Clifford Chance LLP

Transportation: Aviation: Finance Department

USA - Nationwide
Current View:

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What the team is known for Distinguished aviation finance practice with extensive experience working on aviation capital markets transactions, securitizations, ECA financing and leasing matters. Frequently handles EETCs and acquisition financings. Represents significant clients including government authorities, investment banks and operating lessors. Able to draw upon resources of the wider firm for tax and corporate expertise.

Strengths"It has an excellent understanding of the sector and the space, its lawyers have a very good balance of moving the deal forward and making sure the legal protections are in place," says a source.

"They are certainly expert in their field," report commentators.

"Clifford Chance has a very strong team with respect to aviation law," note interviewees.

Work highlights Acted for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, as seller and servicer, on its $380 million asset-backed securitization, backed by a portfolio of 18 leased aircraft.

Notable practitioners

Emily Wicker regularly leads significant aircraft leasing agreements, including AFIC and EETC transactions. "She is a fantastic attorney," extols one source, while another notes: "She is technically adept and has a huge amount of experience."

Seasoned practitioner John Howitt continues to be highly regarded in this space, with a wealth of experience leading financing transactions, including securitizations, as well as handling complex loan restructurings.

Madalyn Miller works with clients on a host of transactions, including acquisition financings. Sources highlight her as "a very skilled attorney" who "understands the documents extremely well and does a terrific job of guiding us through the issues that we need to focus on."

Patrick O'Reilly is building a solid practice that includes working on financing and operating leases. A peer considers him to be "a very, very good lawyer" who is "good to work with."

Zarrar Sehgal is "one of the most experienced aviation finance attorneys" according to a client, who adds: "He does a terrific job of providing counsel and being very commercial." He remains a foremost expert in issues such as EETCs and structured finance.