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Vinson & Elkins Launches Aviation Finance Practice

Vinson & Elkins Launches Aviation Finance Practice Background Image

David Berkery and Niels Jensen join V&E’s New York office to co-lead the practice

Vinson & Elkins announced today that it has expanded its global Finance practice group with the addition of partners David Berkery and Niels Jensen, who between them have advised many of the world’s leading financial institutions, investment banks, airlines, aircraft leasing companies and private investors on all aspects of the acquisition, leasing, financing and trading of aircraft. Joining them is a team of associates, including Demetria Hueth and Coral O’Connor, both from Milbank in New York. The group will be located in the firm’s New York office.

“Vinson & Elkins has decades of experience in the infrastructure, transportation and, specifically, aviation, businesses and the addition of David, Niels and their team takes us to the next level in terms of the range of services we can offer clients as they also expand into this sector,” said Jim Fox, Vice Chair, Vinson & Elkins. “We see extraordinary opportunities not only in the leasing and financing space, but also in capital markets, M&A, joint ventures and restructuring – all areas where our existing talent is well-positioned to collaborate with this leading aviation group.”

Berkery’s practice focuses on asset backed securitizations (ABS), airline and aircraft lessor restructurings, secured and unsecured lending, aircraft portfolio sales, industry-specific joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. He joins Vinson & Elkins from A&L Goodbody in Dublin and previously worked at Milbank in New York and London. He is tri-qualified to practice in New York, England & Wales and Ireland.

Jensen, who joins Vinson & Elkins from Milbank in New York, is experienced in a broad range of corporate debt and asset-backed financing transactions, as well as restructurings, portfolio trading and joint ventures—including ABS, enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs), secured corporate bonds, term loans and warehouse facilities, many of which have been recognized as some of the most innovative transactions in the sector.

“Both Niels and I were attracted to Vinson & Elkins because we feel our practice is perfectly aligned with the firm’s strategy for client service and growth,” Berkery said. “This is a really interesting and exciting time for the aviation leasing and financing industry. As new debt and equity investors are attracted to the sector, consolidation and JV activity increases, ESG considerations come to the forefront and more private equity players join the large public companies and financial institutions in the space, our clients face a variety of opportunities. Vinson & Elkins’ full-service platform will allow us to work with exceptional colleagues in areas like capital markets, M&A, restructuring, ESG and tax, which over the long term will greatly benefit clients.”

“V&E is well-positioned to break into a sector that has been underserved by top law firms, which makes it the perfect home for our practice,” said Jensen. “In addition to its leading corporate, capital markets and tax practices, the firm’s clients include many of the most active institutions in the aviation industry at this time.”

“New York is one of the key markets for aviation finance, and as we continue to grow our office here, the addition of David, Niels and their team is exactly the strategic fit with our finance, capital markets and infrastructure projects groups we are looking for,” said Eamon Nolan, co-managing partner of Vinson & Elkins’ New York office. “Their relationships with many of our existing financial and private equity clients will benefit the service offerings and solutions we can provide to the aviation industry, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the firm.”

About Vinson & Elkins
For more than a century, Vinson & Elkins has provided outstanding client service across important industries that drive the global economy. Built on a strong culture of collaboration across 12 offices worldwide, V&E lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients decades of legal experience in handling transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Learn more by visiting www.velaw.com or follow us on Twitter @VinsonandElkins or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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