Jim Bell > Watson Farley & Williams LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Watson Farley & Williams LLP
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Jim has significant experience in advising financiers, lessors and operators on structured and asset finance, with the majority of his practice focused on the aviation industry. He has advised on some of the most innovative, complex and high profile structured and asset finance transactions, including many ‘Deal of the Year’ award-winning transactions.

Jim’s experience includes debt finance, export finance, operating leasing, PDP finance, portfolio transfers, portfolio and warehouse financing, tax leasing products, debt capital markets products, Islamic finance, helicopter finance, business jet finance, engine finance, OEM purchase agreements, restructurings, regulatory and a range of corporate and commercial matters.

Jim has been recognised as a leading asset finance lawyer by prestigious legal directories, who describe him as “pragmatic, with a great commercial sense” and “very good at getting deals done”, “very commercial, bright and talented” and “genuinely one of the very rare aviation lawyers who combines strong technical expertise with an acute business sense”.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Transport > Aviation

Watson Farley & Williams LLP‘s aviation sector group is led frm London by co-head Jim Bell, an ‘excellent problem solver’ who works in tandem with fellow co-head Charles Viggers in Singapore. The team has strong track record of work on high-stakes restructuring work, routinely advising creditor groups, lenders and lessors. The team also has notable expertise on the contentious side, with London disputes co-head Andrew Ward a key name.

London > Finance > Transport finance and leasing

(Leading individuals)

Jim BellWatson 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.