Aviation & Asset Finance

Legal, Tax and Corporate Administration

As one of Ireland's largest law firms, William Fry offers unrivalled legal, tax and corporate administration expertise across the full breadth of the aviation and asset finance sector. 

Our team advises banks, airlines, leasing companies, manufacturers, export credit agencies, funds, arrangers and lenders on a number of domestic and cross-border transportation, infrastructure, asset financings, including securitisations of aircraft lease portfolios and the establishment of aircraft leasing and joint venture companies in Ireland.

William Fry has the largest tax group of all of the Irish law firms and has the advantage of being the only Irish member of TAXAND which has a network of members in 50 different countries. This provides our clients with a unique tax service which is complimentary to the global nature of the aviation industry, our worldwide client base, and bolsters the aviation team’s position as a truly international service provider. This is unparalleled in the Irish legal and tax firms and we are unique in this regard.

The team has acted on high profile aviation transactions such as:

  • Societe Generale and others on the financing and refinancing of a portfolio of nine H135 helicopters and 1 Bell 429 helicopter for IRIS Helicopter Leasing Limited. 
  • The Korea Development Bank, KDB Asia Limited, KDB Ireland and KEB Hana Bank, in respect of the financing of a portfolio of 5 aircraft for ALAFCO.
  • HSBC in their role as lead arranger relating to a US$ 300,000,000 bond issuance secured by a portfolio of aircraft owned and leased by BoComm Leasing's Irish subsidiaries. 
  • Ping An's Irish subsidiaries in relation to its lease and financing arrangements relating to four (4) aircraft to be placed on lease to Vietjet.
  • Credit Agricole as senior lender, facility agent, security trustee and arranger in respect of the refinancing of a portfolio of aircraft for the Minsheng and its subsidiaries.
  • International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) in relating to its €1.4bn takeover offer for Aer Lingus. This is the biggest ever aviation transaction relating to an Irish airline and the largest involving a European carrier in the last decade.
  • Goldman Sachs as lead arranger on a US$583,370,000 aircraft-backed securitisation.
  • DVB Bank as lender and security trustee on aircraft portfolio refinancings for Minsheng and BoCom.
  • Deutsche Bank as lender on an aircraft portfolio financing for CDB Leasing.
  • Refinancing of a portfolio of Alitalia aircraft.
  • KDB's financing of the initial deliveries of CALC's 100 aircraft order.
  • Advising Airbus on a Chinese joint venture arrangement.
  • Refinancing a portfolio of aircraft for CDB Leasing Co. Ltd.
  • Credit Agricole's financing of a portfolio of aircraft for Avation Group plc.
  • KDB's financing of a portfolio of 5 aircraft for ALAFCO.
  • BNP's financing of 8 aircraft for ASL.
  • AerDragon on a sale and release of four (4) Airbus aircraft.
  • Lloyds, Barclays, Sumitomo and Lombard in relation to a $335m facility and leasing of three (3) AW139 helicopters, one (1) Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, three (3) EC225 helicopters,  and the subsequent refinancing and sale of Milestone Aviation Group to GECAS.
  • CityJet in relation to its aircraft financing and leasing arrangements as a result of its sale.
  • CDB Leasing on the purchase of five (5) aircraft on a sale and leaseback basis.
  • Deutsche Bank, Tokyo on the financing of two (2) Boeing aircraft acquired by a Japanese lessor.
  • Deutsche Bank, Singapore on the sale of two (2) Boeing aircraft by CDB Leasing.
  • DVB Bank on the purchase of three (3) 737-800 aircraft which was structured through BoCom’s Irish subsidiary, JY Aviation.
  • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank on the financing of one (1) A321 aircraft for CALC.

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Aviation & Asset Finance

  • David Maughan leads the team at William Fry, which stands out for its 'strong legal and market knowledge'. The practice is strong in the aviation sector: Maughan and the 'very astute' Mary Ward. Legal 500 2019
  • David is consistently ranked in all leading global legal directories including Legal 500 EMEA and Chambers Global.
  • David Maughan heads the practice at William Fry, which has ‘excellent knowledge’ of aircraft finance and also recently finalised International Airlines Group’s takeover of Aer Lingus. Legal 500 EMEA, 2017
  • The ‘simply excellent’ team at William Fry has a growing profile in aviation finance, and was instructed in the extremely high-profile and politically sensitive takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG. David Maughan heads the practice. Legal 500 EMEA, 2016
  • David Maughan "is widely recognised as an expert in aviation law”. Chambers Europe, 2014


  • "William Fry's commitment to client service is excellent", says one source, who also praises "their real breadth of knowledge and willingness to allocate the people required when there is a need for a quick turnaround." Another reports that the "technical depth, exposure and experience of the senior team set them apart." Chambers Europe 2018
  • Sources assert that "from a technical perspective they are clear and direct." Interviewees also value the team's "responsiveness to client needs and commercial awareness." Chambers Europe 2017 
  • "The firm is very responsive and has great resources, including access to a global network of tax advisers, which benefits us internationally and is a fantastic asset. The firm's ability to provide both legal and tax advice really ensures everything fits together." Chambers Europe 2016
  • "The lawyers are technically and commercially the best I have dealt with. I have always been very impressed with their well-thought-out and thorough advice. You can always get through to the partners and their brilliant associates." and "This team is fantastic – always available and really responsive." Chambers Europe 2015
  • "Martin Phelan's controversy practice is at the forefront of domestic contentious tax work and boasts an enviable client list." Who's Who Legal - Corporate Tax 2015
  • William Fry’s ‘hands-on, straight-talking and practical approach’ finds favour with clients. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • "One of the most conscientious firms I have dealt with." "The team is knowledgeable and integrates well with other departments, which is very helpful."  Chambers Europe, 2014 


David Maughan 

  • Clients say that David Maughan is "very approachable, responsive, easy to worth with, commercial and pragmatic." Chambers Global 2017
  • David Maughan takes an “excellent commercial approach”. IFLR 1000 2017
  • Clients describe David as a "prominent aviation lawyer" who can "tailor his advice to the needs of the project."  Sources add: "His advice is top-notch and easy to digest. His communication is strong, and you can rely on his local knowledge." Chambers Europe 2016
  • David is ‘excellent on all counts’. Legal 500 2015
  • Client comment that "He always gives me a practical answer to any issues that come up and is always willing to work around the unique structures we like to set up." Chambers Europe 2015 
  • "He looks at the transaction as a whole and is therefore able to offer advice on a more general as well as Irish-specific level." Chambers Europe 2015

Martin Phelan

  • International tax specialist Martin Phelan is described as a "top guy" and "very switched-on." Chambers Europe, 2017
  • Leading consultant Martin Phelan is praised for "cutting to the chase" and being "technically very good."  Chambers Global, 2015
  • Martin Phelan is 'extremely efficient and effective'.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • Martin Phelan is widely agreed to be one of the leading tax practitioners in Ireland. Clients appreciate that "he has his eye on the ball. He works with you one-on-one and has an ability to react very quickly." Chambers Global, 2014
  • Team head Martin Phelan is ‘charismatic and very good in commercial negotiation’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2014

Mary Ward

  • IFLR 1000 2017 ​describe Mary as bringing "great attention to detail and solid technical understanding."

Key Contacts

David Maughan Partner

Mary Ward Partner

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