Why you need an Aviation Lawyer
- Due Diligence. Purchasing even a small interest in a jet can be a multimillion dollar transaction. Good business judgment would require that you get specialized legal assistance before committing either your funds or company funds to such an acquisition.
- Understanding what you are getting and what you are not getting. In a typical fractional ownership transaction you may be asked to sign a half dozen different documents. A typical document set contains dozens of pages and scores of densely worded paragraphs, with obscure regulatory and practical effects. An aviation lawyer who fully understands the FARs can help you prevent misunderstandings, or later unmet expectations.
- Escape clauses. Your business may change in the future and so may your aviation needs. You may need "escape" clauses to preserve flexibility. An experienced aviation lawyer will know which provisions can be adjusted to accommodate your future needs and which provisions are non-negotiable due to program logistics or economics, or regulatory concerns. Fractional ownership usually isn’t a purchase of a passive asset. It’s an active investment in a complex, ongoing activity, and you need to understand how to manage it.
- Aviation law is a very narrow subspecialty of law. There are very few private practice lawyers (not employed by airlines or manufacturers, etc.) available to be able to assist you without a conflict of interest. For Example: Only 58 lawyers belong to the Aviation and Aerospace Law Committee of the American Bar Association's International Law Section's 5,600 members. Only 525 lawyers belong to the Aviation and Spacelaw Committee of the 16,000 members of the American Bar Association's Tort and Insurance Practice Section. Many of these lawyers might be in a conflict of interest situation if they were to represent a buyer or lessee. Many are employed by governments or airlines or manufacturers and would not be available to help you. Big firms that do aviation law specialize in the acquisition and operation of fleets of airliners. Only a handful of smaller firms and practice groups specialize in private aviation matters.
- An aircraft is a working capital asset, with its own special liabilities, including tax matters. Integrating aircraft operations into your business can be delicate, and require corporate and tax counseling best fostered by counsel.
- THE AERLEX LAW GROUP has represented many buyers and lessees of fractional interests and can assist your corporate or general counsel or work directly with you.
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