Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has again been ranked among the very top law firms in AirFinance Journal’s 2021 Legal Survey, with the firm being recognized for the fourth year in a row as the most active law firm for structured lease transactions, as well as the second most active firm for transactions involving the sales and purchases of aircraft, based on deal volume in 2020.
The 2021 Survey also lists K&L Gates as the most active law firm in Europe and among the top two most active law firms in Africa and Middle East markets based on 2020 deal volume. The firm is listed as the third most active law firm globally and in the Asia Pacific.
Additionally, the firm’s aviation practice has been recognized for its role on a matter awarded “Bank Loan Deal of the Year” during the 2021 AirFinance Journal Awards, details of which include:
- Bleriot Aviation Funding US$300m warehouse facility (Bank Loan Deal of the Year 2021) – a cross-border team of K&L Gates lawyers led by partners Robert Melson (Tokyo) and Sidanth Rajagopal (London) as well as special counsel Dr. Manuela Krach (London) assisted JP Lease and Airbus Financial Products with respect to an innovative warehouse facility extended to their new joint venture, Bleriot Aviation, by BNP Paribas and CACIB. This allows Bleriot to finance the purchase of new narrow-body and wide-body Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2020–2022 to Airbus’ airline clients by using a US$ denominated non-recourse secured warehouse facility to bridge the acquisition of aircraft into long-term financing, catering for “Deferred Lease Commencement” (i.e., a drawdown of the relevant advance amount prior to operational delivery and lease commencement).
At the 2021 Awards, the winning deals were selected by a judging panel of senior aviation finance executives from the airline, finance, legal, and manufacturing sectors, and were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on 23 June.
“We are thrilled that our global aviation finance practice continues to be recognized by AirFinance Journal and by myriad market leaders as one of the top law firms working on important deals for major players operating globally in this sector,” said Robert Melson, a partner in the Tokyo office and a leader of K&L Gates’ global aviation finance practice. “We continue to invest in bolstering our practice and capabilities, with an eye to maintaining a first-in-class team of lawyers who can assist diverse clients with a broad range of issues, wherever their needs may arise. The last few years have been particularly challenging for those operating in this space. We are honored to be acknowledged as a leading legal service provider and trusted adviser.”
K&L Gates’ aviation finance practice represents financial institutions and leasing companies around the globe in connection with aircraft finance and leasing transactions, including the structuring, documenting, and negotiating of aircraft finance transactions and cross-border transactions involving multiple jurisdictions. The team works closely with their colleagues in the tax, regulatory, and litigation support practice groups in order to advise and assist financial institutions, leasing companies, and airlines on a variety of aviation matters.