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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Transport finance & leasing > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Transport finance & leasing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

'One of the go-to-firms in the market for handling big-ticket asset finance mandates', Allen & Overy LLP's five-partner team has expertise across the gamut of transportation assets. The practice is, however, best known for its expertise within the aviation space, where it is well placed to handle the most sophisticated mandates in the market by virtue of its ability to leverage its strong capital markets and structured finance expertise, as well as a wide-ranging international network. Global head of aviation finance, the 'very bright' Paul Nelson is regularly involved in innovative and complex deals, including his recent work for UKEF and ING Bank on the Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) financing of a Boeing 737 aircraft for Avianca; notably, this was the first UK Export Finance-backed JOLCO financing for a Latin American carrier. Harry Upcott has strong ties with many operating lessors and has recently been very active advising on several big-ticket portfolio transactions. Outside of the aviation sector, Kevin Young has a strong pedigree within the shipping sector and has recently advised numerous different funds on the acquisition of shipping portfolio loans. The 'responsive and knowledgeable' Mario Jacovides heads up the overarching global structured and asset finance group, which also includes Jonathan Bevan, who has 'vast rail experience'.

Practice head(s):Mario Jacovides

Other key lawyers:Paul Nelson; Harry Upcott; Kevin Young; Jonathan Bevan; Linda Roxburgh; Chris Mitchell

Testimonials

'The team has the ability to think laterally and with a commercial perspective, offering alternative solutions to issues'.

'Harry Upcott is one of the best out there in terms of knowledge, commercial mindedness and client engagement'.

Key Clients

Falko

Avolon

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE)

The AFIC Insurance Group

IAG Group Airlines (BA, Iberia, Vueling)

Etihad

Oak Hill Advisors

Värde Partners

Excelerate Energy

Vroon Group

Natixis

Investec

ING Bank

BNP Paribas

Citi

SMBC

SACE

Unicredit

Work highlights

  • Advised Falko on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 49 aircraft from Avolon, and which are on lease to nine airlines worldwide.
  • Advised the lenders on a $700m facility relating to the financing or refinancing of a portfolio of up to 19 aircraft for CDB Aviation Funding 2018 Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDB Aviation Lease Finance Designated Activity Company.
  • Advised the AFIC Insurance Group on the French tax lease financing of a Boeing787-9 and Boeing 737-8 aircraft to Royal Air Maroc.
  • Advised Citibank as senior lender and arranger in respect of a securitisation of a pool of shipping loans originated by Amsterdam Trade Bank.
  • Advised Investec Bank on the JOLCO financing of one new Boeing 787-9 aircraft for El Al Israel Airlines. This was the first JOLCO financing in Israel and for El Al Israel Airlines.

Led by William Glaister, Clifford Chance LLP's five-partner team is best known for its 'absolutely superb' aviation finance offering, where it acts for an eclectic roster of clients, including lessors, banks, funds, export credit agencies, manufacturers and operators. 'A go-to-firm for implementing novel structuring ideas', the team remains at the cutting edge of developments in the industry, and, aided by a vast global platform, it is well-suited to the cross-border nature of many of the biggest-ticket mandates in the space. Ranbir Hunjan has advised lenders and arrangers in connection with numerous complex financings of commercial aircraft, including advising on the establishment of Airborne Capital, a new aviation leasing platform. The 'excellent' Oliver Hipperson is well versed at handling financings across both the aviation and shipping/offshore sectors, including his recent work for Maersk Drilling on the $1.55bn financing of 20 offshore drilling rigs by an Export Credit Agency (ECA)-backed term loan and revolving credit facility. Paul Carrington is recommended for his rail finance work, while senior associate Richard Evans is 'incredibly knowledgeable' in the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):William Glaister

Other key lawyers:Ranbir Hunjan; Paul Carrington; Oliver Hipperson; Antony Single; Chris Hardisty; Dominic Watts; Pete Buckley; Richard Evans

Testimonials

'A leader for aviation finance work, the firm has a large and very strong team across many jurisdictions'.

'The very knowledgeable William Glaister gets the deals done and has an almost "godlike" status in the industry'.

'Antony Single is pragmatic and solutions orientated'.

Key Clients

GE Capital Aviation Services

Investec

SMBC Aviation Capital

Deutsche Bank

Avolon

Maersk

HSBC

Goshawk Aviation Limited

Rock Rail

ING Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Investec Bank on the transfer of a portion of its loan under a $150m warehouse facility for Nordic Aviation Capital relating to the financing of certain aircraft.
  • Advised Amedeo Capital on the acquisition of the US management subsidiary of Intrepid Aviation Holdings Group and the acquisition by Amedeo of a minority investment in Intrepid; and the acquisition by Centerbridge Partners and Reservoir Capital Group of a minority stake in Amedeo.
  • Advised Voyager Aviation Management Ireland DAC on the sale of a portfolio of eight aircraft to Castlelake, on lease to six different airlines.
  • Advised CDB Aviation on a secured portfolio financing facility for $700m, covering a fleet of 19 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
  • Advised Rock Rail Holdings in connection with the purchase, leasing and debt financing of specific rolling stock units to support the winning operator of the East Midlands and West Coast franchise (including reviewing and commenting on bid documents provided as part of the tender process).

Benefiting from an 'unquestionably deep sector knowledge, coupled with a down-to-earth and practical approach',¬†Norton Rose Fulbright's 11-partner team has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume and range of mandates across all transportation asset classes. Aided by offices in key strategic locations, including Singapore and Greece, the firm remains a 'powerhouse'¬†in the maritime sector, where the 'brilliant'¬†Simon Hartley¬†has an excellent practice; particularly within the cruise ship space (for both owners and lenders) as exemplified by his recent work for Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale on the ‚ā¨2.6bn French ECA-supported receivable purchase and post-delivery financings to acquire three cruise vessels for MSC Cruises. Team head¬†Harry Theochari¬†has vast knowledge and experience of financings within the maritime sector (he has been particularly focused of late on acting for new fund entrants into the market), and¬†Eleanor Martin¬†excels at work in the offshore sector.¬†Duncan Batchelor¬†and¬†Simon Chamberlain¬†are two of the primary practitioners within the aviation finance sub-group, which is noted for its 'business-oriented approach and knowledge of market standards'. On the rail front,¬†Tom Johnson¬†is a 'very¬†fine practitioner' whose broad client base encompasses train operating companies, government entities, financiers and rolling stock owning companies, while the team recently secure a major boost with the hire of¬†highly rated rail finance specialist Simon Gwynne¬†from Hogan Lovells International LLP. At an associate level,¬†Will Alete¬†and the 'business-oriented'¬†James Collins¬†are particularly noteworthy.

Practice head(s):Harry Theochari

Other key lawyers:Simon Hartley; Duncan Batchelor; Simon Chamberlain; Giles Brand; Emma Giddins; Tom Johnson; Simon Gwynne; Simon Lew; Eleanor Martin; Will Alete; James Collins

Testimonials

'All members of the team work across jurisdictions and in different time zones; their availability for transactions is really commendable'.

'The experienced and qualified team has unique skills and approach in relation to handling aircraft leasing transactions'.

'The experienced Simon Chamberlain and Will Alete are safe pairs of hands'.

'James Collins is extremely hands-on and a strong negotiator'.

Key Clients

Amedeo + Voyager Aviation (formerly Intrepid)

Gener8 Maritime

ABN AMRO Bank

Citigroup

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

DNB Bank

DVB/DZ Bank

easyJet

Global Ship Lease

InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo)

JP Morgan

LATAM Airlines

Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT

Macquarie

NORD/LB

P&O Ferries

Qatar Reinsurance

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)

Stadler Rail Management

Société Générale

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

UniCredit

Volga Dnepr Airlines (Ireland)

WOW air

Work highlights

  • Advised Volga Dnepr Group on the first ACG-guaranteed financing of a new Boeing 747-8F cargo aircraft.
  • Advised DVB Bank and DZ Bank on the €5.6bn sale of its aviation finance group to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the €1.4bn sale and transfer of DVB’s land transportation business to Helaba.
  • Advised easyJet on the sale and leaseback by easyJet of ten of its Airbus A319 aircraft with Willis Lease Finance Corporation.
  • Advised SAS on the financing of 28 aircraft through a JOLCO financing arrangement.
  • Advised Citigroup and other lenders on a $2.2bn restructuring of Danaos Corp.

Led by the 'high-calibre' James Cameron and Nick Swinburne, Milbank's 'very impressive' two-partner team excels in handling highly structured aviation finance and leasing transactions, where it can add value through its ability to draw upon the firm's strong UK and US capital markets capability, as well as complementary practice areas including tax, finance and M&A. In a complex matter which involved JOLCO equity, the team advised Citibank, as arranger, on British Airways' $608.5m Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate (EETC). Aircraft trading projects and portfolio acquisitions/dispositions also remain a real strength of the firm, where as well as partner involvement it is also able to call upon a 'very capable and high performing team of associates'. Although the team is undoubtedly best known for its aviation sector strength it also continues to develop a burgeoning presence in the shipping sector, particularly in relation to capital markets mandates and portfolio acquisitions. Associate Jonathan Cripps is noted for his ship finance expertise and is a key member of the team, which also includes 'highly commendable' special counsel Richard Walton, who is recognised for his ability to handle complex, structured financing transactions, including the growing non-US EETC market.

Practice head(s):James Cameron; Nick Swinburne

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Cripps; Richard Walton; Ben Andrews; Mark Leverkus

Testimonials

'The team is very impressive'.

'The associate bench is consistently high performing which means that there is no "hit and miss" when it comes to day-to-day work'.

'James Cameron is an excellent lawyer to have on your side'.

'James Cameron is commercial and pragmatic; he cuts to the chase and is able to identify and focus on key risks in a transaction'.

'Ben Andrews is very good at transaction management and client communication'.

'Mark Leverkus is commercially minded and understands what is important to the client and what is not'.

Key Clients

Aercap

AirAsia

Altavair AirFinance

Avolon

BBAM

BNPP

BOC Aviation

CDB Leasing

Centerbridge

Citibank

CMIG

Deutsche Bank

Development Bank of Japan

Doric Asset Finance

DVB

Goldman Sachs

Goshawk

Highbridge

Investec

NCB Capital

KfW

KKR

Macquarie Bank

Mizuho

Natixis

Novus

Oaktree

Shawbrook International

SMBC

TerraFirma

TrueNoord

TUI Travel Plc

Vantage Drilling International

Vueling

Work highlights

  • Advised specialist investors Investec and Shawbrook Bank on their acquisition of a diverse portfolio of loans and finance leases held by Royal Bank of Scotland’s Lombard Finance subsidiary, which included a number of vessel financings.
  • Advised Altavair AirFinance, a leader in commercial aviation finance, on its agreement to form a long-term partnership with leading global investment firm KKR.
  • Represented Vantage Drilling International, an international offshore drilling company, in connection with its $350m offering of senior secured first lien notes.
  • Advised leading commercial aircraft lessor Goshawk Aviation on its acquisition of Sky Leasing’s Irish subsidiary, adding 51 aircraft to Goshawk’s fleet.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs in connection with the financing for Cerberus Capital Management's acquisition of Subsea Communications.

Stephenson Harwood's 13-partner team has the strength-in-depth to provide a 'pragmatic and commercial service' to a broad range of stakeholders in the shipping and rail sectors. The 'vastly experienced' Mark Russell, 'very talented' Ian Mace and 'reliable and capable' Jonathan Ward are key practitioners in the maritime space (with Ward particularly strong on new money deals and restructurings with a Chinese nexus). Following a spate of major restructurings, new money finance deals have started to become more prominent again in the shipping market; the firm has picked up its fair share of these, including Mace's recent work for shipping company Team Tankers International on a $220m senior secured credit facility. The 'responsive' Richard Parsons leads on the aviation front and has a strong following among banks and operating lessors. As well as her general leasing expertise, the 'super experienced' Lisa Marks also assists on rail finance matters.

Practice head(s):Ian Mace; Richard Parsons; Graeme McLellan; Lisa Marks

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Ward; Mark Russell; Dean Norton; Neil Noble; Dora Mace-Kokota; Sheila Obhrai

Testimonials

'The firm has strong technical skills and market knowledge'.

'The team provides pragmatic and commercial solutions'.

'The team is very efficient in managing structured finance work in terms of time, cost and ability to manage the process commercially'.

'Jonathan Ward is astute and technically very strong'.

'Ian Mace is very talented'.

'Lisa Marks is a super experienced, highly personable, commercial and pragmatic lawyer who will seek to find practical solutions to thorny challenges'.

'Neil Noble is technically brilliant but, equally, is pragmatic and commercial and a wonderfully personable lawyer'.

Key Clients

ABN AMRO Bank

Alliance Laundry Finance

Altavair

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

DNB Bank

Lloyds Bank

Macquarie

Rock Infrastructure

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Investec Asset Finance Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising the sponsors, SMBC/Equitix, on the financing of one of the largest operator-led rolling stock transactions in 2018, new trains on the Wales and Borders franchise.
  • Advised Gulf Air on the sale and leaseback with SMBC Aviation Capital of six new Airbus A320-251N aircraft.
  • Advised Team Tankers International Ltd (TTIL) regarding a $220m senior secured facilities agreement entered between TTIL as guarantor, TTIL's subsidiaries as borrowers and ABN AMRO Bank as bookrunner and facility agent.
  • Advised Maritime Asset Partners regarding a sale and leaseback transaction for six Aframax tankers with Teekay Tankers.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders, including ABN Amro, in relation to the restructuring of multiple loan facilities for the Augustea group.

Benefiting from a 'substantial¬†knowledge of the market and law',¬†Watson Farley & Williams LLP¬†consistently demonstrates a 'deep level of understanding across a broad range of marine¬†transactions' for financiers, shipowners and operators. With 14 partners handling ship financing matters out of London and also able to leverage a substantial international offering -¬† with practitioners in situ in key shipping locations including Athens, Singapore and Hamburg - the team has the strength-in-depth to handle the full array of traditional ship financing matters for banks. It also acts for a growing cadre of alternative finance providers (including private equity funds, pension and insurance companies), which are increasingly active in the space. Recognised as the 'best in her area',¬†Lindsey Keeble¬†'really stands up for her clients', and has particular expertise in the cruise and liquified natural gas (LNG) sectors; she recently advised longstanding client MSC Cruises on a ‚ā¨2.5bn ECA-supported financing package for three new vessels. 'Very smart, dependable and¬†hardworking'¬†senior associate¬†Richard Smith¬†is gaining a strong reputation and was a key member of the firm's work for¬†Cerberus on its purchase of a portfolio of shipping and aviation loans from HSH Nordbank. On the aviation front, the team has undergone a significant degree of reorganisation following the departure of several partners, including former team head¬†Rex Rosales¬†in August 2018 to¬†Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, and is now headed by the 'exceptional'¬†Jim Bell¬†following his arrival from¬†Bird & Bird LLP¬†in October 2018. Bell is particularly noted for his debt capital markets expertise and his strong ties with numerous Dublin-based lessors.

Practice head(s):Richard Dibble; Lindsey Keeble; Jim Bell

Other key lawyers:Frank Dunne; Nigel Thomas; David Osborne; Kavita Shah; Frank Dunne; Louise Mor; Richard Smith

Testimonials

'The department has a large team of lawyers and is always able to adequately resource deals'.

'The team provides a pragmatic and business-oriented approach'.

'The partners have a strong understanding of a client's modus operandi and are adept at ensuring that the advice given is appropriate and commercial'.

Key Clients

Airbus (and Airbus Bank)

Avolon

Cerberus European Capital Advisers

Citibank Group

Credit Agricole

DVB Bank

Ermewa

FlyBe

HSBC Bank

Investec

Macquarie Bank

MSC Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Cerberus on its purchase of a portfolio of shipping and aviation loans from HSH Nordbank.
  • Advising SDH Wings on the purchase, leasing and financing of 16 aircraft.
  • Advising long-standing client MSC Cruises on a €2.5bn financing package for three new vessels, MSC World Class 1 and 2, and their fifth Meraviglia Class of ships, Vista 5.
  • Advising Citibank and Nordea on the transfer and amendment of two loans originally made to Gener8 Maritime, as necessitated by its $504m merger with Euronav.
  • Advising TUI Cruises in relation to its new Italian cruise ship order with Fincantieri for two new InTUItion class cruise ships to include ECA-related financing arrangements and commercial aspects.

Led by the 'very accomplished' Justin Benson, White & Case LLP's three-partner team's core focus remains within the aviation sector, where it effectively services a balanced mix of banks and lessors. Aided by practitioners in key jurisdictions, including the US (strategically important due to the prevalence of financing structures incorporating UK and US-law governed debt), Japan (of particular benefit in relation to the implementation of JOLCO structures) and Hong Kong/Beijing (key strategic outposts in light of the rise of the Chinese lessor market), the team excels in multi-jurisdictional mandates. In a deal which involved input from the firm's US and Asian offices, Benson recently acted for Vermillion in connection with a large-scale $950m secured financing for the refinancing of a portfolio of 40 aircraft. Adrian Beasley is also a very experienced practitioner on the aviation front and has particularly strong ties with numerous airlines.

Practice head(s):Justin Benson

Other key lawyers:Adrian Beasley; Andrew Harper; David Wright

Key Clients

Vermillion Aviation Holdings

Deutsche Bank

CDB Aviation Lease Finance

Thomas Cook Group

Bpifrance

Société Générale

MUFG

Euler Hermes

Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft

HSH Nordbank

UK Export Finance

United Arab Shipping Company

Sky Leasing

Work highlights

  • Advised Vermillion in connection with a large-scale, $950m secured financing for the refinancing of a portfolio of 40 aircraft.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank in the operating lessor JOLCO financing of a portfolio of 12 Embraer E190 aircraft leased by a leading regional aircraft lessor to an African airline, a Spanish airline and a Mexican airline.
  • Advising Thomas Cook on various leasing, financing and fleet management matters.

Although it is active in other asset classes, Dentons' five-partner practice is particularly accomplished at handling financings and leasing transactions for lessors, airlines, manufacturers and lenders in the aviation sector. An enviable roster of airlines, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, continue to provide a significant volume of instructions to the team, with the 'excellent' Serge Sergiou recently advising the former on its ECA-supported financings of two A380s - the first ECA financing for Airbus Aircraft since 2016. Nick Chandler heads the team, which also includes the 'vastly experienced' Greg Kahn and Sarah Dyke, who is 'very knowledgeable in the corporate jet sector'.

Practice head(s):Nick Chandler

Other key lawyers:Serge Sergiou; Paul Holland; Sarah Dyke; Lee McLernon; Stephen Temple

Testimonials

'The team is very responsive'.

'Sarah Dyke is very thorough and customer friendly'.

'Nick Chandler has a deep understanding and knowledge of the sector'.

Key Clients

Emirates

Qatar Airways

Goshawk Aviation

Azul Brazilian Airlines

Chorus Aviation

Airbourne Capital

ALAFCO Aviation Lease & Finance

Wizz Air

Virgin Atlantic

TUI

Orix

Air Nostrum

Work highlights

  • Acting for Airborne Capital in its co-investment arrangements with Letter 1 in a diversified portfolio of in-production narrow body and wide body commercial aircraft leased to airlines across the world.
  • Acted for Emirates in a number of recent deals, including the JOLCO financing of five Boeing 777 and the ECA-supported financing of two A380 aircraft.
  • Advising Azul Brazilian Airlines on the negotiation of the operating lease of 31 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft on lease to Azul from AerCap.
  • Advising Chorus Aviation on an aircraft warehouse facility and the portfolio acquisition of ten aircraft.
  • Acting for Virgin Atlantic on a secured syndicated revolving credit facility.

Led out of London by the 'very commercial' Graham Tyler and also benefiting from a presence in many key global jurisdictions, including the US and Asia, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP provides a 'knowledgeable and pragmatic service' across a range of complex aviation finance mandates. These include ECA-backed financing, EETCs, cross-border leasing and portfolio trading. Following on from his innovative work for Oaktree Capital on its acquisition of 18 aircraft from Investec, Tyler continues to act for the asset management firm on its acquisitions and financing of a new number of aircraft as it builds up a second portfolio. The 'practical and responsive' Debra Erni is noted for her 'wide range of experience with a number of market participants'. Erni is particularly active within the Asian lessor market, where she is distinctly tapped into Japanese participants by virtue of her 'in-depth knowledge of unique Japanese corporate culture and legal concepts'.

Practice head(s):Graham Tyler

Other key lawyers:Debra Erni; Rakhi Savjani; Chris Knight

Testimonials

'The team takes a practical and commercial approach; it avoids getting bogged down in legal debates which are not moving the transaction forward'.

'The team has such a breadth of knowledge, both in London but also globally, it makes cross-border transactions much easier and faster to navigate'.

'The friendly and pragmatic team is keen to help the deal close on time instead of meandering to a close'.

'Graham Tyler has years of experience - you feel confident that he is able to provide effective advice on whatever issues may come up on a deal'.

'Debra Erni is always eager to assist, takes time to listen, thinks of alternatives, has great experience, good contacts, and is patient with non-English speaking clients'.

'Chris Knight is very knowledgeable and is also commercially minded'.

'Rakhi Savjani is a confident and diligent lawyer who takes a considered and thoughtful approach, both in her work ethic and in client engagement'.

Key Clients

Accipiter Three

Air Lease Corporation

Arab Banking Corporation

BOT Lease Company

Deutsche Bank

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

DVB Bank

Emirates Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines

FALKO

HPS Investment Partners

Investec Bank Plc

Kuwait Airways

LATAM

Macquarie AirFinance

MC Aviation Partners

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company

Mitsubishi Corporation

Oaktree Capital

Sumisho Aero Engine Lease

Sky Leasing

TrueNoord

Vermillion Aviation

Work highlights

  • Continued to represent Oaktree Capital Management and World Star Aviation in respect of ongoing and new leasing and financing matters as they grow their portfolios.
  • Represented Dubai Aerospace Enterprise in its financing and leasing of two aircraft to flyadeal in Saudi Arabia.
  • Handled multiple leasing and financing deals for Emirates for new A380 and B777 aircraft.
  • Advised Ethiopian Airlines on two separate deals being the first JOLCO’s in Africa for new B787-9 aircraft.
  • Represented MC Aviation Partners in the transfer of a 35-aircraft portfolio.

Vedder Price continues to gain market visibility out of London; the firm is a compelling proposition for lessors, banks and airlines seeking advice across UK law-governed financing documentation as well as financings requiring a combined US/UK law financing structure (by virtue of the team's ability to leverage the market-leading expertise of its Chicago and New York offices). Although it still feeds off a steady pipeline of US originated work, the four-partner London team generates a large amount of its own work, with clients attracted to the strong pedigrees of partners including the 'superb' Gavin Hill and the 'up-and-coming' Dylan Potter.

Practice head(s):Derek Watson

Other key lawyers:Gavin Hill; Dylan Potter; Neil Poland; John Pearson; Natalie Chung

Key Clients

AAR Corp

Air Canada

AerCap

Airbus

Aircastle

Allocean Maritime Investments

Arab Banking Corporation

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Bank of America

Bank of China

BNP

Castlelake

Cathay United Bank

China Construction Bank

Citibank

Commerzbank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB)

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank (Development Bank of Singapore)

DekaBank

Doha Bank

DVB Bank

Export Development Canada

Global Jet Capital

Helaba (Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Gironzentrale)

ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)

ING Bank

Intrepid Aviation

Investec

KEB Hana Bank

KfW IPEX-Bank

Korea Development Bank

Lloyds Bank

Lobo Leasing

Macquarie

Mega International Commercial Bank

National Australia Bank

National Bank of Abu Dhabi

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB)

Nordic Aviation Capital

ORIX Aviation

Qatar National Bank

Siemens Financial Services

Société Générale

SKY Leasing

Standard Chartered Bank

Stonebriar Commercial Finance

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe

Work highlights

  • Advised Commerzbank, HSBC and Nord/LB on the financing of one Boeing 787-9 Aircraft.
  • Advised DekaBank and Helaba as the lenders in relation to the financing of six Airbus A320-200neos acquired by the German lessor, KGAL, and leased to Frontier Airlines in the US.
  • Advised DVB and Korea Development Bank as the senior lenders on the innovative structured financing for the Kuwaiti lessor, ALAFCO—unusual in terms of the required off-balance sheet structuring of the interest rate swap arrangements.
  • Acted for Helaba and a number of institutional investors on a large multi-aircraft warehouse facility.

Led by the 'responsive and talented' Russell Clifford, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's five-partner team is particularly adept at handling financing and leasing work within the rail sector, with core rolling stock clients, Angel Trains and Beacon Rail, continuing to provide a significant workflow, both domestically and internationally. The return to London of Nigel Ward from the firm's Hong Kong office in 2018 enhances the team's capability in the aviation sector. The 'very responsive and commercial' Rebecca Quayle has successfully nurtured a strong client base in the aviation sector including banks, manufacturers, lessors and airlines.

Practice head(s):Russell Clifford

Other key lawyers:Jamie Wiseman-Clarke; Nigel Ward; Rebecca Quayle; Euan McIntosh; Jonathan Tsui

Testimonials

'The firm has excellent technical knowledge and a good commercial approach to transactions'.

'The team provides well-informed advice based on market practice'.

'Russell Clifford, Jamie Wiseman-Clarke and Euan McIntosh set a high bar for client service and satisfaction'.

Key Clients

Angel Trains

Beacon Rail Leasing

Falko Regional Aircraft

Widerøe Asset

Wightlink Limited

ICBC Financial Leasing

ICBC International Leasing Co.

Investec Bank

CityJet Designated Activity Company

Montrose Global

Flybe Group

Ironshore Speciality Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Widerøe, Norway’s largest regional airline, on its acquisition of three Embraer E190 E2 aircraft which were part-financed by Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social.
  • Advised Angel Trains both on the re-leasing, and the extension of the leasing, of fleets of trains owned by Angel Trains and operated under various franchises, including the Wales & Border franchise, the East Coast franchise, the East Midlands Trains franchise and the South Eastern Franchise.
  • Advised Beacon Rail on the acquisition from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, and the lease to Captrain España of nine Bitrac locomotives.

Led by Elinor Dautlich, HFW's nine-partner team is primarily known for its 'high-calibre' shipping finance for banks and operators, which benefit not only from its 'vast subject matter knowledge' but also the team's ability to draw on the expertise of practitioners in key jurisdictions, including Singapore and Greece. The team continues to handle a significant amount of restructuring work in the sector, including its recent work for RBS as one of the creditors in the out-of-court restructuring of Danaos. Tony Rice was involved in the aforementioned deal and has vast shipping finance experience across both commercial debt financings, as well as ECA-supported mandates. Although the firm's aviation finance capability is better known out of the firm's Asian offices, including Singapore and Hong Kong, the London team, spearheaded by Adam Shire and senior associate Barbara Pansadoro, handles a significant volume of commercial, corporate and private jet financing work.

Practice head(s):Elinor Dautlich

Other key lawyers:Tony Rice; Jay Tooker; Adam Shire; Zohar Zik; Gudmund Bernitz; Barbara Pansadoro

Testimonials

'The team is very thorough and has a niche knowledge in aviation financing transactions'.

'Barbara Pansadoro is highly efficient, knowledgeable and assertive'.

Key Clients

D'Amico Tankers D.A.C., an operating subsidiary of d'Amico International Shipping (DIS)

The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

HSBC Bank

El Al Israel Airlines

Güneş Eksoress Havacilik A.S. (SunExpress)

Maersk Link

Marinvest

Swedbank

SEB

Nordea Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

SMBC

ING Bank

ABN AMRO

Tsakos Energy Navigation

Genting

Türk Hava Yolları (Turkish Airlines)

Air Europa Líneas Aéreas

Work highlights

  • Represented D'Amico Tankers on its first ever JOLCO financing.
  • Represented RBS as one of the creditors in the out-of-court restructuring of Danaos Inc.
  • Acting for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, as agent and arranger for a syndicate of three banks in connection with a term loan facility to refinance existing indebtedness in relation to shuttle tanker "TORILL KNUTSEN" owned by Knutsen Offshore Partners.
  • Acting for HSBC on behalf of itself and RBS and KfW on a German ECA-supported newbuilding financing which included refinancing under the German CIRR Ship Financing Programme.
  • Representing EL AL Israel Airlines on its first complicated JOLCO financing for Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Headed by Rob Wilkins and Richard Hakes, Reed Smith LLP's asset finance team is particularly accomplished at handling new money financings and restructurings in the offshore and shipping sectors, where it is aided by offices in strategically important locations including Singapore and Hong Kong. Core areas of strength include advising banks and funds on distressed shipping loan portfolio sale and purchase transactions, as well as advice to alternative credit providers on the provision of liquidity in the market, given the lessening appetite among traditional banks. The 'highly experienced' Hakes heads up the firm's nascent aviation finance offering and has strong ties with lessors and funds in the market.

Practice head(s):Rob Wilkins; Richard Hakes

Other key lawyers:Philip Rymer; Susan Riitala; Catriona Henderson; Ashleigh Standen

Testimonials

'Richard Hakes is a very experienced asset finance lawyer; he brings a high level of experience and his calm approach is invaluable'.

Headed by Mark Moody, Winston & Strawn London LLP's two-partner team is able to provide UK and US law capability to a primarily creditor-focused aviation sector client base, including banks, leasing companies and export credit agencies. Moody continues to advise European ECAs on an "off-panel" basis on selected ECA-supported aircraft finance portfolios, particularly for Latin American-based airlines, where he 'demonstrates exceptional familiarity with local law peculiarities and how those impact on ECA-supported aircraft financings'. The team was bolstered in August 2019 by the arrival of Alison Weal from White & Case LLP.

Practice head(s):Mark Moody

Other key lawyers:Chris Boresjo; Alison Weal; Rishi Raheja

Testimonials

'The team provides a high level of attention to detail and responsiveness, resulting in exceptional standards of delivery'.

'Mark Moody continues to provide high-level guidance on ongoing ECA-supported aircraft financings'.

Key Clients

Finnair

Aviation Capital Group

AerCap

European Export Credit Agencies (UK Export Finance, Bpifrance, Euler Hermes)

BNP Paribas

Deutsche Bank

Helaba LandesbankHessen-Thüringen Girozentrale

Natixis

MUFG Bank

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Aviation Capital Group (ACG) on the lease restructuring of several Boeing 737-800 aircraft on lease to Garuda.
  • Representing ACG on the purchase of one Bermuda registered Boeing 747-800F aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services.
  • Represented Finnair on the Japanese operating lease of one Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
  • Represented the ECAs and BNP Paribas in relation to the restructuring of a number of Airbus aircraft for a leading Latin American airline.
  • Represented MUFG, ING, KfW and Norinchukin in connection with the Japanese operating lease financing in respect of eight Boeing 737-MAX9 aircraft for the Panamanian airline COPA.

Based out of London but also able to leverage a strong regional presence, Addleshaw Goddard provides a 'commercial and pragmatic service' across the spectrum of transportation asset classes. Following the recruitment of Clive Smith towards the end of 2017 from Osborne Clarke LLP, the firm has increased visibility in the rail sector in light of his high-profile domestic work for manufacturers, train operators, lessors and financiers on the procurement, finance, leasing, maintenance and modification of new and existing rolling stock fleets, in both the passenger and freight markets. Edinburgh-based Alan Shanks provides ship financing expertise, while Rebecca Garner heads up the firm's aviation offering.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Garner; Clive Smith; Ed Watt

Other key lawyers:Alan Shanks; Jane Gallagher

Testimonials

'Rebecca Garner provides excellent advice'.

Key Clients

Arriva UK Trains

International Airlines Group (British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling, Iberia)

SMBC Leasing

Wings Capital Management

Clydesdale Bank Plc

Lombard North Central Plc

Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Shawbrook Bank

Eversholt Rail

Stobart Group

Southern Cross Aircraft

Investec Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising SMBC Leasing and Equitix, as the equity sponsors, in relation to secured financing of four fleets of new-build rolling stock and associated spares/equipment, for operation by KeolisAmey on the Wales & Borders passenger rail franchise.
  • Advised Eversholt Rail on the leasing of a fleet of Mk IV passenger rolling stock coaches to the new KeolisAmey operator of the Wales & Borders franchise.
  • Advising Clydesdale Bank in relation to the re-registration and re-mortgage of two vessels from a fleet facility from the UK Ship Register to the Ship Registry of Panama.
  • Advising RBS/Lombard on the £158m disposal to Investec and Shawbrook of its entire Lombard Offshore portfolio.
  • Advising Eversholt Rail on the finance and leasing of a €20m order of addition CAF Civity UK diesel multiple units for operation by Arriva Rail North.

Headed by Paul Briggs, Bird & Bird LLP's three-partner London team has an aviation finance focus, and is aided in this regard by a strong global offering in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Briggs has significant market experience for a range of participants, although he is best known for his work on behalf of airlines, including most notably Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. The departure of Jim Bell to Watson Farley & Williams LLP in September 2018 was a blow to the firm, particularly on the debt finance front, although this was mitigated somewhat by the recent arrival of structured asset finance expert Richard Sharman from Clifford Chance LLP.

Practice head(s):Paul Briggs

Other key lawyers:Richard Sharman; Zoe Feller; Marcus Pyke

Key Clients

Emirates

Azorra

CCB

Virgin Atlantic

Erste Group Bank

Nordic Aviation Capital

DVB Bank

BOC Aviation Limited

Montrose Group

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

SDH Wings International Leasing

Concierge

AVIC

Flybe

Work highlights

  • Advised Emirates on the sale-and-leaseback of one Airbus A380-842 subject to a finance lease with Investec. This involved financing arranged by Investec.
  • Advised Virgin on the redeployment of four Airbus A330 aircraft following Air Berlin's insolvency.
  • Assisted with the sale and purchase of one Twin Otter DHC6-400 aircraft by Montrose International Leasing Limited from Air Seychelles.
  • Acted for Villa Air in the sale and purchase of one Cessna 208 aircraft.
  • Assisted a new lessor, Azorra, with the lease of two Embraer E190 aircraft to German airline WDL Aviation GmbH & Co.

Clyde & Co LLP's 'very responsive and co-operative' four-partner asset finance team is best known for its work in the shipping sector on behalf of operators, lessors and financiers. As well as traditional financing work within the cruise and tanker sectors, the firm also boasts several niches, including team head Stuart McAlpine's expertise on high-value LNG shipping projects and John Leonida's super-yacht expertise. The 'knowledgeable and co-operative' Mark Bisset leads on the aviation finance front for both commercial airlines and corporate/business jets.

Practice head(s):Stuart McAlpine; Mark Bisset

Other key lawyers:John Leonida; Marie-Anne Moussalli; Richard Eglington; Dan Tindall; Nicholas Harding

Testimonials

'The team is very co-operative so that you feel like it is part of your company'.

'Mark Bisset is very polite and knowledgeable'.

Key Clients

Dynagas Holding Ltd (and affiliates)

China LNG Shipping

Sinotrans Shipping

Credit Suisse

airBaltic

Turkish Airlines

Aeroflot

Royal Jordanian Airlines

Gama Aviation

Alitalia

Air Arabia

Wizz Air

Royal Air Maroc

Flynas

Aer Fin

Global Jet

Vista Jet

Weakened by the departure of experienced rail finance expert Simon Gwynne to Norton Rose Fulbright in June 2019, Hogan Lovells International LLP is now primarily focused on cross-border work within the aviation sector. Robert Fugard remains one of the firm's principal contacts in this space and benefits from strong ties with a varied array of stakeholders including airlines, banks and leasing companies.

Other key lawyers:Robert Fugard

Leveraging the firm's top-notch pedigree in the US and also housing numerous well-known practitioners in the firm's nascent London office, Holland & Knight (UK) LLP's 'client-focused' three-partner aviation finance team is picking up a significant volume of high-quality work for leasing companies, airlines and banks. The highly experienced Robert Ricketts heads the team. Praised for its 'innovative and efficient advice', the team's broad leasing and financing workflow includes complex structured finance mandates, as was recently exemplified by Ricketts' work for BBAM Aircraft Management (alongside numerous US-based lawyers) on its aggregate $612m aviation asset-backed securitisation.

Practice head(s):Robert Ricketts

Other key lawyers:Gwyn O’Flynn; Victoria Koob; Fabio Miceli

Testimonials

'The team has significant global expertise and depth, and provides highly innovative and efficient advice'.

'Gwyn O'Flynn displays the epitome in subject-matter mastery and extraordinary flexibility working to a legal budget'.

Key Clients

GE Capital Aviation Services

Oman Air

Close Brothers Aviation and Marine Finance

Avolon Aerospace Leasing

Aergen Aviation Finance

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

CDB Aviation Lease Finance

Milestone Aviation Group

AerCap Holdings

SMBC Aviation Capital

BBAM Aircraft Management

Work highlights

  • Advised BBAM Aircraft Management on its aggregate $612m aviation asset-backed securitisation - Horizon Aircraft Finance I.
  • Advised AerCap Holdings on its $530m secured liquidity facility.
  • Advised Pegasus Hava Tasimaciligi, as lessee, in respect of the finance lease of four A320 NEO aircraft from CCB Aviation Corporation.
  • Advised BBAM Aircraft Management in respect of the acquisition of a new B787-9 aircraft to be leased to WestJet via a Japanese operating lease.
  • Represented Oman Air in connection with a fleet renewal.

Co-headed by David Baker and Beatrice Russ, Ince's seven-partner team provides 'great commercial insight' to banks and owners/operators across a range of new money financings and restructurings. The team also excels at handling transactions at the intersection of the shipping and energy sectors, and has been particularly active of late advising companies on LNG-related financings and leasing transactions. Although the group regularly handles work on its own, it is also aided by an international network, including a strong offering in Hamburg, which it frequently partners with on cross-border mandates.

Practice head(s):David Baker; Beatrice Russ

Other key lawyers:Duncan Bateson; Anna Anatolitou

Testimonials

'Beatrice Russ is incredibly experienced, skilled and knowledgeable on ship financing matters in general, and has particular expertise on sale and leaseback transactions'.

Key Clients

Golar LNG

KfW IPEX Bank

Golar Power

DNB Bank

HIG

Atlas Holdings

UACC

Socar

JLT Risk Solutions

ING

Work highlights

  • Advised long-standing client Golar LNG on a $960m sale and leaseback of its converted FLNG vessel the Hilli Episeyo with CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Company Limited.
  • English legal advisers to KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH in connection with a Euro term loan facility made available to Coral Methane Shipping, a Dutch borrower, in respect of the $29m loan to refinance the LNG carrier “Coral Methane” for operation in the Anthony Veder Gascarriers Pool of Anthony Veder Group.
  • Advising HSH Nordbank on the restructuring of its syndicated debt position with Danaos Shipping Group.
  • Counsel for the borrowers in relation to the acquisition and financing by way of a $40m facility advanced by Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken of two product tankers acquired by the HIG group in 2018 with an option to add further vessels.

Led by the 'experienced and skilled' Philip Perrotta and the 'very impressive' Sidanth Rajagopal, K&L Gates LLP's two-partner aviation finance team provides a 'high level of client care and partner attention' to airlines, leasing companies and financial institutions. It advises across the gamut of commoditised and bespoke cross-border financing structures, including Sharia-compliant aircraft leasing and insurance-backed finance. Praised for his 'attention to detail and commerciality', Rajagopal has a strong following among numerous low-cost airlines and leasing companies, particularly on cross-border deals relating to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Practice head(s):Philip Perrotta; Sidanth Rajagopal

Other key lawyers:Manuela Krach

Testimonials

'The responsive and approachable team is well aware of market positions and has strong negotiations skills'.

'Sidanth Rajagopal is a star performer and is able to cover a wide variety of legal and financing needs'.

'Sidanth Rajagopal and Manuela Krach are very impressive lawyers who take a lot of initiative in understanding client positions and will effectively negotiate these positions on transactions'.

Key Clients

ACIA holdings

Avenue Capital

Avtrade

Berenson & Co

Cebu Pacific

flydubai

Kayan Aircraft Holdings

Proventus Capital

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Solenta

SpiceJet

SriLankan Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised Veling, an aircraft leasing company, on the structured financing of an Airbus A380 to Emirates.
  • Advised Solenta, an aviation business group, on its purchase of the majority shareholding of Fastjet Plc.
  • Advised flydubai, the UAE’s largest low-cost carrier, on the sale and lease back of six Boeing B737-8MAX aircraft and the restructuring of three Boeing B737-8NG aircraft.
  • Advised Vietjet, a low-cost carrier, on its first Japanese Operating lease product.
  • Advised Spicejet, one of India’s largest low-cost carriers, on its sale and leaseback of eight Boeing 737-MAX8 Aircraft.

'Up and coming industry specialists', REN Legal's three-partner team continues to gain market recognition for the 'excellent service' it provides to a broad range of clients including banks, operating lessors and airlines. Founding partner Norman Fraser has particular expertise advising on the acquisition and financing of portfolios of aircraft, while Christopher Jackson is well versed in aircraft and engine leasing and trading.

Practice head(s):Norman Fraser; Christopher Jackson; Adam Longney

Key Clients

AerCap

DVB Bank

SMBC Leasing

Castlelake

Erste Group Bank

InfinityTransportation

Engine LeaseFinance Corporation

Orix Corporation

TAP Air Portugal

Vx Capital Partners

Harel Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Represented TAP Air Portugal in connection with the sale and leaseback and related PDP financing of three A330neo aircraft.
  • Advised Infinity Transportation on the purchase of five A320 aircraft on lease to Wizz Air and Garuda.
  • Advised Vx Capital on English law opinions and advice on aspects of its $189m all-freighter securitisation.

Spearheaded on the finance and leasing side by Brioney Thomas, Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP has broad operational, transactional and regulatory rail sector expertise. Thomas often takes the lead on the firm's highest profile rolling stock finance matters for its strong borrower and lessee client base, which includes many of the country's leading train operating companies, including Merseyrail and Great Western Railway.

Practice head(s):Brioney Thomas; Simon Coppen; Rachael Ruane

Other key lawyers:Chris Simms; Chris Lewis; Lydia Cullimore

Key Clients

Welsh Government/Transport for Wales

Abellio Transport Holdings

West Midlands Trains Limited (a joint venture between Abellio Transport Group Limited, Mitsui, and Japan Railways East).

First MTR South Western Trains Limited, a joint venture between FirstGroup and Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation (trading as South Western Railway)

First Rail Holdings

Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited (trading as Merseyrail)

First Greater Western Ltd (trading as Great Western Railway)

First TransPennine Express Limited (trading as TransPennine Express)

Abellio East Anglia Limited (trading as) Greater Anglia

UK freight operating companies (Colas Rail; DB Cargo (UK) Ltd; Mendip Rail; Devon & Cornwall Railways; Direct Rail Services; Freightliner Group Ltd; and GB Railfreight)

Work highlights

  • Advised Transport for Wales (TfW) and the Welsh Government on the procurement by Keolis Amey Wales Cymru of a fleet of 77 new DMUs to run on the cross borders routes from CAF.
  • Continuing to advise TfW and the Welsh Government on the procurement by Keolis Amey of three fleets, totalling over 50 units, from Swiss manufacturer, Stadler.
  • Advised TfW and Welsh Government on the incoming operator’s proposed leasing and maintenance arrangements with Angel Trains for various fleets of existing rolling stock.
  • Advised TfW and the Welsh Government during 2018 on the incoming operator’s proposed leasing and maintenance arrangements with Porterbrook.
  • Acted for West Midlands Trains Limited (WMTL) on the funding by Angel Trains of a suite of modifications to WMTL's fleets of Class 350 electric multiple units and Class 172 diesel multiple units.  

Since Tim Elliott's recent relocation to the firm's Hong Kong office, CMS' UK asset finance offering is largely based on work within the aviation sector, where the 'very experienced and knowledgeable' Keith Wilson is the primary contact. Praised for his 'excellent negotiation skills', Wilson advises an eclectic mix of banks, lessors and investors on the acquisition, disposal, financing and leasing of aircraft, helicopters, aircraft engines and aircraft spare parts. 'Thorough and hardworking' senior associate Rachael Visick is one of the primary contacts for shipping/offshore finance matters in London and, as well as her own workload, she often works alongside Elliot on matters with a Southeast Asia nexus.

Practice head(s):Tim Elliott; Keith Wilson

Other key lawyers:Rachael Visick; Hannalie Gillott; Neha Arora

Testimonials

'The team is very strong on lease negotiations'.

'Keith Wilson is excellent at handling aviation finance matters'.

'Rachael Visick is extremely thorough and hardworking'.

Key Clients

Bumi Armada Berhad

Excelerate Energy

ICBC Leasing

National Iranian Tanker Company

CMIG Aviation Capital Holding Ireland DAC

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co.

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

Gaslog Ltd

Rock Rail funders

Erste Group Bank

CCB Financial Leasing

Goshawk Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advised GasLog Partners on the $450m refinancing of five LNG carriers.

With three partners based in the UK who have a considerable focus on asset finance work, and also able to tap into the firm's huge international network, the 'reactive and very commercial-minded' team at DLA Piper is a dependable choice for clients engaged in the cross-border financing of transportation assets. Richard Skipper leads on most of the big-ticket aviation financing mandates handled by the team and has strong ties with numerous banks, airlines and lessors. Global head of asset finance Alan Cunningham has a broad practice that includes a niche focus on business jet transactions.

Practice head(s):Alan Cunningham

Other key lawyers:Richard Skipper; Rebecca Williams

Testimonials

'The team has been around for a long time and has a wealth of experience, which is very valuable for concrete transactional matters or more generally for ad hoc questions'.

Key Clients

AviaAM Financial Leasing

Etihad Airways

Flybe

HSBC Equipment Finance (UK) Limited

Lombard North Central

Shawbrook Bank

British Airways

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Air Mauritius

Air Seychelles

Work highlights

  • Advising AviaAM Financial Leasing China on the acquisition and lease to Aeroflot - Russian Airlines of five Airbus A320 and one Boeing B777 aircraft financed by The Export-Import Bank of China.
  • Advising Etihad Airways on the sale and lease back of three Boeing 787-9 aircraft to East Merchant including one aircraft painted in customised Formula One livery for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fly past.
  • Acted for EL AL Israel Airlines on the sale and leaseback of one B787-9 aircraft financed by DVB (as senior lender) and Investec (as junior lender).
  • Acted for Flybe on the financing of an additional Q400 aircraft to be brought under existing financing arrangements in relation to 13 Q400 aircraft.
  • Acting for GTLK Europe DAC on the acquisition and lease to Germania of two Airbus A319 aircraft.

The arrival in August 2018 of Rex Rosales and Jahnavi Ramachandran from Watson Farley & Williams LLP has afforded Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's London office a substantial aviation finance offering which was previously missing. Able to draw on the firm's broader aviation capability (across litigation, corporate and regulatory), its global network and complementary practice areas including finance and restructuring, the team has a strong footing with which to gain market share. Rosales and Ramachandran are both well respected among banks and lessors, in particular, and since joining the firm they have already expanded the scope of their client base to include firm-wide clients including Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Practice head(s):Rex Rosales

Other key lawyers:Jahnavi Ramachandran

Key Clients

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group

CIT Group

EDC

Avolon Aerospace

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

CACIB

ABL Aviation

Erste Bank

Qatar Re

FPG Amentum

Bayerische Landesbank

Work highlights

  • Advised Virgin Atlantic Airways on its participation in the recommended consortium bid by Connect Airways (a joint venture company owned by Virgin Atlantic together with Stobart Aviation and Cyrus Capital Partners) for Flybe. The firm advised on the related share sale, a £20m bridge finance facility and additional financing for working capital purposes.
  • Advised CIT Finance on the English law security aspects of the $325m warehouse facility granted by various lenders (including CIT Finance as lender, collateral agent and administrative agent) to Lease Corporation International; the delivery of numerous helicopter types under this facility; and the subsequent leasing of these aircraft to various operators worldwide.
  • Acted for the Canadian export credit agency, EDC, in its capacity as lender and security trustee on the ECA-backed financing of three A220-300 aircraft operated by Korean Air Lines.

The 'small and close-knit team' at Hill Dickinson LLP has a 'wealth of shipping finance experience' and is thereby well placed to advise both lenders and borrowers across the gamut of shipping/offshore transactions, including the financing of newbuild vessels and sale and leaseback transactions. Panos Pourgourides has niche expertise for borrowers and lenders on the financing of superyachts.

Practice head(s):Panos Pourgourides; Roderick Palmer

Other key lawyers:Mark Walker; Malcolm Entwistle; Nafsika Connolly; Diana Szyiu

Testimonials

'The very experienced and commercially orientated Roderick Palmer is incredibly easy to work with and always very approachable'.

Key Clients

Advanced Energy

Artemis

Bank of America

BNP Paribas

JP Morgan

Chailease Finance

Close Brothers

Laskaridis Shipping Co. Limited / Lavinia Corp.

Intership

Oman Shipping Company

Polsteam

Spliethoff

J Marr Seafoods

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Work highlights

  • Advised Oman Shipping Company on the most recent refinancing of three of its vessels arranged with Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Advising a significant Greek shipowning company on a joint venture and financing of two 174,000 newbuild LNG carriers.
  • Advising Advanced Energy Systems on the acquisition, financing and security arrangements for a series of oil drilling rigs and related business assets.
  • Advising Singapore shipowning companies on the review and negotiation of a joint venture agreement and refinancing of two bulk carriers by long term bareboat charter arrangement.
  • Advising Spliethoff in relation to the acquisition and financing of commercial vessels.

Although asset finance is no longer a core focus for Linklaters LLP's London team, it does continue to handle a significant amount of work for existing banking and funds clients, in particular. 'Excellent' banking partner Olga Petrovic has considerable experience within the aviation and maritime sectors, including on loan and lease financings, ECA-backed debt and restructurings.

Practice head(s):Olga Petrovic

Although lacking a standalone asset finance offering, numerous practitioners within Slaughter and May's banking and finance team handle financing work in the transportation sector for longstanding clients including British Airways and Rolls-Royce. Team head Andrew Johnson has experience across a range of asset finance matters, including sale and leaseback agreements, and JOLCO financings.

Practice head(s):Andrew Johnson

Other key lawyers:Robert Byk; Hannah Merrick; Harry Walker; Zhen Lim

Key Clients

British Airways

Black Rock

Rolls-Royce

Orient Overseas (International) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Orient Overseas (International) Limited, one of the world’s largest integrated international container transportation and logistics companies, on the financing of its new 21,413 TEU container ship, OOCL Indonesia.
  • Acted for Orient Overseas (International) Limited, on the financing of its 8,888 TEU container ship, OOCL Miami.

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Legal Developments in the UK

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