Peter Lee; Lianjun Li

Other key lawyers:

Tat Pan


‘Lianjun Li is an expert in the shipping industry. Besides routine legal advice, he is a lawyer with strong commercial acumen and able to give advice to us from a different perspective.’

‘Expertise in shipping finance.’

‘Peter Lee has years of experience in the shipping finance industry.’

Stephenson Harwood

Lauded by clients as ‘forward-looking’ and ‘excellent’, Stephenson Harwood draws superlative praise on account of its wide-ranging capabilities in advising a balanced array of stakeholders, including banks, financial institutions, leasing companies, commercial lenders, lessors, airlines, and export credit agencies, on cross-jurisdictional deals across aviation and shipping arenas. The firm’s aviation finance team, one of the largest in Hong Kong, is well-versed in handling the entire spectrum of matters, including financing, leasing, and trading of commercial aircraft and business jets across Hong Kong, the wider APAC region, and Europe. Associates Raina Xian and Louis Ng excel in these areas. Under the leadership of Simon Wong, whose expertise covers aircraft repossession and airline insolvency and rehabilitation, the team has handled a host of defaults and debt restructurings. The firm’s shipping subgroup, co-headed by Hongkai Zhou and Simone Liu, is emblematic of the eclectic nature of the firm’s workflow. In addition to providing advisory and risk mitigation services, the team is frequently involved in cross-border financings and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Wong; Hongkai Zhou; Elton Chan

Other key lawyers:

Simone Liu; Louis Ng; Raina Xian


‘Professional, dedicated and enthusiastic.’

‘Always maintain professionalism, dedication, enthusiasm and other excellent work attitudes and qualities.’

‘They have an excellent team of lawyers who can handle various kinds of aircraft transactions. They are very responsive, and their advice is sharp and useful.’

‘I am impressed by Simon Wong. He is a great aviation lawyer in Hong Kong. He knows the nature of work and has in-depth knowledge of aviation operation matters in each country.’

‘The partners are hands-on and are willing to spend time on the details of the project, which is amazing.’

‘The SH team is deeply involved in cross-border financial business, has extensive business experience, and is good at handling complex and innovative transactions. The team has solid professional capabilities, can quickly respond to customer needs, and can provide high-quality legal services. It is a forward-looking and excellent team.’

‘Simon Wong is a senior partner in SH’s aviation business. He has extensive practice experience and has participated in various structured aviation transactions, including finance leases, sale and leasebacks, prepayment financing, delivery financing, refinancing and leasehold assets.’

‘Good customer service and very knowledgeable in the industry.’

Key clients

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

ICBC Leasing

China Development Bank

The Export-Import Bank of China

CIBL Leasing

JIC Leasing

Tiang & Partners

With a fine record in advising on various aircraft financing transactions, such as restructuring, lease financing, and LIBOR transition, particularly those involving China, and the capability to draw upon the expertise of its offices across the Asia Pacific and Australia, the team at Tiang & Partners continues to assist a diverse client base, which includes banks, corporations, and high-net-worth individuals. A significant aspect highly valued by clients is the firm’s association with PwC, which provides the team with ‘access to a lot of industry knowledge’ by leveraging the expertise of PwC professionals in areas such as tax and accounting. Praised as a ‘commercial and innovative practitioner’, Tejaswi Nimmagadda leads the team and frequently represents financiers, lessors, airlines, and operators, making him especially well-equipped to provide guidance on intricate bespoke mandates, including those related to ESG and sanctions matters.

Practice head(s):

Tejaswi Nimmagadda

Other key lawyers:

Nai Kwok


‘Tejaswi Nimmagadda, who leads Tiang & Partners’ asset finance practice, is a commercial and innovative practitioner, and is supported by a strong team.’

‘Tejaswi Nimmagadda is my primary contact at the firm and is the most commercial and proactive legal counsel I have ever worked with. In addition to being technically strong, Tejaswi always considers the commercial aspects of transactions and has at times identified commercial opportunities that I myself had not considered.’

‘The firm’s partnership with PwC give them access to a lot of industry knowledge.’

Work highlights

  • Acting as aviation financing and leasing counsel on the financial and liability restructuring, government engagement, fleet management/re-sizing, route optimisation, stakeholder and creditor engagement for Hong Kong Airlines.
  • Advising China Everbright Bank as lead counsel, English law and Hong Kong law counsel, and project managing PRC law, with respect to the refinancing for Chinese leasing companies of their acquisition of multiple portfolios of aircraft on lease with Chinese airlines in respect of five aircraft.
  • Acted on AerDragon’s fleet of around 30 aircraft, with respect to their LIBOR transition of all outstanding floating rate loans.

Watson Farley & Williams

Praised for its ‘world-class reputation’, Watson Farley & Williams acts for creditor, debtor, and investor clients in leasing and finance transactions across a diverse range of transportation assets. Splitting her time between Hong Kong and Singapore, Madeline Leong leads the team and serves as a go-to debt restructuring adviser for a roster of leading banks, leasing companies, and other financial institutions, particularly within the transportation, natural resources, and energy sectors. Christoforos Bisbikos, who acts for Chinese lessors, is commended for his ‘deep knowledge of the market and commercial mindset’. Other notable figures in the team include Guan Jian, who frequently advises major banks, financial institutions, and leasing companies, covering a wide spectrum of financing matters within the shipping sector. Assisting the team is counsel Valerie Lee, who specialises in handling financings involving prominent export credit agencies in Asia. Jackson Chow maintains a strong presence in the aviation market, frequently representing various multinational finance and leasing deals.

Practice head(s):

Madeline Leong; Jackson Chow

Other key lawyers:

Christoforos Bisbikos; Guan Jian; Valerie Lee


‘Strong legal advice but always commercially orientated. Fast response and reliable time schedules.’

‘Christoforos Bisbikos is an excellent legal expert with deep knowledge of the market and a commercial mindset.’

‘In recent years, the law firm has strengthened its asset financing team, providing Asian clients with more diverse and comprehensive office coverage options.’

‘Jackson Chow has very rich experience and years of practice in the industry.’

‘WFW boasts the largest asset finance practice of any law firm internationally, with asset finance specialists and English law capabilities. WFW’s aviation team is at the forefront of the industry and has a world-class reputation and comprises leading lawyers. They can advise on many of the industry’s high-profile transactions.’

‘Jackson Chow has extensive experience in dealing with PRC-related aircraft leasing and financing deals.’

‘The team has extensive experience in aviation financing and is good at dealing with more complex and difficult projects and arrangements.’

Jackson Chow can accurately understand the concerns of both parties in business negotiations and propose practical solutions, which greatly improves the efficiency of contract negotiations.’

Key clients

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing


CCB Financial Leasing

CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC

CMB Financial Leasing

The Export Import Bank of China

ICBC Financial Leasing

Greater Bay Airlines

Bank of America, N.A.

Minsheng Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

CITIC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised SPDB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. on two sale and leaseback transactions involving the acquisition from, and bareboat charter back to Ciner Shipping group of eight bulk carriers.
  • Advised CITIC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. on US$700m+ operating lease for three newbuilding 7000CEU dual fuel Pure Car and Truck Carriers, three newbuilding 8600 CEU dual fuel PCTCs and four 7200DWT General Cargo Carriers.
  • Advised CMB Financial Leasing (Ireland) Limited in relation to a combined Lessor supported predelivery payment financing and sale and leaseback transaction of seven (7) Airbus A320 family aircraft involving Volaris Airlines.


With a particular industry expertise in private aviation matters, Withers continues to excel in providing advice on transactions involving the procurement, financing, and leasing of both commercial and corporate aircraft. Paul Jebely leads the team and is ‘well-versed in negotiation, practical tactics and focused on achieving the best outcome for the client’, frequently being sought after as a trusted adviser by ultra-high-net-worth individuals and corporates alike. Special counsel Luca Denora advises airlines, aircraft operators and leasing companies on contractual matters, while associate Clare Liu assists on acquisition financings for both commercial and private aircraft. Notably, all named lawyers are qualified in New York, equipping them with the strategic ability to support clients, particularly high-net-worth individuals, in achieving aircraft financing goals on a cross-border basis.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jebely

Other key lawyers:

Luca Denora; Clare Liu


‘Deep industry knowledge of private aviation, and not only embracing the legal aspects, but also an appreciation of the operational, technical and management aspects of the business, allowing the team to quickly understand the issue(s) at hand and to provide critical guidance.

‘Paul Jebely is a supreme aviation lawyer. Open, honest and willing to provide guidance while sharing knowledge.Well-versed in negotiation, practical tactics and focused on achieving the best outcome for the client.’

‘Luca Denora is a well-versed and knowledgeable aviation lawyer.’

‘Paul Jebely from Withers is a great lawyer with impressive knowledge and experience in this field.’