Transport finance and leasing in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Drawing upon deep industry knowledge, leveraging its wide-ranging international network of offices and benefitting from access to lawyers in complementary practice areas – including capital markets and restructuring – Allen & Overy LLP is well positioned to advise an eclectic mix of transportation sector stakeholders on domestic and cross-border matters from a new money as well as a distressed perspective. Aviation finance head Paul Nelson‘s practice is emblematic of the varied nature of the firm’s workflow, acting as he does for a range of finance providers (both commercial banks and ECAs), airlines and operating lessors. Other recommended practitioners include Harry Upcott, particularly in the context of portfolio deals and leasing transactions for lessors; Kevin Young, whose broad expertise includes a considerable amount of shipping/offshore finance;  Jonathan Bevan, for rail matters; and Mario Jacovides, who heads up the overarching global structured and asset finance group.

Practice head(s):

Mario Jacovides

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP 's recently appointed London practice head, Oliver Hipperson, is able to draw from a ‘massive body of historical work’ according to one client and is well versed at handling a wide range of new money and restructuring work in both the aviation and shipping fields. He also has particular expertise advising on secondary debt trading matters (including loan portfolio sale transactions).  ‘Absolute star’ William Glaister heads the global asset finance group and is aided by the firm's ‘unparalleled geographic coverage with asset focused lawyers in most key jurisdictions’. The five-partner team is well equipped to handle the most complex asset finance mandates, irrespective of geographical location. Although it is active across the asset classes, aviation work remains the key driver, an area in which the firm has ‘superb market understanding’ and an ability to advise on many of the most cutting-edge finance deals, aided in part by its ability to leverage the firm’s broader banking and capital markets expertise. ‘Meticulous with details whilst still able to retain a commercial focus and ensure that the deal gets done’, Richard Evans is a popular choice among borrowers and lenders across a range of finance and leasing structures in the aviation sector. Other key individuals include Paul Carrington, whose varied aviation practice (including work for lessors, airlines and banks) sits alongside his role as head of the rail group, and Ranbir Hunjan, who has an excellent reputation advising banks on aviation and rail finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Hipperson

Other key lawyers:

William Glaister; Ranbir Hunjan; Paul Carrington; ; Richard Evans; Chris Hardisty; Jing Tang


A broad team working at all levels which helps ensure our files are staffed appropriately.’

The expertise of the Clifford Chance team is second to none. They have an unparalleled geographic coverage with asset focused lawyers in most key jurisdictions. They have experience in all aspects of aviation finance and leasing as well as strong capabilities in shipping and rail with a focus on the most complex of transactions.’

‘Clifford Chance provides a highly competent and efficient service. Their understanding of the market provides a great deal of comfort which then provides a much smoother documentation process and less frustration on any back and forth.’

William Glaister has a wealth of experience and knowledge making him a leader in the field.’

Oliver Hipperson – massive body of historical work on which he draws his expertise which contributes greatly to an efficient process – and outstanding people skills that ensure a professional process yields a successful outcome.’

Richard Evans is meticulous with details whilst still able to retain a commercial focus and ensure that the deal gets done.’

‘Chris Hardisty is very capable.’

‘Hugely experienced, which proves invaluable in complex negotiations.’

Key clients

Nordic Aviation Capital


SMBC Aviation Capital

Deutsche Bank


BNP Paribas

Goshawk Aviation Limited

CDB Aviation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


Airborne Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised General Electric Company on the combination of GECAS and AerCap.
  • Advised Nordic Aviation Capital on the restructuring of approximately $6.3bn of the company’s secured and unsecured debt, implemented through Chapter 11 proceedings.
  • Advised Avolon on its private investment in public equity (PIPE) investment in, and ground-breaking aircraft order with, Vertical Aerospace, an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft manufacturer.


Milbank is a ‘heavy-hitter‘ in the aviation space and handles a range of financing and corporate work for a varied mix of stakeholders including airlines, lessors, banks, manufacturers and funds. On the financing front, the team, which is led by ‘market-leaders’ James Cameron and Nick Swinburne, is well versed in advising on bank and bond financings (including on New York-law governed high yield), as well as on often highly structured mandates, including as they relate to asset backed securities. Much of the recent work the team has handled has been informed by the liquidity crisis facing aviation stakeholders as a consequence of reduced passenger demand following on from the pandemic; some of this has been in the context of new money financings, however, a considerable amount has been in relation to major distressed scenarios, where the team is particularly well placed to assist by virtue of its ability to work seamlessly with the firm’s overarching restructuring group, as well as its top notch US Chapter 11 offering.

Practice head(s):

James Cameron; Nick Swinburne

Other key lawyers:

Tom Jackson; Mark Leverkus


The firm is a heavy-hitter in the aviation sector.’

James Cameron and Nick Swinburne are market leaders.’

Key clients


Air France



Bank of China




BNP Paribas


CDB Leasing



Credit Suisse

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Deutsche Bank

Elix Aviation Capital


Export Development Canada

Goshawk Aviation



JP Morgan


M&G Investments



Morgan Stanley



NCB Capital

Novus Aviation Capital






Standard Chartered




volofin Capital Management Ltd

Genesis Leasing Limited

Carlyle Aviation Partners


FitzWalter Capital

China Development Bank


Deutsche Bank


Societe Generale

Muzinich & Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising SMBC Aviation Capital on its acquisition of Goshawk, which includes a portfolio of approximately 160 owned aircraft and 15 managed aircraft.
  • Acting for Silverpoint Capital on the Chapter 11 filing for NAC DAC and its subsidiaries in connection with NAC’s debt restructuring.
  • Advised Fortress Investment Group on the sale of Falko Regional Aircraft to Chorus Aviation.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Although the firm’s market-leading rail offering saw the departures of Simon Gwynne and Tom Johnson  to Addleshaw Goddard and Freeths LLP, respectively, at the beginning of 2022, Norton Rose Fulbright still maintains a ‘breadth and depth of experience and expertise‘ in the transportation sector ‘that few can rival‘. Ship financing work continues to drive a significant amount of deal flow on the new money front, as well an increasing amount of restructuring-related work (including advice on “debt holidays”), particularly in the wake of the pandemic. In this regard, the team which is led from London by the ‘thoughtful and pragmatic’ Simon Hartley – and is aided by deep resources in core international shipping hubs including Hong Kong, Piraeus and Hamburg – is ‘great at handling complex matters’ for a varied array of lenders and operators across the cruise, industrial shipping and offshore energy sectors. Conversant with a range of debt structures, including those backed by Export Credit Agencies, Eleanor Martin is particularly accomplished at handling vessel and offshore equipment financings, including FPSOs and drilling rigs. Duncan Batchelor heads up the aviation group that handles a significant flow of work for lenders and airlines on both new money deals and refinancings. Owen Mulholland is ‘very well respected in the airline industry’, working particularly on behalf of airlines, including LATAM, which he has been advising as special counsel in relation to its Chapter 11 proceedings. Will Alete is also recommended by a wide array of stakeholders in the aviation sector across a range of financing and corporate structuring work.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Batchelor; Simon Hartley

Other key lawyers:

Simon Lew; Richard Howley; Giles Brand; Owen Mulholland; Emma Giddings; Eleanor Martin; Andrew Williams; Will Alete; Dan Cowdy; Richard Green; Alex Blaney; Catherine Johnson; David Metzger; Matthew Bambury


Coupled with strong market awareness, a can-do attitude and a real sense of wishing to build a longer term relationship with the client, this makes for a compelling proposition.’

‘It is evident that the lawyers have a wide client base and are well experienced in the industry.’

Highly skilled and knowledgeable of the business we are working with. Very adaptable to everything from complex financings to difficult lease returns.’

Simon Hartley is both thoughtful and pragmatic in his advice. He maintains a cool composure during heated negotiations.’

‘Richard Howley and Andrew Williams are excellent lawyers with great commercial acumen. They are always a real pleasure to deal with and helpful/commercial in their approach with counterparties.’

Owen Mulholland is very respected in the aviation industry.’

Key clients


BNP Paribas

Carnival Corporation

Citibank Europe plc, UK Branch

Clover Aviation Capital (formally Ping An Aircraft Leasing Company Limited)

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

DNB Markets, Inc


DP Aircraft / DS Aviation



Global Ship Lease

ING Bank N.V

JP Morgan Chase Bank


LATAM Airlines

Lombard North Central PLC

LOT Polish Airlines




ORIX Corporation

Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A.

Piraeus Bank S.A

Prime Capital AG

Qatar Reinsurance


Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)

Société Générale

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Taylor Maritime Investment Limited (TMIL)

UniCredit S.p.A.

UK Export Finance

777 Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented the ad-hoc group of creditors in the $6bn debt restructuring of Nordic Aviation Capital DAC and its subsidiaries and group companies, by way of implementation via US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Advised ING Bank and a syndicate of 12 international lenders on $1.6bn worth of export credit agency-covered and uncovered loan facilities, in order to finance the construction of the FPSO Sepetiba and associated derivatives contracts.
  • Advised leading cargo airline operator DHL (and DHL-Deutsche Post) on the structuring and documentation of complex finance lease transactions for eleven Boeing 777F cargo aircraft.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

‘Very well-resourced, experienced and efficient’ across the panoply of transportation asset classes, both out of London and globally, Watson Farley & Williams LLP has the underlying sector knowledge and the financing expertise to be able to provide ‘commercially pragmatic’ advice to stakeholders across a tremendous range and volume of deals. Unsurprisingly in light of recent market headwinds, a good deal of the recent work has been in the context of restructuring matters, where the firm has not only been at the forefront of transactional work but also provided a useful and well-received online tool – Global Aviation Restructuring Index – which delivers a comparative index of restructuring processes, enabling creditors and debtors to view in advance of instructing a law firm which restructuring procedure/jurisdiction would be most beneficial. The ‘bright, very commercial and pragmatic’ Jim Bell continues to succesfully guide the firm’s aviation finance team, picking up work for lenders and lessors who are impressed by his ability to provide ‘creative and sui generis solutions’. ‘Experienced, very practical and easy to deal with’, Chris Mitchell is also a key resource in the aviation sector, particularly in relation to complex, structured cross-border deals, including asset-backed securitisations, warehouse financings and portfolio transactions. George Macheras now heads the shipping group, following Lindsey Keeble‘s recent appointment as managing partner, and continues to successfully guide banking and operator clients through a challenging market. Other recommended practitioners include the ‘responsive and efficient’ Louise Mor, who is the firm’s primary contact for rail finance matters; ‘very pragmatic and solutions-oriented’ Patrick Moore, who excels in drafting complex, often bespoke structures to facilitate financings in the aviation and maritime sectors; and Kavita Shah, who ‘provides sound legal advice, while keeping commercial considerations in mind’ on international, structured, asset and project finance and leasing transactions in the maritime sector.

Practice head(s):

Jim Bell; George Macheras

Other key lawyers:

Louise Mor; Kavita Shah; Patrick Moore; Dominic Pearson; Chris Mitchell; Gary Walsh; Kate Silverstein; Richard Smith; Philip Chope; Jane Keith; Natasha Seel; Emily Widdrington


Very well-resourced, experienced and efficient.’

They combine a huge global footprint and offering, a highly-skilled and intelligent team with a deep bench, real market knowledge and expertise, and a commercially pragmatic and friendly approach.’

The responsive and efficient Louise Mor has tremendous industry credibility.’

Jim Bell is a very smart deal-maker; if there is a problem that requires an innovative solution then he is the one to turn to. For me, Jim represents the ideal lawyer in that he is exceptionally bright, very commercial and pragmatic, and hugely personable.’

Chris Mitchell is very experienced and very practical and easy to deal with.’

Patrick Moore – very pragmatic and solutions oriented across stakeholders. Despite a number of unexpected hurdles, he kept calm and carried on to the finishing line!’

‘Kavita Shah provides sound legal advice, while keeping commercial considerations in mind.’

Gary Walsh is very knowledgeable and dedicated.’

Key clients

Airbus Bank


Buss Global




Engine Lease Finance Corporation

En Trust Global (Blue Ocean Division)

Hanwha Investment and Securities Co Ltd and KTB Investment Management


JP Morgan

KfW Bank


New Fortress Energy Inc.


Nordea Bank


Standard Chartered Bank

Societe Generale

Work highlights

  • Advising NordLB (and other creditors) on both the proposed second restructuring of Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and the restructuring of HNA Group.
  • Advising Citibank and HSBC Bank respectively on two separate ECA-backed JOLCOs (Japanese Operating Lease with Call Options) arranged for Seaspan Corporation.
  • Advised Nexrail, a new rolling stock lessor operating in Western Europe, on the acquisition and financing of its rolling stock portfolio.


The ‘very experienced, practical and approachable’ five-partner team at Dentons remains best known for its aviation-related finance and leasing work, where its client base includes a varied array of stakeholders, including airlines, manufacturers, lessors and lenders. Most of the work is led from the London office, although its huge international network means it can provide a one-stop-shop service, not just on English law but also on relevant local law issues should they arise. The firm’s relatively recently launched Dublin office has also enabled the firm to provide unique English/Irish law solutions on matters and enhanced its ability to service some of its lessor clients, a good number of which are headquartered in Dublin. Paul Holland is ‘massively experienced’, particularly on matters with a Middle Eastern nexus, and has recently provided expert guidance to longstanding client, Emirates, as it dealt with vastly reduced demand throughout the pandemic. Nick Chandler has a balanced practice which includes work for banks and airlines, as well as an increasing volume of lessor-related work, including his recent work for Chorus Aviation  on the acquisition of Falko Regional Aircraft from Fortress Investment Group. Serge Sergiou is also one of the more senior members of the team, whose longstanding presence in the market has seen him active across a range of different leasing and finance structures, including for core client Airbus. The ‘very approachable and pragmatic’ Stephen Temple co-heads the team alongside Sarah Dyke. Greg Kahn left to join Keystone Law in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Dyke; Stephen Temple

Other key lawyers:

Nick Chandler; Serge Sergiou; Paul Holland; Lee McLernon; James Francis; Grace Stobbart


This team is very experienced, practical and approachable.’

The team is experienced and always looks at the holistic picture which is much appreciated.’

‘Paul Holland knows our business and is massively experienced.’

‘Stephen Temple is a very approachable, pragmatic person that you want to have on your side when it comes to solving problems. He understands the issues and gets to the point with no fuss.’

Lee McLernon is an excellent lawyer who has built up a very strong reputation over many years in the industry.’

James Francis always looks at the bigger picture.’

‘Great at getting the deal done, communication with all stakeholders and staying on top of hundreds of emails at once.’

‘The single greatest quality is the calm measured way that every activity is undertaken.’

Key clients


TUI Group

Qatar Airways

Goshawk Aviation

Chorus Aviation

Avolon Aerospace


TAP Air Portugal

Minsheng Financial Leasing

Wizz Air

Bocomm Leasing

Engine Lease Finance Corporation



Société Générale



JP Morgan

BNP Paribas


The Air Ambulance Service

Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Chorus Aviation on the acquisition of Falko Regional Aircraft from Fortress Investment Group, creating the second largest regional operating lessor in the world.
  • Advising Ryanair on a successful €1.2bn bond issue.
  • Advising Qatar Airways on the non-bank financing of two Boeing 777F aircraft arranged by the alternative investment firm Castlelake.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Drawing upon ‘a global view of the aviation industry’, which is informed by a significant deal flow out of London for a balanced mix of banks, lessors and airlines, Hogan Lovells International LLP is well-positioned to ‘capture and anticipate potential concerns for the benefit of the client’. This degree of foresight and market knowledge has recently been brought into stark focus for clients engaged in restructurings and deferrals; in this regard, the ‘outstanding’ Richard Goss has been particularly busy for his lessor clients, which are appreciative of his ability to deliver ‘simple solutions to complex problems, and to provide different options’. Team head Robert Fugard has a ‘focused and constructive approach to negotiation and drafting’, traits which were recently highlighted in his high profile work for Norwegian Air Shuttle on its successful innsolvency process. Outside of aviation, ‘exceptional’ senior consultant Shalini Bhuchar has experience advising on commercial and super yacht financing, and counsel Charles Ford is noted for his rail work.

Practice head(s):

Robert Fugard

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Premont; Richard Goss; Shalini Bhuchar; Russell Green; Faraz Naqvi; Charles Ford


‘Hogan Lovells’ team has a global view of the aviation industry, so they are able to capture and anticipate potential concerns for the benefit of the client.’

‘I have been impressed by Robert Fugard – not just his focused and constructive approach to negotiation and drafting but also general industry knowledge.’

Richard Goss is very knowledgeable and experienced.’

‘Richard Goss is an outstanding lawyer. Very hands-on, capable of delivering simple solutions to complex problems, and providing different options.’

‘Shalini Bhuchar consistently provides an exceptional service.’

Faraz Naqvi stands out as an excellent and tireless lawyer.’

Key clients

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA/Arctic Aviation Assets DAC

Standard Chartered Bank/Pembroke Capital

Rolls Royce & Partners Finance

Icelandair ehf.

Babcock Mission Critical Services


Minsheng Commercial Aviation

Société Générale


Bank of China Aviation (BOCA)

African Export-Import Bank


Rail Baltica

Cross London Trains Limited

Shannon Engine Support

Work highlights

  • Advising Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on its Covid-influenced recapitalisation and restructuring, which involved concurrent Irish, UK, Norwegian and US insolvency processes, related litigation and employment advice and the restructuring of the airline’s leased and financed aircraft fleet.
  • Advising Pembroke on its sale of a portfolio of two Airbus A320 aircraft and two B737-800 aircraft to funds advised by Airborne Capital.
  • Advising Cross London Trains on the £2.5bn Thameslink rolling stock programme, including advising on the refinancing of the project.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Led from London by the ‘experienced and attentive’ Graham Tyler and able to leverage strong practices in New York and Tokyo, in particular, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP‘s three-partner aviation finance team provides ‘pragmatic and precise advice’ to a wide array of stakeholders across a range of complex cross-border financings. Tyler embodies this ability to handle a range of transactions in the sector by virtue of his varied client base which includes airlines, banks and a growing flow of work for funds which are increasingly deploying capital in the sector amidst lower prevailing interest rates in the wider economy. Debra Erni is another key member of the team and although her focus is narrower, her work for lessor clients, including numerous Japanese entities, which appreciate her fluent language skills as well as her ‘deep understanding about the market’, is very impressive. The ‘highly experienced and pragmatic’ Antony Single rounds out the team at a partner level, and his arrival in July 2021 from Clifford Chance LLP solidifies and enhances the firm’s financing credentials, particularly for lenders on highly structured mandates. ‘Very practical and responsive’ counsel Chris Knight is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Graham Tyler

Other key lawyers:

Debra Erni; Antony Single; Rakhi Savjani; Chris Knight; Abigail Carter; Jonathan Maidwell


Technically very able in addition to being focused on finding commercial solutions.’

The team is responsive, efficient and very proactive.’

‘Graham Tyler is very experienced and attentive.’

Debra Erni is responsive, able to find an answer/solution from a great range of expertise, very familiar with the issues we face and the industry in general and always takes a pragmatic approach. She has deep understanding about the market.’

Antony Single displays a superb mix of legal plus commercial knowledge and can devise solutions to intricate and extremely complex problems.’

Antony Single is highly experienced and pragmatic in his approach.’

‘Rakhi Savjani is excellent. She is reliable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Chris Knight is very practical and responsive.’

Key clients


Air Lease Corporation


Bank of Tokyo (BOT) Lease

Chishima Real Estate

China Aircraft Lease Company

Chorus Aviation Capital (Ireland) Limited

CDB Aviation

Deucalion Aviation Capital Limited

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

Dubai Islamic Bank

DVB Bank

Emirates Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines

Erste Bank AG

Export Development Canada


HPS Investment Partners LLC

ICBC Leasing


Jackson Square Aviation

Kuwait Airlines



Macquarie AirFinance

Minsheng Financial Leasing

Mitsubishi HC Capital

Novus Aviation Capital

Oaktree Capital Management

Sky Leasing

SMBC Aero Engine Lease


Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing

TrueNoord Regional Aircraft Leasing

Tui Travel Aviation Finance

World Star Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advised Oaktree Capital and its servicer World Star Aviation on the refinancing of an aircraft under their initial 2017 ABS and the refinancing of other aircraft across two other leasing platforms.
  • Advised Oaktree Capital and its servicer World Star Aviation on the acquisition of a 36 cargo aircraft portfolio from Vx Capital.
  • Advised Novus Aviation Capital on the establishment of a mezzanine debt fund platform with anchor investors Development Bank of Japan and Airbus.

Reed Smith LLP

Forming a part of the firm’s global transportation group, Reed Smith LLP‘s asset finance team combines deep underlying sectoral knowledge with expertise at handling an array of complex cross-border finance and leasing structures. Shipping finance remains a staple of the firm’s offering and although it does still handle work for commercial banks, its focus on work for funds clients is really bearing fruit in the current economic climate – as they are increasingly the primary providers of capital on many of the deals in the market (given the retrenchment of banks). ‘Clever on handling and finding solutions’, Rob Wilkins has been instrumental in this success for fund clients, not just on the lending front but also, along with the ‘exceptional’ Richard Hakes, in relation to their involvement in the NPL portfolio market. Although it is less well established, the firm’s aviation finance offering is also gaining traction, principally as a result of the arrival of the ‘technically strong’ Christopher Jackson and the ‘extraordinary’ Adam Longney from the now defunct aviation boutique REN Legal.

Practice head(s):

Rob Wilkins; Richard Hakes

Other key lawyers:

Philip Rymer; Susan Riitala; Catriona Henderson; Ashleigh Standen; Christopher Jackson


The Reed Smith team is fantastically commercial and really knows its stuff.’

Smooth, pragmatic and easy to work with.’

The Reed Smith team has a very strong breadth of expertise as it is set up as an industry focused group (i.e. transportation) as opposed to practice area focused. This enables them to easily access appropriate advice to ensure that they are a full client servicing firm.’

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood‘s 11-partner team has the critical mass and expertise to handle a significant volume and variety of work across all transportation asset classes. Under the guidance of the ‘very pragmaticIan Mace and with a significant input of resources from key Asian and European hubs, shipping finance remains the most well resourced facet of the practice and it continues to be instructed by a varied roster of banks, operators and alternative capital providers in this space. Jonathan Ward remains pivotal to the firm’s work in the area and has a focus on big-ticket European and Asian cross-border matters, including a considerable amount of recent work at the forefront of some major restructurings in the sector. ‘Consummate trusted adviser’ Richard Parsons heads up the aviation finance sub-group and is appreciated for his ‘sensible and pragmatic’ advice to a predominantly lessor and bank-side client base. Tammy Samuel and Suzanne Tarplee co-head the rail practice and ‘offer first-class knowledge of the rolling stock area’. Senior associate Jon Crippsdevelops alternative solutions to overcome dead-end situations’, in the context of shipping finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Tammy Samuel; Suzanne Tarplee; Ian Mace; Richard Parsons; Lisa Marks

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Ward; Dora Mace-Kokota; Rebecca Garner; James Collins; Suzanne Tarplee; Charlotte McNeilly; Jon Cripps; Shaun Park


The Stephenson Harwood team provides incisive advice with confidence.’

‘Tammy Samuel and Suzanne Tarplee offer first-class knowledge of the rolling stock area from a manufacturer’s perspective and also operators and financiers.’

Ian Mace provides a very pragmatic approach to transactions.’

‘Richard Parsons is the consummate trusted advisor. He is always available, and provides sensible and pragmatic advice.’

‘Rebecca Garner is our “go to” aircraft purchase and leasing partner. She is brilliant and can handle all the cross border aspects. Not only is Rebecca a very commercial and practical lawyer, but she picks up points when actually inspecting aircraft, which not many lawyers do!’

‘Charlotte McNeilly is a rising star – quietly confident, she can stand toe-to-toe opposite even the most accomplished partners and hold her own. A very safe pair of hands.’

Dora Mace-Kokota listens to the client and translates its desires/ideas into an efficient service.’

Jon Cripps develops alternative solutions to overcome dead-end situations.’

Key clients



Archway Aviation

Taiping Fontainburg DVB Aviation Capital

Gulf Air

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Rostrum Leasing

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited


Avation PLC



Archway Aviation

Taiping Fontainburg DVB Aviation Capital



Oaktree Capital Management / Fleetscape Capital Limited


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation








Vedder Price

Acting on its own for clients that it has successfully cultivated, as well as working in tandem with the firm’s well-established US offering, Vedder Price‘s four-partner London team continues to excel on behalf of a primarily creditor-side client base. Although the firm’s traditional work in the space – which includes the delivery of new aircraft and the trading of aircraft between lessors – has been hugely impacted by the pandemic, it has successfully realigned its focus to include a considerable volume of restructuring work, advice on deferral agreements and a considerable amount of distressed opportunities. Drawing upon a ‘broad wealth of knowledge of the sector’, Gavin Hill has strong ties with lessors and banks which he has been particularly actively advising in a distressed context of late. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Neil Poland handles some airline work, as well as advice to the firm’s core base of lessors and banks. Derek Watson‘s ‘unparalleled knowledge in the aircraft leasing and finance space’ is appreciated not only in the context of commercial aviation mandates but also in the business jet arena. The team is rounded out at partner level by the ‘very commercial’ Dylan Potter, who also handles a considerable amount of shipping finance work.

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Hill; Neil Poland; Derek Watson; Dylan Potter; John Pearson; Natalie Chung


Very approachable and good understanding of the aviation sector.’

‘Their depth in Chicago, New York and London is important for cross-border transactions.’

‘They are extremely practical and commercial, and take the time to understand those issues which are important to the client.’  

Neil Poland is very knowledgeable.’

Derek Watson’s unparalleled knowledge in the aircraft leasing and finance space coupled with his availability and creative thinking make him the ideal lawyer for in-house counsel and business leaders, alike.’

Gavin Hill provides the company with pragmatic guidance on many challenging aspects of our deals and has a broad wealth of knowledge of the sector to support decision making.’

‘Gavin Hill is among the best aviation lawyers.’

Dylan Potter has deep knowledge and is very commercial.’

Key clients

AAR Corp

Aero Capital Solutions


Airbus Financial Services

Air Canada


Alterna Capital

Apple Bank

Arab Banking Corporation

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

AviaAm Leasing

Bank of America

Bank of China




Cathay United Bank

China Aircraft Leasing Company

China Construction Bank




Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB)

DBS Bank (Development Bank of Singapore)


Doha Bank

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

DVB Bank

Export Development Canada

GSI Engines

Guggenheim Partners

Helaba (Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Gironzentrale)

ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)

ING Bank

Intrepid Aviation


KEB Hana Bank


Korea Development Bank

LCI (Lease Corporation International)

LHI (Leasing für Handel und Industrie)

Lloyds Bank

Lobo Leasing

Macquarie Bank

Magi Aviation Capital (f.k.a. Magi Partners)

Mega International Commercial Bank


National Australia Bank

National Bank of Abu Dhabi

National Bank of Kuwait

New York Life Insurance Company

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

TAG Aviation

Virgo Investments


Westpac Banking Corporation

Woori Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Airbus on multiple pre-delivery payments financings.
  • Assisted CA-CIB with the implementation of the first IFLI insurance policy in the context of KLM JOLCO financing.
  • Advised DAE on a A321neo sale and leaseback transaction with IndiGo.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Led by the ‘excellent’ Russell Clifford, the ‘proactive’ team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has ‘broad and deep knowledge’ within the rail sector, in particular. Within this asset class, the team is best known for its rolling stock work, with rolling stock lessors, Angel Trains and Beacon Rail both core clients of the firm. Jamie Wiseman-Clarke ‘delivers a first-class service’ and recently advised the aforementioned lessors on the impact on rolling stock leases of new franchise arrangements flowing from the Department for Transport’s Covid-19-related Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements.

Practice head(s):

Russell Clifford

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke; Anton Chambers


Consistently I have found the team to have a warm, can-do approach that I find to be engaging.’

The knowledge within the team is broad and deep, with the team dynamic set such that the most appropriate team member, working within the team ethos of being open, warm and engaging, generally takes the lead.’

Very proactive and easy to work with.’

Russell Clifford is excellent.’

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke delivers a first-class service.’

Anton Chambers always made himself available, clearly set out issues in an easy to understand matter, was prepared to lead and do the grunt work.’

‘They know our business well, they support in-house legal and the wider commercial business. They are respectful and make you feel supported. They are go-to people.’

Key clients

Angel Trains

Beacon Rail

Heathrow Airport

National Westminster Bank


Falko Regional Aircraft Limited

ICBCIL Aviation Company Limited

Seraph Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advised Angel Trains on re-leasing arrangements relating to a fleet of Class 165 units operated on the Chiltern franchise (operated by Arriva) in anticipation of the replacement of this franchise at its scheduled expiry by a new National Rail Contract.
  • Advised both Angel Trains and Beacon Rail on the impact on their rolling stock leasing arrangements of passenger operators’ existing franchise agreements expiring early and being replaced by direct award franchise agreements (in the form of National Rail Contracts) as part of the DfT’s on-going programme to transition passenger rail operators from franchise agreements to its long-term rail concession solution.
  • Advised Seraph Aviation on all aspects of the operating lease transaction for one B737-800 aircraft with Joy Air of China.


Forming a part of the firm’s overarching global maritime offering, which also includes practitioners spread across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US, HFW‘s London-based asset finance practice remains best known for its shipping finance expertise. Drawing upon vast underlying sector knowledge, the finance team is active for a balanced mix of stakeholders involved in all aspects of the maritime space, including the cruise ship, commercial, yacht and offshore sectors. Consequently, it has been well hedged against the vagaries of the pandemic and, as well as providing a significant amount of new money financings in areas that have been more robust in the “teeth of the storm”, has also been very active in relation to restructurings – for example within the cruise sector. Key members of the team include Tony Rice, who has a focus on advising a range of capital providers, including commercial banks, alternative providers of capital and ECAs; fluent Swedish speaker Gudmund Bernitz, who delivers ‘high-quality advice’ to a Nordic-centred client base; and the ‘very easy going’ Elinor Dautlich, who is also the global head of finance. Outside of the shipping arena, the ‘superb’ Barbara Pansadoro remains the driving force behind the firm’s aviation finance offering and is well versed across a range of aircraft and engine finance transactions. The team was strengthened by the arrival of the 'dedicated, hardworking and focused' Rebecca Quayle from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Dautlich; Adam Shire; Tony Rice

Other key lawyers:

Gudmund Bernitz; Katherine Noble; Barbara Pansadoro; Rebecca Quayle


‘The team is very knowledgeable with a great amount of experience.’

Exceptional service – HFW take care of the details very well. They are extremely responsive and willing to go the extra mile to get the deal across the line.’

‘Barbara Pansadoro is superb; her grasp of every issue is fantastic, and she is tireless in getting a deal over the line.’

Elinor Dautlich is very competent in amongst other things ship financing. At the same time she is a very easy going person which helps in difficult negotiations.’

Gudmund Bernitz always delivers high-quality advice.’

‘The team is really knowledgeable of the entire industry, combining the commercial and legal skills, which is really valuable in lawyers.’

‘Specific mention to Barbara Pansadoro – she’s superb – her grasp of every issue is fantastic, and she is tireless in getting a deal over the line. Someone you really want on your side!’

‘HFW has a unique combination of a warm/personal approach together with a high degree of competence.’

Key clients



KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH


Macquarie Bank


Tsakos Energy Navigation

Northern Offshore Services

Kiwi Rail

Air Europa


Corendon Airlines

El Al Airline

Work highlights

  • Assisted Northern Offshore Services with (1) the purchase and green upgrade of crew transfer vessels and (2) the lease financing of those vessels provided by Flexam Invest.
  • Advised HSBC and The Royal Bank of Scotland, as agents, on the amendment of Hermes supported loan facilities to Saga Cruises in respect of the switch from LIBOR to a SONIA-based risk free rate.
  • Advised Kiwi Rail on the construction, purchase and financing by the client of two rail-enabled roll on roll off passenger ferries for employment with KiwiRail’s “InterIslander” ferry service between Wellington and Picton in New Zealand.

Holland & Knight (UK) LLP

Holland & Knight (UK) LLP continues to grow its aviation finance footprint in London, with structured finance expert Richard Sharman being the latest significant hire for the team, following his move from Bird & Bird LLP in November 2021. Sharman also further enhances the practice’s lessor credentials, an area in which the ‘client-driven and technically excellent’ Victoria Koob has been particularly active, including in the context of advising them as creditors in restructuring matters. In this regard, Koob continues to work closely with lawyers on the ground in the US in relation to numerous leasing companies with various exposures to the Chapter 11 procedures of several Latin American airlines including Avianca and Aeromexico. Robert Ricketts heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Robert Ricketts

Other key lawyers:

Gwyn O’Flynn; Victoria Koob; Richard Sharman; Noelle Boyce; Michael Holt


Victoria Koob and Richard Sharman are attentive, client driven and technically excellent.’

Key clients

Shannon Engine Support Limited


AerCap Holdings, N.V.

Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited

BBAM Aircraft Management LP

Close Brothers Aviation and Marine Finance Limited

Aircastle Limited

SMBC Aviation Capital Limited

HEH Hamburger EmissionsHaus GmbH & Cle. KG

Fuyo General Lease Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising Avolon and FGL on various issues concerning the aircraft they currently lease to Avianca, firstly in respect of their rights during the Chapter 11 process including with respect to arrangements relating to the use, maintenance and operation of the aircraft in this period and the claims of each creditor under the Chapter 11 process, and also in relation to restructuring of leasing arrangements for their current aircraft.
  • Advising a number of large lessors on the negotiation of post-petition leases with Aeromexico, following its Chapter 11 exit.

K&L Gates LLP

Now with four partners all of whom have a focus on aviation finance and leasing based in London, following the arrival in January 2022 of Peter O’Hare from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, K&L Gates LLP has the critical mass to handle a growing amount of new money and restructuring mandates for a balanced mix of lessors, funds and airlines. Philip Perrotta is known for his work on the “oilier” side of the sector, including handling complex matters for parts suppliers and manufacturers.

Other key lawyers:

Philip Perrotta; Peter O’Hare; Kevin Pearson


‘The team is highly experienced and extremely customer focused.

Peter O’Hare is the most effective and commercially aware counsel that I’ve ever worked with.’

Key clients

ACIA Aero Holdings Limited

Avenue Capital


Kayan Aircraft Holdings

Spicejet Limited



Qatar Airways

MUFG Securities Americas Inc.

JLPS Ireland Limited

Pulsar Aero

VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company

P Capital Partners III AB

Empire Aviation

Work highlights

  • Advised Emirates on its first receivables financing in excess of $750m.
  • Advised Pulsar Aero Global – which specialises in the management of mid-life narrow body aircraft, freighters and engines – on a new financing facility involving the acquisition of three 2010-12 vintage 737-800s on lease to major European operators.
  • Advised flydubai on the sale and leaseback of 2 Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft from Novus.

White & Case LLP

Headed by Justin Benson - who is now the sole partner based in London with a core focus on asset finance following the recent departure of Adrian Beasley to Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLPWhite & Case LLP punches above its weight, in part due to its ability to leverage broader finance and restructuring competences, as well as to work with its large international network. ‘Super user-friendly and commercial’, Benson leads from the front, with clients including banks, ECAs, lessors and airlines appreciative of his ability to provide ‘pragmatic and commercial solutions’ on complex cross-border leasing structures and transactional restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Justin Benson

Other key lawyers:

David Wright; Gemma Patterson; Zahra Knapper


They have a strong attention to detail, provide a thorough analysis of legal issues, and draft carefully.’

Their particular strength is with cross-border complicated leasing structures and transactional restructurings and the related amendments to existing documentation.’

The team provides an exceptional service with an emphasis on pragmatic and commercial solutions.’

Justin Benson is super user friendly – the aviation finance lawyer for all seasons. Justin is very much our “go-to” lawyer for anything requiring commercial nous.’

‘A diligent team; empathetic to both the client and other side.’

‘The core transactional team has deep expertise to match its peers at the fore of the sector and has the support of litigation and restructuring specialists within the firm, when required.’

‘Justin Benson provides clear and decisive advice, taking account of legal issues which not all competitors would spot.’

‘The firm works on a problem solving culture where rather than simply churn out documents there is genuine thought, concern and insight applied.’

Key clients

AMCK Aviation

CDB Aviation Lease Finance


Euler Hermes

UK Export Finance

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Carlyle Aviation


Banco Santander

Nordea Bank

DNB Bank


Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Winston & Strawn LLP

Led by ‘maestro’ Mark Moody, the small but highly focused team of industry experts’ at Winston & Strawn LLP provides ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ advice to ECAs, banks and lessors, across a range of complex new financing structures and as creditors in large cross-border restructurings. Moody ‘knows the industry inside out‘ and is at the heart of the team’s highest profile work which it handles on its own, as well as alongside colleagues in the US. Recent highlights include acting for ECAs and banks as creditors on numerous Latin American airline restructurings which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

Practice head(s):

Mark Moody

Other key lawyers:

Rishi Raheja; James Turner; Eliana Torrado Franco


The team is a small but highly focused team of industry experts with detailed and specific knowledge of aviation finance.’

‘The team is strong and on point. They know the aviation market very well and what issues are important to us.’

Maestro Mark Moody is very experienced and always focused on his deals. He always gets us the best result possible.’

Mark Moody is the stand-out individual. Mark knows the industry inside out and we like bouncing commercial ideas off him as much as legal issues.’

Rishi Raheja – an experienced associate who takes a pragmatic approach to aviation-related issues.’

‘People at Winston are experienced and very helpful.’

‘The team is very consistent, responsive and reliable, always demonstrating a great ability to adjust to new variants and late time changes in the transaction.’

‘Rishi Raheja is certainly someone who stands out and is always available to make the deal work and close timely.’

Key clients

Aviation Capital Group LLC

BNP Paribas

CIAF Leasing

Deutsche Bank

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

Pratt & Whitney

Sky Airline S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Aviation Capital Group on the leasing of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Transavia France.
  • Representing the European Export Credit Agencies in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of LATAM Airlines Group.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank on the financing of three Airbus A320 NEO aircraft for Bleriot Aviation Leasing DAC to be leased to Frontier Airlines.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has a long established reputation for work in the maritime sector and is well placed to provide ‘creative solutions’ for an eclectic range of clients, including lessors, shipowners and lenders, as a result of deep sectoral knowledge and an ‘in-depth knowledge of financial and commercial transactions’. The ‘diligent and helpful’ Marie-Anne Mousalli is one of the main contacts for marine project work and transactional shipping matters, including high value sale and purchase transactions, and sale and leaseback mandates.  The absorption of specialist aviation boutique REN Legal in November 2021 has galvanised the firm’s commercial aviation finance capabilities, which had hitherto been centred around Mark Bisset‘s business jet expertise. Norman Fraser, who previously headed REN Legal’s team and now co-heads the firm’s global aviation finance team with Bisset, is particularly noted for his work relating to the acquisition, financing, and leasing of portfolios of aircraft and engines.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bisset; Norman Fraser; Marie-Anne Moussalli

Other key lawyers:

Roger Whipp; Nicholas Harding; Guy Espitalier-Noel; Cecily Scutt; Amanda Paterson; Ioanna Tsekoura; Nick Block; Jahnavi Ramachandran


The team is very thorough and diligent in their work. They are very good at anticipating our next questions and having things prepared in a timely fashion, sometimes before we have even requested them.’

They have in-depth knowledge of financial and commercial transactions involving the shipping industry and can offer creative solutions. Their huge cross-border experience allows them to quickly grasp and adapt to the challenges presented by different jurisdictions.’

‘It is a talented team with a proactive, hands-on approach to provide my firm with high quality legal advice through aircraft financing contracting and negotiations.’

DLA Piper

Led by Alan Cunningham from London and also aided by a strong presence in Manchester (as well as globally), DLA Piper‘s ‘outstanding’ three-partner team provides ‘commercial and cost-effective’ advice to lessors, financiers and operators across the spectrum of asset classes. The team has, however, gained most traction in the aerospace sector, with regard not only to the leasing and financing of commercial aircraft but also corporate jets and helicopters. The ‘incredibly responsive and pragmatic’ Richard Skipper has been central to the firm’s success in the space, and handles financing work for numerous airlines including low-cost operators Flybe and Flyr.

Practice head(s):

Alan Cunningham

Other key lawyers:

Richard Skipper; Rebecca Williams; Claire Manley; Anna Powers


Their ability to come up with innovative contract language and sell it forward to the opponent is exceptional.’

The outstanding practice is commercial and always acts in an efficient and cost-effective manner.’

‘Richard Skipper and Anna Powers are incredibly responsive, reliable and pragmatic. They are a safe pair of hands, and very much considered trusted counsel, and our go to for any of our asset finance matters.’

Key clients

Investec Bank

Flyr AS

Flybe Limited

CHC Helicopters

Work highlights

  • Advised Investec, as junior lender, on the refinancing of a 13 aircraft and spare parts portfolio for CityJet as part of the Cityjet examiner’s restructuring plan.
  • Assisting the new Flybe business with lessor RFP negotiations for the launch fleet, and advising the client on all lease and financing arrangements with NAC and Aergo and the delivery of the new aircraft for the new 2022 commencement of the business.
  • Advising Flyr on the leasing of 8 brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with options for 4 further aircraft from ALC.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s ‘very approachable’ team advises financial institutions, lessors and airlines across a range of finance and leasing work, where clients also benefit from access to a particularly strong offering out of Asia Pacific.


A very approachable team.’

Key clients

easyJet Airline Company Limited

Aergo Capital Limited

Bpifrance Assurance Export

CIT Finance LLC

UK Export Finance

Euler Hermes

Societe Generale

Tata SIA Airlines

Bayerische Landesbank

Work highlights

  • Advising easyJet on its £1.2bn rights issue.
  • Advising Aergo on the sale and leaseback of aircraft with Singapore Airlines with limited recourse financing provided by Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC.
  • Advising easyJet on a $1.87bn secured term loan facility.

Addleshaw Goddard

Although Addleshaw Goddard‘s London offering saw the departure in April 2022 of rail finance expert Clive Smith to gunnercooke LLP, the firm continues to be well placed to leverage broader asset finance expertise from its regional practitioners. Most notable of these is Edinburgh-based partner Ed Watt, who handles a range of commercial, contractual and finance work as part of his overarching shipping practice, and Manchester-based Andrew Maskill, who handles some transport-related work as part of his broad finance and leasing practice. The arrival in May 2022 of rail finance expert Simon Gwynne from Norton Rose Fulbright also quickly filled the void left by Smith's departure a month earlier.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Maskill; Ed Watt

Other key lawyers:

Simon Gwynne; Lizzie Wareing


Good level of service and advice in a fairly unusual transaction requiring niche experience the rest of the market could not offer.’

Key clients

Eversholt Rail Group

Clydesdale Bank PLC

Natwest Bank

Hampshire Trust Bank PLC

Specialist Aviation Services

Work highlights

  • Advising Clydesdale as lender to the purchaser of a state-of-the-art newbuild pelagic fishing vessel, to be built at the Zamakona shipyard in Spain.  

Bird & Bird LLP

Although Bird & Bird LLP‘s London-based aviation finance practice lost Richard Sharman  to Holland & Knight (UK) LLP in November 2021, it still maintains a significant broader transactional capability which handles a mix of operational, regulatory, commercial and finance work for airlines and lessors. ‘Knowledgeable’ consultant Paul Briggs provides ‘strong and astute leadership’ and has recently been involved in numerous passenger-to-freighter projects - a trend in the market which has been exacerbated by Covid-19 and by the growth of the e-commerce market and consumers’ increased expectations of next day delivery. Clients also benefit from access to lawyers on the ground in Asia and Europe.

Practice head(s):

Paul Briggs

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Eyre; Simon Phippard; Carey Tang


The team displays a high level of professionalism and commercial awareness.’

They are very deal-oriented and pragmatic.’

The knowledgeable Paul Briggs provides strong and astute leadership.’

Carey Tang is particularly impressive in executing client wishes and providing alternative solutions to complex issues.’

‘Although working in this area for more than 30 yrs, Paul Briggs is still full of passion and is super keen to deal with those complex issues.’

‘A high level of legal expertise is complemented by a strong appreciation of commercial reality.’

‘Paul Briggs provides strong and astute leadership. Excellent knowledge and skill set. He is supported by an excellent team.’

‘The team was was dedicated to the transaction and one could fully rely on the team delivering the deal in time and within the budgeted frame.’

Key clients

Air Arabia

Airborne Capital Limited

Airbus Bank

Banco Santander

Bristow Group


EMP Structured Assets GmbH



Investec Bank plc

Lease Corporation International

LOT Polish Airlines



Smartwings / Czech Airlines

Virgin Atlantic

GHZ Air I Limited

Erste Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Seraph on the lease of two A320 airfcraft to Pakistan International Airlines.
  • Advising GHZ Air I Limited on a number of different matters, including the setting up of a new passenger-to-freighter conversion business.
  • Advising CCB Leasing on the Norwegian Air Shuttle Irish examinership and Norwegian reconstruction processes with respect to two aircraft on finance lease.

Ince & Co

Although it also handles its fair share of conventional shipping work, Ince & Co‘s particular sweet-spot involves handling financing related to major offshore projects. Beatrice Russ is ‘exceptional’ at tackling LNG projects, including in the context of sale leaseback and ECA-backed transactions. Stuart McAlpine heads up the overarching marine projects and ship finance practice, which also includes Sung-Hwan Choi, who is ‘efficient and reliable in handling Korean ship finance’. 

Practice head(s):

Stuart McAlpine

Other key lawyers:

Beatrice Russ; Sung-Hwan Choi; David Baker; Andrew Powell; Siobhan Silk; Stuart Plotnek; Alison Lescure


‘It is a team with a long history in the market and a lot of experience. The lawyers are very diligent and provide a great service.’

‘Beatrice Russ is exceptional – she is a shrewd negotiator and very pragmatic which we value a lot. We trust her judgement implicitly.’

Sung-Hwan Choi is efficient and reliable in handling Korean ship finance.’

Linklaters LLP

Led from London by the ‘excellent’ Olga Petrovic and able to leverage the expertise of specialists in complementary practice areas, including capital markets, restructuring and fundsLinklaters LLP is particularly well positioned to handle major multi-disciplinary cross-border transactions in the maritime and aviation sectors. Both Petrovic and Caroline Courtney – who has ‘broad and deep experience in commercial aviation finance and private aviation operations’ – have recently been particularly active advising creditors with exposure to distressed or insolvent airlines and shipping companies.

Practice head(s):

Olga Petrovic

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Courtney; Rebecca Jarvis; Chiara Larghi; Matthew Pawlak; Alliance Mukengeshayi; Stephen Adrian


Great team with good all round support across regions – seamless support across jurisdictions and teams makes this team my go-to for all things transport and finance.’

They are practical and client focused in delivering on transactions.’

The team is very responsive and has an in-depth knowledge about the industry.’

The excellent Olga Petrovic provides practical, clear advice that is always commercial and honest. I am always confident having her on our side – her market knowledge is second-to-none.’

Caroline Courtney has broad and deep experience in commercial aviation finance and private aviation operations and associated risks. She is always available, very hands on and supremely capable.’ 

‘Caroline Courtney and Olga Petrovic are both great to work with.’

‘Excellent service; responsive; hard working; go the extra mile.’

Key clients

Citibank N.A.


Cross Ocean Partners

Deutsche Bank AG


Bank of America

Strategic Value Partners

Goldman Sachs

Cathay Pacific Airways Limited

NatWest Bank

Credit Agricole Commercial and Investment Bank


Hapag-Lloyd AG

SeaCube Containers


Work highlights

  • Advising an ad hoc group of lenders under a revolving credit facility, as well certain lenders under certain bilateral and Schuldschein facilities to NAC Aviation 29 DAC.
  • Advising Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau on a Covid-19-related DIP financing for the distressed German airline Condor.
  • Advising MV Werften Group and Genting Group on a Covid-19-related international restructuring, including in particular financial aids under the German Economic Stabilisation Fund.

Burges Salmon LLP

Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP has a ‘significant depth of experience’ within the rail sector and provides ‘pragmatic’ advice across a range of operational, regulatory and financing matters to key stakeholders in the space. Team head and specialist rail lawyer Brioney Thomas takes the lead on much of the most high profile work, including advising on rolling stock financing and procurement for many of the country’s most prominent train operating companies.

Practice head(s):

Brioney Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Chris Simms; Chris Lewis; Jacob Preisner


The firm has significant depth of experience in the sector.’

They are pragmatic without compromising the client’s interests.’

Key clients


Abellio Transport Holdings

Welsh Government / Transport for Wales

Northern Ireland Railways Company (trading as Translink)

Eurostar International Limited (trading as Eurostar)

Rock Rail East Midlands plc

Rail Delivery Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Welsh Ministers and Transport for Wales on the termination of their franchise arrangements with the incumbent operator, and the transfer of passenger rail services (including leasing arrangements and associated MSAs) to a new public sector operator.
  • Advising Abellio East Anglia on the renegotiation of the MSA, lease and maintenance agreements for an £800m rolling stock procurement.
  • Assisting South West Rail with the renegotiation of the MSA, lease and maintenance agreement for a significant rolling stock project.

Campbell Johnston Clark

Since it was established in 2010, full service boutique shipping firm Campbell Johnston Clark has developed a strong transactional team, providing ‘practical and proactive’ advice to a growing roster of clients including owners, shipmanagers, financiers and shipyards. Founding partner Jonathan Campbell heads up the finance and transactional offering, which also fields the ‘very pragmatic and solutions-driven’ James Clayton, who has significant experience in the field developed not only through private practice but also in various in-house roles within the sector.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Campbell

Other key lawyers:

James Clayton; Alastair Macaulay; Amy Lindemann


The firm boasts a first-class specialist team of lawyers in this practice area. We currently see them at the forefront of the market as they offer clients unbeatable value for money.’

The team is always very commercial but clearly with a solid basis in the legal aspects. The lawyers are practical and proactive and always aware of our priorities and work hard to get the deals done.’

Without a doubt, James Clayton not only has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area, but he is always readily available to assist at any hour of the day. He is very pragmatic and has a solutions-driven mindset, which are two invaluable skill sets in this practice area.’

Key clients

Union Maritime

SMT Shipping

BOT Lease


Credit Europe Bank

Carisbrooke Shipping

PG Tankers

Mitsui OSK Line (MOL)

Pacific Green

Technologies Group

Lomar Shipmanagement

Anglo Shipping



Pan Ocean


Hadley Shipping /Foreland / AW Ship Management

Siem Group

James Fisher Plc

Credit Suisse

Seaboard Marine

Kiran Shipping

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a particularly strong reputation in the rail sector, both in the context of domestic and international projects, where it also benefits from strong expertise out of its Berlin office. Graeme McLellan is the figurehead of the team, and combines vast industry sector knowledge with expertise across a range of financing structures to provide a very credible service across the gamut of procurement, financing, leasing and operational issues related to infrastructure and rolling stock projects.

Other key lawyers:

Graeme McLellan; Richard Hughes

Key clients

Equitix Limited

Eversholt Rail

Work highlights

  • Advising equity investor Equitix on the ongoing financing of the development of the Norwich Crown Point Light Maintenance Depot.
  • Advising equity investor Equitix on the financing of the construction of a new stabling facility for the overnight storage of certain new “fixed formation” rolling stock with no doors at the ends of individual carriages.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Under the guidance of the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Roderick Palmer, Hill Dickinson LLP has cultivated a solid offering among lenders and borrowers in the commercial shipping and offshore sector, as well as fielding a growing aviation offering. The firm is also recognised as a ‘true industry leader’ in the yachting space, an area in which Panos Pourgourides – who co-heads the team with Palmer – has a thriving practice for both banks and ultra-high-net-worth-individuals seeking to finance their acquisitions of super yachts.

Practice head(s):

Panos Pourgourides; Roderick Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Diana Syziu; Nafsika Makepeace; Rajveer Sehmi


It is an extremely knowledgeable team with sector expertise in yachting that is a valued partner of the bank and our clients. A true industry leader!’

Roderick Palmer has a very even temperament, is easy to work with, and most importantly is extremely knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Advanced Energy Systems

ADES Saudi

BB Energy


J. Marr Seafoods

Samsung Heavy Industries


BNP Paribas

Close Brothers



Berge Bulk

Marti Shipmanagement



Work highlights

  • Advising Advanced Energy Systems on its acquisition of four jack-ups rigs contracted to Saudi Aramco from Noble Corporation.
  • Advising Samsung Heavy Industries on the lease and potential sale of drillship “SANTORINI”.
  • Assisting Stobart Air with the proposed amendment and re-statement of the sub-leases for its fleet of ATR72-600 aircraft.

Wikborg Rein

A significant proportion of Wikborg Rein‘s deal flow relates to the provision of English law advice for banks lending to Norwegian clients, as well as for the firm’s sizeable roster of Norwegian operator clients. Team head Jonathan Goldfarb is particularly adept at handling the development and finance of offshore energy projects, including within the LNG sector. As well as transactional work in the offshore space, Jonathan Page also handles a range of conventional commercial shipping matters for borrowers and lenders in the traditional bank loan markets, as well as for lessors and lessees in sale and leaseback transactions. 

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Goldfarb

Other key lawyers:

Renaud Barbier-Emery; Jonathan Page; Sebastian Lea; Nikhil Datta; Jack Baker

Key clients

DNB Bank

Awilco LNG

GasLog Ltd

GSP Offshore / Grup Servicii Petroliere SA

Navios Maritime Acquisitions Corp

Seajacks International Limited

Credit Suisse Ag

CMB Financial Leasing

AVIC Financial Leasing

ICBC Financial Leasing

Pearl Bidco AS

SMBC Bank International Plc

Lefdal Mine Datacentre AS

Nordea Bank Abp, filial I Norge

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Credit Suisse AG

Belships ASA

Fjord Line AS

Work highlights

  • Advising Belships ASA on the English law aspects of more than ten Japanese sale and leaseback transactions valued at $250m.
  • Advising Credit Suisse on certain amendments to an €80m loan to a subsidiary of Seven Yield Holding for the purpose of refinancing the acquisition costs of a 3,300 unit car carrier.
  • Advising SMBC Bank on a $90m loan to Knutsen NYK/Knot Shuttle Tankers.