As recognized by Chambers USA and Legal 500 United States, clients retain McGuireWoods for our commercial and corporate aircraft industry knowledge and expertise. We serve as partners to leasing companies, financial institutions, investment firms, high-net-worth individuals and companies – from family-owned to Fortune 500, as they seek to navigate finance, transactional, investment, regulatory, and litigation matters involving commercial and corporate aircraft. Our industry-focused team has a keen grasp of the intricate issues facing these parties in aircraft-related matters.

Service Areas

Commercial Aircraft Transactions – Our corporate and finance attorneys partner with leasing companies, investment funds, private equity firms and insurance companies to structure and close acquisitions and dispositions of commercial aircraft and engines, including portfolio sales and acquisitions. Our team works with airlines and lessors on long-term arrangements, such as purchase agreements for new equipment (including manufacturer credit support) and technical agreements such as storage, general maintenance and freighter conversion contracts. The volume of deals we do each year has led Bloomberg to consistently rank McGuireWoods among the top 10 M&A firms in the United States.

Commercial Aircraft Finance – We regularly advise lessors, lenders and lessees on all aspects of aviation finance. We have significant experience handling operating leasing, finance leasing, warehouse lending, syndicated financing, and portfolio sales/acquisitions, including domestic and cross-border single and multi-investor or leveraged financings, “tax” leases, conditional sale and other secured financings, sale-leasebacks, back-leveraged operating leases, warehouse facilities, residual value guaranties, and financings of other aviation-related equipment. The volume of deals we do each year has led Refinitiv to consistently rank McGuireWoods among the top 10 corporate finance firms in the United States.

Corporate Aircraft Finance & Transactions – Our corporate and finance attorneys represent several of the leading financiers of corporate aircraft in connection with various types of leasing and lending transactions whether through asset transactions or through M&A transactions. We also partner with public and private companies and high-net-worth individuals to structure and close acquisitions and dispositions of corporate aircraft and helicopters, as well as the leasing and financing of such aircraft. We advise clients on the acquisition and leasing of engines and parts, including advising on fractional aircraft sharing investments. We also represent corporate aircraft clients in connection with management and other agreements with service providers.

Regulatory & Policy – With a former FAA chief counsel as a member of our practice and a deep bench of former government officials, McGuireWoods regularly counsels clients on legal and policy matters before the FAA, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and on regulatory issues related to aircraft ownership and use. Our experience includes advising on issues such as airline alliances and codesharing, airport access, antitrust immunity, essential air service, certification and licensing, competition, unmanned aircraft systems (aka UAS or drones), enforcement, flight operations, hazardous materials, mergers and acquisitions, route authority, safety regulation and structuring ownership and use of corporate aircraft to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations Part 91 and Part 135 relating to the sharing of use of aircraft.

Products Liability & Commercial Litigation – We serve as lead defense counsel to aircraft and parts manufacturers in products liability and tort litigation. Our decades of experience and ability to quickly understand the technical and mechanical principles involved in each case enable us to mount an effective defense against unwarranted claims and the tactics of plaintiffs’ counsel. Because of our significant products liability work across an array of industries, McGuireWoods is nationally recognized in products liability and mass tort litigation by Chambers USA and Legal 500 United States.

Financial Restructuring – Our restructuring and insolvency attorneys have experience representing all types of aircraft clients in bankruptcy courts and in related federal and state court litigation. When appropriate, we engage in both in and out of court restructurings, workouts, exercising of a secured creditor’s remedies, and bankruptcy cases. These representations include the sale and purchase of debt obligations, loan workouts, section 363 sales, and foreclosing on collateral. Our relevant experience also includes litigation of recharacterization claims regarding the treatment of a lease as a true lease or a security interest, and addressing aircraft leases in bankruptcy cases.


  • Aircraft Finance: Serve as the primary law firm for the global aircraft finance group of a large U.S. bank-owned equipment financing company.
  • Commercial Aircraft M&A, Leasing and Investment: Serve as the primary law firm for the transportation group of a major investment advisor, handling all aspects of its commercial aircraft portfolio.
  • Corporate Aircraft Transactions: Represent Fortune 500 companies in connection with their company-owned aircraft fleets.
  • Products Liability: Represent aircraft manufacturers in aircraft-related product liability litigation.
  • Regulatory: Represent commercial and corporate aircraft clientele through our multidisciplinary legal and governmental affairs aviation team, which includes a former chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration.