A&L Goodbody LLP has one of the largest teams in the market with an outstanding reputation in aviation finance, notably in asset-backed securitisation structures. In recent years, the Dublin team has focused its efforts on developing connections to China and augmenting its Chinese client base, including Chinese lessors. It now has a broad and illustrious client base of lenders, lessors and investors in the aviation sector. Marie O’Brien leads the department and has played a pivotal role in developing the China business group. Seamus Ó’Cróinín is another leading practitioner in the field and David Berkery has extensive international experience, including in asset backed securitisation structures, restructurings and private equity investments. Maireadh Dale left the firm.
Asset finance in Ireland
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Duffy; Séamus Ó Cróinín; David Berkery; Maria McElhinney
‘ALG has the premier aviation finance practice in Ireland. Their bench is very deep and Seamus O’Croinin, David Berkery and Marie O’Brien are trusted advisors that approach transactions from a practical view point.’
‘Very engaging, responsive and thorough team of lawyers. Very good fees structure.’
‘They are the top Irish team in the asset finance space. They provide excellent client service and provide clear and concise advise on the most complex topics.’
‘Marie O’Brien is the leader of the team. She is very much in the know when it comes to setting up aircraft leasing platforms in Ireland. David Berkery is another strong partner in the team with several years of practice in London and New York. He is very experienced in joint ventures, structured finance and capital markets.’
‘Marie O’Brien is very approachable and manages her team very well.’
‘David Berkery is a real asset to this team. He is down to earth, pragmatic and sensible. He is also not afraid to challenge how a deal has been structured if he thinks there is a more efficient way of achieving the same result for the client. I feel he is a safe pair of hands for more complex aviation and securitisation transactions.’
‘The asset finance team at A&L Goodbody has had a fantastic reputation for many years. Their depth and experience is bar none. They are involved in many of the novel transactions in the aviation space. They are leaders in their field.’
‘Seamus O’Croinin – extremely knowledgeable on cross-border topics. David Berkery – top-notch at analysing complex issues.’
Apollo Aviation LP / Merx Aviation Finance
Aero Capital Solutions, Inc
Carlyle Aviation Management
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
Sky Leasing LLC
Wings Capital Partners
Thunderbolt III Aircraft Lease Limited
Irish Continental Group, plc
Milestone Aviation Group
ING Capital LLC
Sichuan Development Holding
Merx Aviation Finance
ICBC Financing Leasing Company
China Aircraft Leasing Company
Minsheng Financial Leasing
AVIC International Leasing Company
Chorus Aviation Capital
Clover Aircraft Leasing
Air Lease Corporation
Sculptor Capital Management
Virgo Investment Group / Zephyrus Aviation Capital
- Advised GE as Irish counsel on its €30bn combination of GECAS and AerCap.
- Advised several creditors to Norwegian Air during its Irish examinership.
- Acted as Irish transaction counsel for Castlelake and Castlelake Aircraft Structured Trust 2021-1 (the issuer) on CLAS 2021-1, which was Castlelake’s seventh securitisation.
Matheson LLP has a rounded aviation finance practice with extensive experience in asset backed securitisations and repackagings. The core group is complemented by aviation regulatory specialists and specialised aviation tax expertise. During 2020 and 2021, the firm landed a high market share of big-ticket insolvency and restructuring engagements in the Irish aviation sector; it advised Norwegian Air Shuttle, Norwegian Air International, Arctic Aviation Assets and associated group companies on the appointment of an examiner to the NAS Group. The firm is also at the forefront of aviation financings led by export credit agencies (ECAs). Rory McPhillips and Stuart Kennedy co-head the aviation finance and transportation group. Stephen Gardiner handles a broad portfolio of work and has recently been kept busy advising new entrants to the Irish market on corporate and owner trustee services. Yvonne McWeeney is noted for her experience advising on the Cape Town Convention particularly in relation to aircraft protocol.
Rory McPhillips; Stuart Kennedy
Other key lawyers:
Yvonne McWeeney; Stephen Gardiner
‘Good commercial understanding of corporate trustee risks and security complexities.’
‘The Matheson team is extremely knowledgeable, professional and responsive with regards to its Asset finance practice. They have a depth of knowledge and experience that is at the top of the industry!’
‘Excellent knowledge of the industry and very good network and relationships with other firms.’
‘The firm has scale and depth to provide a full all round service which is invaluable to our company. The specific team has supported us in all aspects from inception and we have a lot of trust in them which is key. Technically they are very strong and also commercially very current in our sector and great at judging the level of hand holding required or not in a given transaction.’
‘Rory McPhillips is highly knowledgeable and has excellent understanding of corporate trustee requirements.’
‘Stuart Kennedy is very responsive and always quick to jump on a call if needed which is always helpful.’
‘Stuart Kennedy in particular and Yvonne McWeeney also are standouts in their legal practices.’
‘Yvonne McWeeney leads an exceptional team of associates and paralegals. All transactions expertly partner led but with an army of competent professionals backing her up.’
Aviation Capital Group
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE)
Arctic Aviation Assets DAC
Jackson Square Aviation
Fortress Investment Group LLC
UK Export Finance (UKEF)
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES)
Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (BoComm Leasing)
CMB Financial Leasing (CMB Aviation)
TUI Travel Aviation Finance Limited/TUI Airlines
- Acted as lead counsel to Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, Norwegian Air International Limited, Arctic Aviation Assets DAC and associated group companies with respect to the appointment of an examiner to the NAS Group.
- Advised Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on the establishment of a new, joint-venture aircraft leasing platform in Ireland.
- Acted as Irish transaction counsel on a $485m aircraft engine securitisation, Thrust 2021-1, an asset backed securitisation by an Irish incorporated joint issuer Thrust Engine Leasing 2021 DAC and a US joint issuer Thrust Engine Leasing 2021 Statutory Trust.
McCann FitzGerald LLP has a sizeable team dedicated to a full-range of aviation finance transactions, including aviation platforms in Ireland, aviation capital markets transactions, syndicated financing, operating leasing, sale-and-leasebacks, corporate reorganisations, restructurings and aviation M&A. The group has an outstanding reputation in aviation leasing, notably with it advising the majority of Norwegian Air Shuttle’s aircraft leasing creditors on its recent examinership. Catherine Deane is a longstanding market leader in the sector, while Hilary Marren, Joe Fay and Georgina O’Riordan are also high-profile aviation finance practitioners. Laura Deignan was promoted to partner in May 2021.
Catherine Deane; Joe Fay; Hilary Marren; Georgina O’Riordan; Richard Gill; Colm Fanning; Laura Deignan
Other key lawyers:
‘Vast amount of experience across all manner of mandates. Fully integrated service with seamless offering across the full spectrum of legal issues relevant to the industry (including, without limitation, regulatory and litigation).’
‘Excellent partner involvement. The team members are very experienced negotiators and efficient project managers.’
‘Collaborative team with strong internal communication networks where everyone is up to speed on where matters stand and client’s instructions etc.’
‘Joe Fay stands out as an exceptional practitioner – an all-rounder in terms of legal expertise, commercial acumen, analytical ability and negotiating style.
‘Hilary Marren has worked on all manner of mandates and has a huge amount of experience to draw from.’
‘Hilary Marren – Hilary’s knowledge of the practice area is second to none. As a client, you get a very personalised experience working with her team.’
‘Joe Fay – Joe is a technically brilliant lawyer whose practice area is very diverse.’
‘Ronan Murphy – Ronan is an excellent associate. He is a very efficient and skilled transaction negotiator and project manager.’
AerDragon Aviation Partners Limited
Aircastle Advisor LLC
Altitude Investors DACf
Apollo Global Management
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi
BBAM Aviation Services Limited
BOC Aviation Leasing
Calliston GmbH & Co. Beteiligungs KG
CDB Aviation Leasing
CRA Aircraft Holdings LLC
Delaware Life Insurance Company
Deutsche Bank AG
Development Bank of Singapore Ltd
DNB Bank ASA
Doric Asset Finance GmbH & Co. KG
DVB Bank SE
Dynam Japan Holding Holdings Co., Ltd
EMP Aviation Ireland Limited
FGL Aircraft Ireland (FUYO)
Fly Leasing Limited
Genesis Aircraft Services Limited
GTLK Europe DAC
Guardian Holdings Limited
Haitong Financial Leasing
Haitong UniTrust International Leasing
Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Limited
KKR Altitude Holdings L.P.
MUFG Bank, Ltd
NGF Overseas Aircraft Limited
Nordic Aviation Capital
Odeon International Holding B.V.
ORIX Aviation Systems Limited
Pembroke Capital/Standard Chartered Bank
Raglan Air Limited
SAIC Holdings Limited
SATO Aviation Capital
Sculptor Asset Management
Security Benefits Life Insurance Company
Sierra Echo Aircraft Leasing Limited
Sirius Aviation Capital Holdings Limited
Skyworks Leasing (Ireland) Limited
SMBC Aviation Capital
ST Aerospace Resources Pte. Ltd
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Trustmark National Bank
Vueling Airlines, S.A.
- Advised AerCap Holdings N.V. on its definitive agreement with General Electric to acquire 100% of GE Capital Aviation Services, a GE business.
- Advised a number of aircraft lessors and a secured creditor in connection with the Irish examinership of Norwegian Air Shuttle and certain of its Irish incorporated affiliates.
- Acted as Irish counsel to AerSale, an integrated, diversified global leader in aviation aftermarket products and services, in its business combination with Monocle Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.
William Fry remains a force in aviation finance with a growing team and a particularly strong record in lender-side engagements. It continues to be active in aircraft portfolio financings and securitisations and has handled key mandates in major insolvency situations, including being engaged as counsel to the examiner of Norwegian Air. The team is also at the forefront of ESG-compliant loans and debt financings. David Maughan has some 20-years experience in aircraft financings and is especially known for representing financial institutions in refinancing Chinese lessor portfolios. Mary Ward is becoming an established name in the aviation finance field, representing lessors, lessees and lenders on aircraft transactions. Fergus Doorly provides additional restructuring and insolvency expertise in this area.
Other key lawyers:
Mary Ward; Fergus Doorly
‘Efficient, responsive, flexible.’
‘Knowledgable, personable, engaging with industry peers in a meaningful way not limited to legal matters, but also to the bigger picture of the industry. Negotiate hard for the client without ever being unreasonable.’
‘Customer service. We do not get as attentive service from other firms.’
‘Very strong relationship skills, above and beyond attention, quick turnaround, deep domain expertise, strong network, strong reputation.’
‘Strong commercial knowledge.’
‘Mary Ward and David Maughan are both extraordinary individuals who really care for their clients.’
‘Mary Ward. Key contact, very experienced, engaged and responsive.’
Bank of Communications Co., Ltd.
China Development Bank
Credit Agricole CIB
Goshawk Aviation Limited
Investec Bank plc
Clover Aircraft Leasing Company Limited (formerly Ping An International Financial Leasing)
The Korea Development Bank
Development Bank of Japan
- Advised Landesbank Hessen Thüringen Girozentrale on Irish legal and tax matters relating to a large secured US dollar term loan facility for a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of Minsheng to refinance the costs associated with the acquisition of a portfolio of aircraft on lease to a South Asia based airline.
- Advised Credit Agricole on Irish legal and tax matters relating to a large secured term loan facility advanced to a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of AerDragon Partners, the proceeds of which were used to refinance a large portfolio of aircraft on lease to various airlines.
Arthur Cox has extensive international aviation finance expertise within its senior ranks and strong tax experience within the team. Rob Murphy has exceptional international experience, a former global head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP‘s asset finance team and previously general counsel at CDB Aviation, the Chinese aircraft lessor. Caroline Devlin brings leading tax expertise to the aviation finance field with a strong focus on Asian clients and US private equity houses. Laura Cunningham is another with impressive international experience and an emphasis on aircraft finance, leasing and related tax-driven structures. Ruth Lillis' recent work has seen her advise on restructurings arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rob Murphy; Caroline Devlin
Other key lawyers:
Laura Cunningham; Ruth Lillis; Fintan Kerrins
‘The team at Arthur Cox provide invaluable advice to get straight to the point and resolve any legal issue that may arise and highlight the main sections within any agreement that needs to be looked at from a commercial point of view.’
‘The individuals on the team have many years experience in the asset finance space and provide the support and knowledge to help you get the deals across the line in a friendly manner.’
‘We were very impressed by the work quality and responsiveness and efficiency of Laura Cunningham. Always on top of things and always in control, even when deals become complex and hectic. Fintan Kerrins offered excellent associate work.
‘Robert Murphy – vastly experienced, he has seen and done everything and remains committed and enthusiastic. His knowledge is second to none.’
‘Caroline Devlin is a very experienced practitioner who is always calm, pragmatic and to the point in situations that would phase many peers which make her our go to person in Ireland.’
‘Caroline Devlin is a consummate professional. She is able to leverage her tax and corporate background in this specialised field and bring extra value to clients.’
‘Arthur Cox partner Laura Cunningham delivers smart, thoughtful advice in a timely manner. Laura is responsive and takes her clients’ preferences and objectives into account when delivering concise and sensible recommendations.’
‘Robert Murphy has a stellar reputation within the aviation industry. He has amassed an enormous level of experience and knowledge throughout his career. This is always evident on transactions. Rob is always a delight to deal with and fills us with confidence. Laura Cunningham has excellent technical knowledge and considerable experience in aviation. She is incredibly professional and always accessible to clients.’
Elix Aviation Capital
Everbright Financial Leasing Co Ltd
Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM)
GA Telesis, LLC
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Lobo Leasing No MHR (US)
MUFG Bank Ltd
Nona Trade Corporation Limited
Noteholders to Nordic Aviation Capital
Silicon Valley Bank
Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited
Titan Aircraft Investments
Vance Street Capital LLC
- Partnered with Vedder Price to advise Arena Aviation Capital, on the establishment of a $1.5bn aircraft leasing joint venture with Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, a leading opportunistic credit manager.
- Advised a group of unsecured creditors to Nordic Aviation Capital group on an Irish scheme of arrangement which included a 12-month standstill and deferral of secured and unsecured debt.
- Advised Aer Lingus on a three-year €150m senior term loan from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
Maples Group brings an additional international dimension to the aviation finance segment in Ireland, thanks to its strong asset finance expertise in London, Singapore and other key centres. The firm has an impressive client base of airlines, lenders, lessors and investors. Mary O’Neill is an experienced professional in asset–backed securitisations, portfolio asset sales and purchases, and operating and finance lease structures. She frequently works alongside London partner Donna Ager , who brings further international and Irish law expertise to the Dublin practice.
Donna Ager; James Kinsley
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is responsive and “knows its topic”.’
‘Mary O’Neill is very approachable and is very responsive on matters of Irish Law.’
‘The Maples Ireland team are very responsive. We work with them for many clients on aviation finance, leasing and trading transactions.’
‘Donna Ager – heads the team, very commercial and straight talking. Experienced in Aviation Finance.’
Mary O Neill – also excellent, very personable and well liked by clients. Runs an efficient team.’
Cross Ocean Partners
Airbus Financial Services
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd.
Elix Aviation Capital
Santander Bank SA
SMBC Aviation Capital
Waterfall Asset Management
- Advised Avolon and the issuer group on all Irish and Cayman law aspects of a $620m asset-backed securitisation.
- Advised Bain Capital Credit, in partnership with Windward Aircraft Management Company Limited as asset manager, on the acquisition of a portfolio of four aircraft, on lease to four different operating lessees.
- Acted as Irish counsel and Cayman counsel to Sky Leasing on a newly formed aircraft finance and leasing structure for the initial acquisition and leasing 11 new and used aircraft.
Mason Hayes & Curran LLP has an experienced team of aviation finance specialists, covering the full spectrum of transactions in the field. It has particularly strong connections to export credit agencies (ECAs) from around the world, while also being close to a range of bank lenders, commercial airlines, commercial aircraft manufacturers, international aircraft and engine lessors, and aviation investors. The team continues to make a mark in financing restructurings, aircraft lease arrangements, credit facilities, and asset portfolio acquisitions and sales. Chair of the firm, Christine O’Donovan is one of the most high-profile practitioners in the market. Banking partner Barry Walsh provides further senior-level experience in the asset finance segment, with Niamh Caffrey delivering tax structuring expertise. Since publication, David McGovern joined the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Barry Walsh; Niamh Caffrey; Joseph Maxwell; David McGovern
‘For me, MHC’s key strength when compared to other firms is its teams’ reactivity. No matter what the issue is, be it finance related, M&A related or employment law related, they are always very quick and thorough in their response.’
‘The individuals we deal with in MHC are always very professional and knowledgeable on the topics up for discussion. They are excellent communicators and very pragmatic.’
‘Capable practitioners with the ability to put their expertise into the proper context. Pleasant and grounded personalities an additional advantage compared with some of their direct competitors.’
‘The Mason Hayes & Curran asset finance team have extensive experience, knowledge and strong commercial acumen. The team are friendly, proactive and are always available to provide advice. They focus on solutions rather than highlighting problems and provide guidance every step of the way. Mason Hayes & Curran are our go-to firm for legal advice.’
‘Christine O’Donovan uses pragmatic solutions to ensure transactions are closed for both parties’ benefit. Joseph Maxwell is very knowledgeable, efficient and personable’
‘Christine O’Donovan leads an excellent team. She has extensive knowledge about the aviation industry, providing an exceptional service and goes the extra mile in terms of meeting clients’ needs. Christine offers practical advice and is very astute to commercial aspects. She is professional and patient when explaining complex legal issues, taking the time to ensure we are fully informed on all aspects of our deals. The legal advice and support we have received from Christine and her team over the years has been invaluable. I would highly recommend Christine to anyone who is working in the aviation industry.’
‘Christine O’Donovan is extremely reliable and performs even better in a storm.’
Airbus Financial Services and affiliates including ATR
Bpifrance (French Export Credit Agency)
Euler Hermes (German Export Credit Agency)
Export Development Canada
US EXIM – Export Import Bank of the USA
J.A. Mitsui (Japan)
KV Aviation Group (UK & Australia)
SACE (Italian Export Credit Agency)
SMBC Aviation Capital
Willis Lease Finance Corporation
UK Export Finance
- Advised on a $1.8bn revolving credit facility.
- Advised on a $336.7m ABS transaction involving a pool of 29 aircraft engines and one airframe.
- Advised on a three-aircraft financing to Air Austral SA.
Walkers operates a well-established team in Dublin, which includes three partners, as part of its wider global practice that offers both onshore and offshore expertise. The Dublin team has achieved growth in deals involving investment funds, including joint ventures with industry players for investments in aircraft and establishing leasing platforms. The group has also worked on a series of headline refinancings and restructurings involving airlines and other aviation sector players. Killian McSharry has been promoted to partner and Michael Caulfield to of counsel, further reinforcing the team’s senior ranks. Since publication, David McGovern left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Killian McSharry; Matt Hedigan; Caitlín Friel; Michael Caulfield
‘I value the efficiencies resulting from the connection between Walkers’ Asset Finance Team and their corporate services provider, Walkers Professional Services. It means we can run our transactions and corporate authorisation process in a smooth fashion.’
‘Solid team, very thorough.’
‘Walkers’ asset finance team have good strength in depth, are extremely responsive and helpful. They have a great knowledge of the market and understand how to meet a client’s objectives.’
‘The team in Dublin has ample experience as local counsel on cross-border aviation finance transactions. All team members are approachable and constructive.’
‘Killian McSharry is a solid partner in the Asset Finance Team and manages our corporate authorisations and corporate governance in an efficient manner.’
‘Michael Caulfield is very experienced and committed. Cooperation with him is very pleasant.’
‘Killian McSharry is extremely able. He has a great knowledge of the law, combined with ability to deliver required results fast.’
Airborne Capital Limited
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
China Minsheng Investment Group
Lease Corporation International
M&G Investments Limited
Och-Ziff Capital Management
Seraph Aviation Management Limited
SMBC Aviation Capital
- Acted as Irish and Cayman counsel in connection with the establishment of a $4bn leasing platform by PIMCO and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
- Acted as lead counsel for LCI on the establishment of a joint venture helicopter leasing business with Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited; the vehicle launched an initial acquisition of 19 next generation helicopters with a value of $230m.
- Acted as Irish and Cayman counsel for Bank of China, BoComm and EMP in connection with the $1.6bn recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic.