Our Quality of Service is Non-Negotiable
AVION LAW is an aviation law firm, combining a wealth of experience with proven business acumen and an unparalleled quality of service for our clients in the commercial and business aviation industries. At the best value. AVION LAW is an international law firm in its truest sense, qualified to advise its global clientele under multiple governing laws, drawing on the experience of advising clients on every aspect of thousands of completed domestic and cross-border aircraft transactions. “Alternative” fee arrangements are our norm.
OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE & 3,000 TRANSACTIONS
Richard Pearson is a licensed English solicitor, and an attorney admitted to the State Bar of California, a rare combination enabling Richard to advise clients on applicable multi-jurisdictional aspects of cross-border transactions. He has over 30 years experience advising clients in the transportation industry, with a particular emphasis throughout his career on the commercial and business aviation sectors.
After studying law at universities in England and Germany, Richard worked in London and Oslo, and was based in Paris for 20 years prior to relocating to California with his family in 2013. Latterly, he conceived, founded and developed the Paris office of Stephenson Harwood, a UK-based international law firm. He designed and implemented the strategy which resulted in a 5 partner and 15+ lawyer full service practice, increasing revenue and profit year-on-year. The success of that business was based on the qualities that Richard has been noted for throughout his career: availability, responsiveness, precision, pragmatism, business acumen, and transparency.
Much of Richard’s early career was spent advising banks, investment funds and leasing companies providing finance to the aviation industry. Latterly, Richard has focused his practice on advising airlines and leasing companies in the commercial aviation sector; and individuals, corporate flight departments and charter/management companies in the sale and purchase, structuring of ownership, and the financing, management and operation of business jets.
Richard has a wealth of experience advising on domestic and international transactions, with longstanding clients around the globe.
AVION LAW has a wealth of experience in business aviation, including:
- Aircraft Sale and Purchase Agreements (whole aircraft and fractional shares)
- Bulk Charter
- Conditional Sale Agreements
- Hangar leases
- Jet cards
- Maintenance Support Programs
- Management and Charter Agreements (FAR Part 91 and FAR Part 135)
- Ownership (including entity formation and administration)
- State Sales and Use Tax Planning
- Structuring of ownership and operation, including FAA, DOT, IRS and SEC issues
- Time Sharing, Interchange, Joint Ownership
- US customs and European Union VAT import
- Advised countless clients in connection with the purchase and related financing of every model of business jet, new and pre-owned, from the drafting and negotiation of the initial Letter of Intent through to the consummation of the purchase, including advice on the appropriate ownership and operational structure taking into account tax and regulatory requirements and limitations, the avoidance of the so-called “flight department company trap,” the management of the aircraft (pilot services, maintenance support, dispatch) by appropriate management companies, the third party chartering by Part 135 operators, the negotiation of the sale and purchase agreement, the negotiation of financing documentation and the drafting of condition precedent documents, International Registry aspects, sales and use tax considerations and lawful avoidance pertaining to the physical delivery and subsequent operation of the aircraft, and co-ordination of the delivery process in conjunction with escrow agents and/or FAA counsel.
- Advised in connection with the sale or purchase of countless helicopters, and their operation in, as examples, medevac, the offshore oil and gas industries, the fishing industry and under block charter commuting arrangements.
- Advised on United States and foreign export issues and European Union VAT and United States customs import issues.
- Advised on United States citizenship requirements pertaining to aircraft ownership and owner trust formation where required or desired.
- Co-ordinated the provision of pre-purchase inspection oversight and advised on liability to correct inspection discrepancies based on agreed contractual terms.
- Advised on United States, United Nations and European Union sanctions issues, particularly in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Examples of areas in which AVION LAW can assist clients in the commercial aviation sector include:
- ACMI, wet leases
- Airline start-up
- Ancillary revenue raising arrangements
- Financing (sale and leaseback, export credit financing, tax lease structures,
finance leases, and synthetic and pure operating leases)
- Fleet acquisitions and dispositions
- Maintenance contracts / engineering outsourcing
- Pooling of engines and parts
- Restructuring of financial commitments
- Surplus parts inventory management and distribution
- Advised a start-up Middle East value-based airline (the region’s first privately owned airline) from its inception, advising on its initial A320 fleet purchase and related financing (including a Shariah-compliant pre-delivery payment financing, designed to minimize the cost of long-term loan capital, the innovative nature of which was recognized by AirFinance Journal’s award of Most Innovative Deal of the Year in 2005); advised on its critical ancillary revenue raising arrangements; and advised on the whole gamut of its contractual arrangements with third parties.
- Represented GB Airways, at that time a British Airways franchise operation, in connection with its sale to easyJet, including the leasing, financing, regulatory, employment, and intellectual property aspects thereof.
- Represented numerous scheduled, charter, low-cost, and cargo airlines on their fleet acquisitions and related financing arrangements, including straight debt, export credit financings (European ECA, United States EXIM, Canadian EDC, Brazilian SBCE), sale and leaseback, tax structures, finance leases, synthetic operating leases, and pure operating leases.
- Advised numerous aircraft leasing companies in connection with jurisdictional issues (notably English, French and United States) in the context of portfolio securitizations.
- Advised numerous airlines in connection with the restructuring of leasing and other financial commitments.
- Provided general corporate counsel advice to numerous airlines.
The aviation industry has a tremendous record of giving back, and AVION LAW is committed to playing its own small part in that tradition. At a basic level, we donate 5% of our gross revenues to charity. We also work pro bono to assist aviation-related charities in areas where we can provide competent representation.
The primary charities that AVION LAW currently supports are
Angle Flight West
delivers health and hope using donated flights to serve those with healthcare or other compelling human needs. In the air, Angel Flight West links volunteer pilots and commercial airlines with people whose non-emergency health needs require air transportation to access care. On the ground, volunteer drivers ferry passengers to and from their departure and destination airports.
Shelter to Soldier
is a CA 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in San Diego that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or other injuries associated with combat service experiences. AVION LAW is supporting Shelter to Soldier’s mission of “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.”
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4695 MacArthur Court, Suite 1100
Newport Beach, CA 92660