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Aviation Finance and Transportation

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"The lawyers are very strong and among the best international aviation lawyers.  The service levels and responsiveness are very good.  They know the industry and all the major parties very well, and know what is happening in the market.  They are very good at understanding the commercial needs of the client." 
Chambers and Partners Global 2023

Matheson has a dedicated market leading Aviation Finance and Transportation Group.  We advise both domestic and international asset financing banks, leasing companies and airlines in relation to financing and leasing of commercial and corporate aircraft, helicopters, rail rolling stock and ships.  We also regularly act as deal counsel or Irish counsel in complex cross-border financings, including on structured finance, ABS (asset-backed securitisation) and repackaging transactions relating to all such asset classes.

Being part of our Finance and Capital Markets Department, we regularly advise on structured finance, ABS (asset-backed securities) and repackaging transactions relating to all such asset classes including the establishment of special purpose companies funded by public and private issuances.

We also have a strong aviation regulatory practice and regularly advise Irish airlines and leasing companies on airline licensing and registration issues with the Irish Aviation Authority and Commission for Aviation Regulation in addition to all aspects of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol.

Together with Matheson’s specialist aviation tax expertise, Matheson has assisted a number of the current top ten aircraft lessors in establishing their leasing platforms in Ireland.

Our Team

Experience Highlights

Representative transactions include:

  • A major private equity fund in relation to its acquisition of an aircraft portfolio comprising in excess of 150 aircraft.
  • An international investor in a 50 / 50 joint venture arrangement to acquire up to 70 Airbus A320 aircraft.
  • A domestic airline in its acquisition of up to 20 new aircraft.
  • The Export-Import Bank of China in respect of its financing of six Airbus A320 aircraft to a Chinese based lessor - the first aircraft delivered under this facility was the first non European assembled Airbus aircraft and the first A320 to be produced at Airbus' new assembly facility in Tianjin, China.
  • An international lessor and financier in its acquisition of 15 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
  • An Irish aircraft lessor on its acquisition of 30 aircraft and an airline.
  • On the establishment of an Irish licensed airline.
  • On the acquisition of a portfolio of 37 aircraft.
  • On the acquisition of Irish and European airlines.

In addition to:

  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on aircraft securitisation transactions.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on US EX-IM supported financing of Boeing aircraft.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on European Export Credit supported financing of Airbus and ATR aircraft.
  • Regularly acting as Irish counsel on BNDES Brazilian export credit supported financing of Embraer aircraft.
  • Regularly advising on the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol.

"The best law firm in Dublin working in the asset finance (aviation) segment, provides exceptional legal advice and market knowledge. They take a practical and pragmatic view on complex matters and have superb communication skills. They are commercial, collaborative and proactive in bringing issues to our attention which our team and clients greatly appreciated. The team are client-friendly and easy to deal with."
IFLR1000 2022

They know the market inside out, and are friendly, efficient and always willing to go the extra mile to help. Their breadth of experience means that they can assist on any transaction we throw at them.’
Transport: The Legal 500 2022

‘Super responsive, very user friendly, helpful and fun. We deal mainly with Yvonne McWeeney and Stuart Kennedy but also the team head Rory McPhillips. They are supported by good associates and the whole experience is always positive for us.’
Transport: The Legal 500 2022

‘We value their responsiveness, availability, quality of work, ability to provide solutions and ideas, reasonable pricing, and practical and commercial approach.’
Transport: The Legal 500 2022

‘Good commercial understanding of corporate trustee risks and security complexities.’
The Legal 500 2022

‘The Matheson team is extremely knowledgeable, professional and responsive with regards to its Asset finance practice. They have a depth of knowledge and experience that is at the top of the industry!’
The Legal 500 2022

‘Excellent knowledge of the industry and very good network and relationships with other firms.’
The Legal 500 2022

‘The firm has scale and depth to provide a full all round service which is invaluable to our company. The specific team has supported us in all aspects from inception and we have a lot of trust in them which is key. Technically they are very strong and also commercially very current in our sector and great at judging the level of hand holding required or not in a given transaction.’
The Legal 500 2022

The team are "well-established and respected."
The Legal 500 2021 

"Matheson always respond in a timely manner and think everything through ahead of the clients."
The Legal 500 2021 

The team have a "good grasp of the requirements for inward investment, set up and doing international business from Ireland, and of the aircraft leasing business."
The Legal 500 2021 

"A lot of reactivity, high quality of advice when it comes to structuring and legal risks, a strong degree of flexibility for the pricing, strong experience in cross-border transactions."
The Legal 500 2021 

"A can-do, solutions-driven culture across the team. Significant depth in the team where cover and handover is seamless."
The Legal 500 2021 

Stuart Kennedy, Rory McPhillips and Yvonne McWeeney recognised in the 
Airline Economics ‘40 under 40’ guide 2020

Matheson have "always been efficient in dealing with local counsel in foreign jurisdictions".
Banking and Financial Services: Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson is “at the top of the top five” firms in this field.
Banking and Financial Services: Chambers Europe 2019