Asset finance in Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody specialises in aviation finance and is highly experienced in asset-backed securitisation (ABS) transactions. The team's broad client base includes airlines, aircraft manufacturers and lessors, and investment banks, as well as a growing number of Chinese investors. Catherine Duffy leads the team, and Seamus Ó’Cróinín , who regularly advises private equity investors on establishing aviation leasing platforms in Ireland; Marie O’Brien, who specialises in transportation finance involving a wide range of asset classes; Maireadh Dale, who has experience in international finance; and David Berkery, who has a particular focus on ABS transactions and private placements, are other key figures. The team also draws on support from the firm's New York office.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Duffy

Testimonials

A&L Goodbody is one of the leading, if not the leading, law firm in Ireland, boasting the deepest bench of asset finance lawyers.

Catherine Duffy is one of most respected Irish finance lawyers with broad experience across all types of transactions, including securitisations and leasing transactions.

David Berkery is a rising star in Dublin.

Key clients

Gecas

PK AirFinance

Milestone Aviation Group

ING Capital LLC

Sichuan Development Holding

Wings Capital Partners

Merx Aviation Finance

ICBC Financing Leasing Company

Waypoint Leasing

Macquarie Aircraft Leasing

China Aircraft Leasing Company

Minsheng Financial Leasing

AVIC International Leasing Company

Aergo Capital

ASL Aviation

Aero Capital Solutions

Chorus Aviation Capital

Airbus

Aircastle

MC Aviation Partners

AerGen

Merlin Aviation

Ping An

Och-Ziff Capital Management / Lunar Aircraft Trading

Virgo Investment Group / Zephyrus Aviation Capital

Asahi Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advised Zephyrus Capital Aviation Partners 2018-1 Ltd on an ABS transaction for the acquisition of a portfolio of 21 mid-life aircraft from Avolon.
  • Acted for Vx Capital Partners with Vx Cargo 2018-1 Trust as borrower and Vx Cargo 2018-1 International Ltd, Vx Cargo 2018-1 US Ltd and Vx Cargo 2018-1 Ireland Ltd as issuers on the launch of the first all-cargo aircraft ABS.
  • Advised Gecas as seller and Start II Ltd as issuer on an ABS structure for the acquisition of a portfolio of 20 mid-life aircraft.

McCann FitzGerald

'Industry veteran' Catherine Deane leads the team at McCann FitzGerald, which has extensive experience of aviation finance. The practice advises on the establishment of aviation platforms in Ireland, aircraft portfolio sales and acquisitions, aircraft portfolio securitisations, leasing transactions, and M&A and joint ventures in the aviation sector. The team, which is also supported by the firm's New York office, includes Hilary Marren, who has particular expertise in cross-border asset financing and large-scale aviation M&A transactions; the 'commercial and astute' Georgina O’Riordan; and Joe Fay, who regularly advises foreign and domestic aircraft owners and lessors on registration in Ireland. 'Technically accomplished' associate Shauna Maguire has significant experience advising on the sale, purchase or leasing of aircraft, and joined Norton Rose Fulbright in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Deane; Joe Fay; Hilary Marren; Georgina O’Riordan

Testimonials

The asset finance team has great depth with a number of very experienced partners. The associates are well trained and the work output is consistently of an excellent standard. McCann FitzGerald often acts as lead transaction counsel as well as local counsel on deals so the breadth of experience is second to none in the Irish market.

Catherine Deane is an industry veteran who is an insightful and pragmatic lawyer.

Georgina O’Riordan is commercial and astute.’

Up-and-coming associates include Laura Deignan, Shauna Maguire, Ian Payne and Eoghan O’Sullivan.

The team combines outstanding technical prowess with great market knowledge and a user-friendly, can-do attitude. They have real strength in depth. The partners are very hands on and have a superb team of associates. I can’t fault them; the whole team is a pleasure to work with!

Georgina O’Riordan is a fantastic lawyer. She has a keen sense of what the client needs and never loses sight of the broader deal. She is technically accomplished and incredibly user friendly, handling even the most challenging transactions with a smile and humour.

Catherine Deane is a real star performer: a go-to lawyer for the most innovative, complex and challenging transactions in the sector and a great negotiator who understands her client’s needs and addresses them with technical rigour.

Senior associate Ian Payne is a star of the future. He combines excellent technical skills with a strong commercial awareness and a pragmatic approach.

Shauna Maguire is an associate to watch. A technically accomplished lawyer, she exhibits commercial judgement in excess of her years. She’s more than a match for many partners!

They have considerable depth and great aviation experience.

Great client service.

Unrivalled knowledge of the Irish leasing market, highly responsive, rigorous attention to detail.

They are a very skilled and reliable partner in transactions.

Joe Fay and Richard Gill (New York) are very pleasant persons to deal with. They are long-trusted partners and always provide solid and quick advice.

I would highly recommend the McCann FitzGerald team for their expert, client-focused service, which always seeks to complement our aircraft leasing in-house capabilities, supporting on the Irish law aspects in a fuss-free, friendly and efficient manner.

The team led by Joe Fay and Richard Gill are extremely efficient, knowledgeable and courteous. They attend to our Irish law advice needs without any fuss, and in a manner that allows us to execute our transactions smoothly.’

Unparalleled team in terms of strength and depth. The solicitors and associates are all very strong for their level of qualification. The partners are technically excellent and also possess strong commercial acumen and industry knowledge, as well as an understanding of us as a client and our goals. All of this makes for much more effective and tailored advice.

Joe Fay is a superb lawyer. He is technically outstanding yet commercially minded and sensible in his approach to legal issues. One of the best we have worked with.’

Hilary Marren is a very strong lawyer. She has an in-depth understanding of the industry and is very commercially aware of her client’s goals. Very responsive and never misses a deadline.

Key clients

Accipiter Holdings DAC

AerCap

AerDragon Aviation Partners Limited

AerSale Inc

Airbus Group Bank

Aircastle Advisor LLC

Altavair/Guggenheim

Altitude Investors DAC

Asia Aviation Capital

ASL Aviation

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi

BBAM Aviation Services Limited

BOC Aviation Leasing

Calliston GmbH & Co. Beteiligungs KG

Challey Limited

CIAF Leasing

COPA Airlines S.A.

CRA Aircraft Holdings LLC

Credit Agricole

Delaware Life Insurance Company

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

Fexco

Fly Leasing Limited

FPG Amentum

Genesis Aircraft Services Limited

Germania Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH

GTLK Europe DAC

Guardian Holdings Limited

Haitong Financial Leasing

Haitong UniTrust International Leasing

KKR Altitude Holdings L.P.

KLM

Magnetar Capital

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

Rockton AB

SAIC Holdings Limited

SAS

SATO Aviation Capital

Security Benefits Life Insurance Company

Sierra Echo Aircraft Leasing Limited

Sirius Aviation Finance Company Limited

Sky Aviation Leasing International Limited

Skyco (Ireland) Financial Leasing Company

Skyworks Leasing (Ireland) Limited

SMBC Aviation Capital

ST Aerospace Resources Pte. Ltd

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

The Toronto Dominion Bank

Trustmark National Bank

Viva Aerobus

Vueling Airlines, S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Orix on the Irish aspects of its acquisition of a 30% share in Avolon Holdings.
  • Acting for Genesis Aircraft Services on the acquisition of a portfolio of 29 aircraft on lease to airlines in 23 jurisdictions.
  • Advising Skyworks Capital on the establishment of an aviation leasing platform in Ireland.

Arthur Cox

Arthur Cox's team expanded significantly in January 2019 with the arrival of practice co-chair Rob Murphy, who was previously COO and general counsel at CBD Aviation, and the 'fantastic' Laura Cunningham, who joined from Milbank's London office. The team predominantly acts for lessors in the aviation sector - and has been particularly active advising Chinese aircraft leasing companies on the establishment and operation of Irish leasing platforms - but also counts major financial institutions and airlines among its clients. 'Excellent' practice co-chair Caroline Devlin draws on her extensive taxation expertise in aviation transactions.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Devlin; Rob Murphy

Testimonials

They have a great expertise in tax, corporate and finance which makes them very agile in assisting us with structuring transactions.

Caroline Devlin is an excellent professional. She has a strong cross-border expertise which makes her and her team the best entry point to organise a cross-border legal and tax team for our joint clients’ interests.

Arthur Cox is best for all technical and transverse matters.

Full commitment, excellent expertise, strong availability.

Extremely responsive. This team also takes a very practical and user-friendly approach.

Caroline Devlin is very pleasant to work with. She is practical and helps solve issues. She and her team are very responsive.

Laura Cunningham and the team have done a great job on a difficult transaction with us this year, and have shown strength and flexibilty at all times.

Laura Cunningham is a fantastic lawyer. She commits herself to any given deal and works tirelessly until the transaction is brought to a successful close.

Laura Cunningham is very knowledgeable and capable.

Highly responsive and flexible. Adaptive to Asian clients’ needs from different time zones.

Caroline Devlin is an amazing lawyer and most pleasant to work with.

Key clients

Abbey International Finance Limited

Aer Lingus

Aviator

Bank of Communications

China Construction Bank (CCB)

China Merchant Bank

DAA

British Airways

GA Telesis LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Waypoint Steering Committee on the Irish law aspects of a Chapter 11 process for an Irish helicopter leasing platform.
  • Advised HSBC on the Irish aspects of the Spicejet sale-and-leaseback of four Boeing aircraft.
  • Acted for China Construction Bank on the update of a medium-term note programme listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Maples Group

With offices in London, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands, among other locations, Maples Group has extensive experience advising on international aviation finance transactions. The team is particularly strong in large ABS transactions and has also been active recently in advising on the establishment of funds for the holding and leasing of aircraft portfolios. The team also handles portfolio acquisitions and disposals, leasing transactions and aviation sector M&A for a wide range of financial institutions, investors, lessors and airlines. London-based Donna Ager leads the team, while recently promoted partner Mary O’Neill has advised on several large portfolio deals. Aaron McGarry left the firm to establish his own practice.

Practice head(s):

Donna Ager

Key clients

Accipiter

Aeroflot

AirAsia

Avolon

BOC Aviation

DAE

Falko

Fortress

Guggenheim Investments

Goshawk

ICBC

Infinity Transportation

Investec Bank

HSH Nordbank

Marathon Asset Management

Natixis

Novus Aviation Capital

Société Générale

Sky Voyager

Volga-Dnepr

Voyager Aviation

Wilmington Trust Co

Work highlights

  • Advised SMBC Aviation Capital on the establishment of a Cayman Islands fund and Irish leasing platform invested into by multiple Japanese investors.
  • Advised Avolon and the issuer group on the Irish and Cayman law aspects of an ABS transaction comprising of three tranches of Rule 144A/Reg S issued notes, along with E notes and S certificates, secured on a portfolio of 41 aircraft.
  • Acted as Irish and Cayman counsel to DVB and KKR in respect of an ABS transaction which comprised of three tranches of Rule 144A/Reg S issued notes, along with an E note, secured on a portfolio of 36 aircraft.

Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

'A front runner in aviation finance', Mason Hayes & Curran LLP acts for a broad domestic and international client base including banks, export credit agencies, aircraft lessors and manufacturers, and major commercial airlines. The team advises on funding and financing, including ABS transactions; trading, including aircraft portfolio acquisitions and disposals; leasing; and corporate lending in the aviation sector. Practice head Christine O’Donovan has particular expertise in large-scale equipment, aircraft and engines, and cross-border leasing. The team's partnership ranks were recently bolstered by the transfer of Barry Walsh from the financial services practice.

Practice head(s):

Christine O’Donovan

Testimonials

The team have the necessary expertise and experience in the aircraft finance field. They are very responsive and consistently meet the required time-frames. Their responsiveness and breadth of experience are the key strengths.

Christine O’Donovan always provides first-class advice and transaction support. They have an in-depth knowledge of the law and procedures, provide succinct and to-the-point advice in a client-friendly manner, and are both a pleasure to deal with.

A front runner in aviation finance, the team at Mason Hayes & Curran consistently offers a high standard of service in a very approachable and responsive manner.

Christine O’Donovan has a unique ability to understand a client’s needs, sometimes even before they do! Christine has extensive expertise on the Cape Town Convention and its operation.

Joe Maxwell is very personable and an able associate who responds to clients with an efficient and professional approach.

The team are hugely responsive and will drop everything if something is urgent. They are extremely commercial and can assess a legal consideration from multiple angles.

Christine O’Donovan is the most responsive partner in any law firm I have ever come across and she has dealt with every scenario that we have faced in our business. No matter what she has on her plate, she is always available to us. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Key clients

Airbus Financial Services (and affiliates including ATR)

Airbus Helicopters

Bpifrance

Euler Hermes

Export Development Canada

Export-Import Bank of the United States

J.A. Mitsui

KV Aviation Group

Montrose Global Aircraft Leasing Limited

SACE

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

UK Export Finance

Vallair Solutions SARL

Work highlights

  • Advising CityJet DAC on three separate sale-and-leaseback transactions involving eight aircraft.
  • Advising Export Development Canada on the secured financing of three aircraft to Chorus Aviation group entities of Canada and leases to Philippine Airlines.
  • Acting as Irish counsel to Willis Lease Finance Corporation on a West IV Engines (Ireland) securitisation.

Matheson

Matheson has particular expertise in aviation finance, but also advises on shipping, rail, agricultural equipment and commercial vehicle assets. The team's experience covers high-profile portfolio financings and refinancings, leasing transactions, aviation sector M&A, and the use of aircraft trusts, with clients including major aircraft leasing companies, airlines, export credit agencies and investment banks. The 'proactive and responsive' Rory McPhillips jointly heads the team with Stuart Kennedy, who has significant experience in structured finance and ABS transactions. Recently promoted partner Yvonne McWeeney is noted for her advice on the Cape Town Convention. The team also draws on the firm's expertise in aviation taxation.

Practice head(s):

Rory McPhillips; Stuart Kennedy

Testimonials

Rory McPhillips is highly responsive and provides commercially savvy advice.

Matheson provides timely and excellent consultation. It is our go-to firm for complex transactions involving our Irish subsidiaries.

They stand out for their industry knowledge and experience, ability to deliver high-quality services within tight deadlines, and responsiveness to the client’s needs and timelines.

Rory McPhillips is extremely professional, proactive and responsive, and ensures delivery of high-quality services within short timescales.

Very approachable and clear with instruction. In the Irish market with respect to advice on loan agency roles, we would consider them our preferred choice.

Rory McPhillips certainly stands out for his knowledge, commerciality and ability to be responsive to issues as they develop throughout a transaction.’

The team takes time to understand our business and gives valuable, tailored, proactive advice and insight into Irish legal and regulatory matters, which is invaluable when operating in Ireland from the UK. Solid and dependable delivery of advice.

Key clients

Aviareto Limited

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

Norwegian Air International Limited

Export Development Canada

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Kestrel Aircraft Funding as the issuer and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) on DAE’s 18-aircraft ABS.
  • Assisted CDB Aviation Lease Finance Designated Activity Company with the Irish law aspects of its first US dollar bond offering in 2018 and its first-ever US dollar floating rate offering.
  • Acted for Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company and Natixis on Vietjet’s inaugural Japanese operating lease with call option financing transaction utilising its Irish incorporated aircraft financing and leasing platform for two new Airbus aircraft.

Walkers

Thanks to its global network of offices, Walkers regularly handles multi-jurisdictional transactions with Cayman, BVI and Bermudian aspects. The team is experienced in advising on aircraft leasing, including the establishment of leasing platforms; the financing and refinancing of portfolios; mergers and insolvencies in the aviation sector; and financing from non-traditional routes, such as from Korean investors, where practice head David McGovern has a particular specialism. Of counsel Killian McSharry has experience in aircraft finance and leasing across the US, European and Asian markets. Following the retirement of Ken Rush, the team's senior ranks were strengthened by the transfer of Matt Hedigan from the finance and capital markets practice.

Practice head(s):

David McGovern

Testimonials

The team provides an almost unique coverage of the Irish and certain offshore jurisdictions such as Bermuda and is able to provide an integrated service across these jurisdictions.

David McGovern and his team are very responsive and friendly (also when sitting across the table), but at the same time to the point.

Key clients

Airborne Capital Limited

CIT Bank

Druid Leasing

LetterOne Treasury

GTLK Europe

Sberbank Leasing

Seraph Aviation Management Limited

Stratos

Accipiter Aviation

ACG

ALC

Carlyle Aviation (formerly Apollo)

AWAS/DAE

Banco Santander

Castlelake, L.P

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

CALC

CDB Leasing

China Minsheng Investment Group

Citi Bank

Crédit Agricole

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goshawk Aviation

ICBC Leasing

Investec Bank

Jackson Square

MCAP

Natixis

Nord LB

Orix

Och-Ziff Capital Management

Standard Chartered

SMBC Aviation Capital

Wells Fargo

Lease Corporation International

Work highlights

  • Acting as Irish counsel to Goshawk Aviation on a three-tranche ABS comprising a portfolio of 18 aircraft.
  • Acting as Irish and Cayman legal adviser to Stobart Aviation on the joint venture between Stobart Aviation, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Cyrus Capital Partners and its acquisition of FlyBe.
  • Acting as Irish and Cayman counsel to BNP Paribas on secured debt and equity financing involving Global Aviation Equipment Leasing Fund, a closed-end fund established by SMBC Aviation Capital for the purposes of the acquisition of a portfolio of up to ten aircraft from SMBC Aviation Capital

William Fry

William Fry's 'experienced' team regularly advises on portfolio securitisations, syndicated financing, portfolio sales and acquisitions, establishing aircraft leasing platforms, leasing structures and aviation sector joint ventures, with strength in cross-border asset financing. Clients include international and domestic aircraft leasing companies and banks, and 'extremely knowledgeable' practice head David Maughan has extensive experience advising financial institutions in the aviation sector on the refinancing of Chinese lessor portfolios. The 'excellent' Mary Ward is also a key contact. In addition, the firm offers corporate administration services to aircraft leasing operations in Ireland.

Practice head(s):

David Maughan

Testimonials

The team (in particular, Mary Ward) is very helpful and ready to assist. It is very experienced and has the drive and eagerness to help which is always appreciated.

Mary Ward is an excellent partner and knows her points well. She is able to give legal yet commercially sound advice.

Very responsive with up-to-date knowledge of their practice area. William Fry go the extra mile to get the deal across the line.

David Maughan is extremely knowledgeable and always has a practical solution to problems encountered.

Mary Ward provides helpful and timely responses around the clock.

Very experienced personnel, who pay close attention to the details of transactions. Personal service and extremely quick response times. Always willing to go above and beyond.’

Mary Ward is a delight to work with. She is dedicated, knowledgeable and accessible even during ASEAN time zones.

Strong commercial advice’

David Maughan provides excellent commercial advice.

Mary Ward is very knowledgeable and has great attention to detail.

Key clients

Avation PLC

Bank of Communications Co., Ltd.

Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

DVB Bank SE Singapore Branch

European Central Bank

Ferrovial

Goshawk Aviation Limited

Hines Ireland

HSBC

International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A.

Investec Bank plc

ING Bank

Kennedy Wilson

KfW Bank

Natixis

Ping An International Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Santander Corporate & Investment Banking

Société Générale

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited

The Development Bank of Japan

The Korea Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Goshawk Aviation and its Irish subsidiaries on the acquisition of a portfolio of aircraft.
  • Advised Goshawk Aviation and its Irish subsidiary on the leasing of four aircraft to a South East Asia-based airline.
  • Acted for DVB Bank SE Singapore Branch as lead arranger on the financing of the acquisition of a portfolio of aircraft by Avic International and its Irish subsidiaries.