Business aviation is critical to the success of tens of thousands of companies that are competing in a constantly evolving global marketplace. Business leaders require efficiency in every aspect of the workday and cannot afford to lose precious time with complicated transportation itineraries. In the United States currently, only 500 of the over 5,000 public airports have commercial airline service and this barrier can unnecessarily impede the ability to conduct valuable face-to-face business meetings.
Lewis Brisbois’s experienced aviation legal team serve as a strategic client partner with a comprehensive understanding of the federal regulatory and business matters surrounding the financing, acquisition and operation of business aircraft. From structuring complex transactions, including drafting and negotiating corporate aircraft purchase and sale agreements, to understanding the intricacies of aircraft financing agreements, and reducing liability exposure while capitalizing on both federal and state tax planning options, Lewis Brisbois attorneys collaborate closely with clients to provide elite advisory services and support regarding a myriad of business aviation issues.
Domestic and International Aircraft Matters
Lewis Brisbois attorneys have experience representing both domestic and international clients in aviation matters. With a practice area solely focused on handling aviation clients, the firm’s dedicated resources are well positioned to address cross-border transactions. We have experience with closing aircraft transactions involving a variety of international regions including: Asia, the European Union, the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union, South Africa and South America. We have experience with assisting with the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses to leading multi-national corporations and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm handles all matters, including but not limited to drafting and negotiating corporate aircraft purchase and sale agreements, aircraft management agreements, fractional ownership agreements, and a multitude of lease agreements. Finally, our team possesses the level of expertise necessary to handle all federal, state and property tax, value-added taxes (VAT taxes) and related issues for clients facing aggressive domestic and international taxing authorities.
Aircraft Purchases & Sales
Whether a client is contemplating the purchase or sale of a new or used aircraft, fractional aircraft, or investigating creative leasing options, we will expertly administer all transactions to maximize client benefits with the most favorable terms available in the aircraft industry. In addition to drafting federally compliant registration documents and negotiating purchase and sale documents, we have extensive industry contacts that will assist in creating a comprehensive team of reputable aircraft lenders, aircraft technical advisors, Section 1031 exchange title holders, aircraft trustees, insurance brokers, and escrow agents to manage all aspects of the transaction in a complete yet cost-effective manner. With Lewis Brisbois, so long as the transaction remains in the client’s best interest, the client is assured that the transaction will be guided expeditiously to a successful closing.
The failure to engage experienced aviation tax counsel in an aircraft transaction can result in multi-million dollar federal and state tax liabilities or international tax liabilities including the assessment of value-added taxes (VAT taxes). Incorrect structuring or a misunderstanding of federal tax law can lead to a complete disallowance of otherwise entitled federal tax deductions. We have defended clients before the Internal Revenue Service regarding sophisticated attacks to the eligibility of business deductions including passive activity, hobby loss, business entertainment and personal use challenges. Additionally, Lewis Brisbois’s team possesses expert knowledge of sales and use taxes on a state-by-state basis and is also well versed in personal property tax challenges. We will confirm that all current and valid exemptions are discussed and properly implemented for the client at the closing of the transaction.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Aviation law cases require high-level expertise in many aspects of aviation, not solely legal expertise. The Aviation Defense Team produces cost-effective results for clients, given their knowledge of the subject matter and sophisticated skills at developing aviation-related cases. Lewis Brisbois provides aviation and transportation clients nationwide with the kind of skilled representation that comes from an in-depth comprehension of the specific legal issues facing the industry.
Our attorneys have both the professional and personal experience to assist our aviation clients at the scene of accident sites shortly after the accident occurs. As experienced pilots, our attorneys understand that pilot error is almost always the reason for aviation-related injuries. We have litigated many aviation-related cases and have the resources to try the most complex and sophisticated aviation cases and produce favorable, cost-effective verdicts or settlements. Our professional, knowledgeable team of attorneys has the experience and reputation to provide effective representation in a wide range of aviation defense matters, including property damage claims, aviation accidents, insurance coverage disputes and other civil or certificate actions.
Lewis Brisbois’s attorneys offer the depth and breadth of experience to ensure our aviation clients receive the most effective guidance in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation regulations.
To maintain awareness of the changes and trends in laws affecting the aviation industry, our attorneys remain active in aviation industry organizations and associations to provide the most comprehensive services to our clients.