Aviation

Our team of acknowledged leading practitioners and highly talented aviation lawyers bring to the table a genuine in-depth knowledge and understanding of the aviation industry, which, when combined with a practical hands-on approach and high levels of legal expertise, enables us to deliver the commercial outcome our clients are looking for, effectively and cost efficiently.

Visit our aviation hub.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

In our team, we have decades of accumulated experience acting for:

  • airlines
  • lessors
  • financiers and the major transportation banks
  • insurers
  • maintenance repair and overhaul organisations
  • airports
  • airline associations.

This experience means our aviation specialist lawyers have a 360 degree understanding of how the aviation industry works, and can leverage that knowledge and experience to the benefit of clients without any re-invention of wheels or cost inefficiencies. Our approach is driven by listening to our clients’ commercial objectives, making sure we understand what it is that they want to achieve, within what timeframe, at what cost, and resourcing the job with the right team.

We are ranked amongst the top firms by leading legal directories for aviation finance and leasing. Our award-winning team has a well-established reputation for excellence. We have extensive experience in all areas of aviation finance and leasing, regularly advising international financiers and lessors on financing and leasing transactions and portfolio management activities.

We also have extensive experience of aviation litigation including all forms of dispute resolution, disputes arising out of operating and finance leases and disputes arising out of termination of leases. We provide regulatory advice and compliance, competition and state aid investigations, merger advice and act on all forms of accidents and incidents.

As well as our core team of aviation specialist lawyers, we offer wider services to our aviation clients through our corporate and commercial, restructuring, IP, employment, pensions, tax, and real estate specialist teams.

"Stephenson Harwood have an outstanding aviation team, led by a brilliant partner supported by committed and highly competent associates. They are highly responsive to client needs, have an excellent knowledge of the aviation sector, and are great to work with."

The Legal 500 UK 2022

 

Deucalion Limited and CLSA Capital Partners

Advised on purchase and financing of two B787-800 aircraft on lease to Qatar Airways. The aircraft were purchased by a joint-venture vehicle set up by Deucalion Limited and CLSA Capital Partners.

DVB Bank

Advised on the refinancing of nine Asiana aircraft through finance leases.

Landmark Commercial Court case - loss of onward sale contract

Acted in the landmark Commercial Court case of Pindell and BBAM v Air Asia concerning claims brought by lessor for the loss of an onward sale contract arising from the late redelivery of the aircraft.

Deep vein thrombosis - worldwide litigation

Acted for airlines in the worldwide deep vein thrombosis litigation brought by claimants in the UK, US and Australia.

Major air disaster investigations

Acted on numerous accident investigations, major air disasters including the Lockerbie investigation and trial, and other high profile accidents and incidents.

Acted for numerous lessors and airlines in redelivery disputes litigated in the High Court in London and in international arbitrations and acted for both lessors and airlines on repossessions, restructuring and insolvency claims.

Aviation regulation

Acted for numerous airlines advising them on regulatory issues, and claims of both regulatory and commercial nature including EC 261 claims, advice on compliance with various EU Regulations including ETS, EC Reg 1008/2008, the PRM Regulation, state aid, consumer protection legislation, competition cartel and alliance issues, price fixing investigations, disputes with bairports, slots advice and transfers, EU blacklist work and regulatory safety compliance, ground handling disputes, and commercial disputes acting for airlines against all manner of suppliers and manufacturers.

Altavair

Advising Altavair on the acquisition, financing and leasing of more than 110 new and used aircraft. 

Aircraft portfolio disposal

Advising a major operating lessor on the sale of a portfolio of 37 aircraft. 

Transportation Partners

Advising Transportation Partners on the ECA-supported financing of 10 ATR 72-600 aircraft with a capital markets take-out option. 

Financing of new and used aircraft

Advising DVB, BNP Paribas, MUFG and other leading financial institutions on multiple financings of new and used aircraft for large operating leasing companies. 

PDP aircraft financing

Advising a leading bank on the PDP financing of multiple A320neo and A330 aircraft.

Indigo

Advised on multiple operating leases and sale and leaseback transactions.

Restructurings

Advised various banks and operating lessors in relation to matters arising from the restructurings of Virgin Atlantic and Malaysia Airlines and the insolvencies of Thomas Cook and Flybe.

Latest news & insights

14 May 2024

From Insights

Commodities in Focus Weekly - Investigation into potential greenwashing by 20 airlines – a growing trend?

The European Commission has recently announced that it and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network had sent letters to 20 airlines concerning a variety of "potenti..

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23 Apr 2024

From Insights

Greenwashing in aviation: The latest rules and regulations on environmental campaigns

The aviation industry has historically had a negative reputation of being greenhouse gas polluters.

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23 Apr 2024

From Insights

Putting it Planely with Stephenson Harwood's aviation litigation and regulation team

The team has launched this podcast series to discuss key topical issues in the aviation sector, and to share their insight on how to tackle them.

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20 Mar 2024

From Insights

Aviation safety: Analysing the 2023 IATA Annual Safety Report and 2024 accidents to date

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently released its annual safety report and recommendations for air accident prevention by way of the IATA Annual..

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01 Mar 2024

From Insights

Aviation regulatory update 2023/2024

2023 has seen a raft of aviation-related consultations in the UK and we expect that the results of these consultations will start to filter into UK aviation regulation..

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21 Feb 2024

From Insights

Transportation and trade newsletter - Transportation finance

Welcome to the second edition of Stephenson Harwood’s transportation and trade update – our specialist newsletter for clients engaged in the aviation, marine, rail and..

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08 Feb 2024

From Insights

One small step closer: the UK's first fully licensed vertical spaceport

In December 2023, the UK Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA") issued a vertical launch licence to the SaxaVord spaceport in Shetland. SaxaVord now holds the very first ver..

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05 Sep 2023

From Insights

Ready for lift-off? House of Commons committee publishes review of UK's launch licensing regime

This article looks at the most pressing issues identified in the report, relevant evidence provided by some key players in the UK industry, and the recommendations sug..

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01 Aug 2023

From Insights

Transportation and trade newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Stephenson Harwood’s transportation and trade update – our specialist newsletter for clients engaged in the aviation, marine, rail and ..

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20 Jul 2023

From Insights

Aviation team attend IAWA European Leadership Forum

Rupali Sharma and Lucy Moseley of the aviation litigation and regulation team attended the IAWA European Leadership Forum in Amsterdam on 22 to 23 June.

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17 Jul 2023

From Insights

Update: DfT response to consultation on Aviation Consumer Policy Reform

In January 2022 the UK Department for Transport ("DfT") launched a consultation on Aviation Consumer Policy Reform.

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06 Jul 2023

From News

Stephenson Harwood wins seven awards at China Business Law Awards

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named winner of seven categories at China Business Law Journal's 2023 China Business Law Awards.

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12 Jun 2023

From News

Florent Rigaud joins Stephenson Harwood as partner

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its asset finance practice with the arrival of partner Florent Rigaud, who joins the firm in Paris.

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06 Jun 2023

From Insights

Digitalising borders: ETIAS and ETA

The European Union's (the "EU") long-standing ambition to strengthen the security of the Schengen area has been delayed once again.

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25 May 2023

From News

Four lawyers featured in Spear's Magazine's 2023 rankings

Stephenson Harwood senior partner Roland Foord, partners Kiersten Lucas and Ezio Dal Maso, and consultant Neil Noble have been included in Spear's Magazine's 2023 'Emp..

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07 Mar 2023

From Insights

UK aviation and competition authorities publish joint warning letter to airport operators following concerns of suspected anti-competitive practices

On 26 January 2023, the Competition & Markets Authority ("CMA") and the Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA") published a joint open 'warning' letter reminding UK airport o..

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