Stephenson Harwood Hires Global Head of Aviation

(LAWFUEL) – International law firm Stephenson Harwood has hired aviation “heavy hitter” Paul Ng as global head of aviation with effect 19 March. Sunil Gadhia, Chief Executive at Stephenson Harwood, said “Paul’s reputation as a first class aviation lawyer will greatly strengthen and complement our already expanding global and Asian aviation practice which in recent years has seen impressive growth.”

Paul joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where he was head of the Asia asset finance and aviation practice. Paul was at Freshfields for over ten years, spending the first seven years based in the UK before relocating to Hong Kong. He has extensive knowledge of the Asian markets having worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. He is also uniquely qualified to practise Singapore, English and New York law. Primarily based in the Stephenson Harwood Singapore office, Paul will be ‘hot-desking’ between Singapore and the China offices.

Paul’s appointment reflects Stephenson Harwood’s commitment to be a leading adviser to the aviation industry and its commitment to grow its Asia offices. Paul joins a highly respected team of over 20 lawyers worldwide whose combined aviation experience extends to finance, corporate/commercial, mergers & acquisitions, insolvency/restructuring, contentious and regulatory work.

A well respected figure in the market, Paul is known for his work on numerous ‘first in the industry’ transactions and is especially known for being a leading advisor in the LCC (low cost carrier) sector, which has seen a renaissance in recent years. He specialises in aircraft and aviation related asset financing and also has broad experience in structured and receivables financing of aviation and other assets like rolling stock, oil rigs, satellites and vessels. He has acted for major lenders, operating and finance lessors, borrowers, lessees and arrangers in a wide range of banking, finance, leasing and restructuring transactions. He has also been involved in several high profile structured Islamic financings in Asia and is recognised as an authority on cross-border aviation related treaties such as the Capetown Convention. He is listed in the ‘International Who’s Who’ of legal professionals (aviation) 2007/08 and the 2008 edition of Euromoney’s ‘Guide to World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers’.

Recent highlights of Paul’s work include;

· advising AirAsia on the first ever multi-tiered Islamic financing of a tax leasing vehicle for the acquisition of up to eight A320 Airbus aircraft (estimated worth of over US$500 million) to be operated by Air Asia. (Awarded Jane’s Transport Finance Asia debt deal of the year 2008),

· advising RBS Aviation on the Japanese operating lease financing of eight Airbus aircraft to be operated by China Southern Airlines, the first Japanese operating lease financing to be successfully completed in China. (Awarded Airfinance Journal Asia Pacific deal of the year 2006), and

acting for the Bank of China on its (approximately US$1billion) acquisition of Singapore Aircraft Leading Enterprise. This was the largest acquisition of an aircraft leasing company ever in Asia.
Paul Ng added, “I was attracted to Stephenson Harwood particularly because of its premier transport and aviation practice which has seen a rapidly growing presence on the international scene, and especially in Asia. This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I look forward to leading the global aviation practice at Stephenson Harwood in these exciting times.”

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