Aviation and marine

Purchasers of luxury assets in the aviation and marine sectors may have many motivations: successful individuals may be fulfilling a dream of owning a yacht, a private aircraft or a helicopter, while organizations are increasingly looking to acquire these assets in order to fulfil their business ambitions.

No matter the motivation, these assets are unique and are often serving an international market. Co-ordinated and multi-discipline advice is therefore essential to ensure that whatever way you are involved, everything goes smoothly.

Through the breadth of our experience and the strategic global locations of our aviation and marine team we are uniquely placed to advise on creating tax efficient ownership structures. We are also able to cover all technical aspects of aircraft and yacht transactions and their tax treatment, as well as associated employment and potential dispute issues.

Over the years we acquired extensive knowledge and experience in advising a wide variety of clients including aircraft and yacht buyers, sellers, charterers, family offices, financiers and operators.

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Ranked in, Chambers HNW 2022, Private Aircraft, Band 2

Meet the team

Track record

€130 million yacht refinancing

Advised on the financing agreements for the refinancing of a €130 million yacht with cross-collateralisation over two Boeing Business Jets.

Refinancing of a Boeing Business Jet

Advised on the financing agreements for the refinancing of a Boeing Business Jet for an ultra-high-net-worth Russian client.

Purchase of a Gulfstream G550

Advised on the purchase of a Gulfstream G550 for an Isle of Man company with advice on UK tax structuring and registration of ownership structure for VAT purposes.

Change of corporate structure for a Dassault Falcon aircraft

Advised on a restructuring involving changing a Dassault Falcon aircraft’s current corporate structure to a new limited partnership arrangement with variation of flight crew arrangements.

Swap of a Bombardier G500 for a corporate jet

Advised on the swap of a Bombardier G500 for an Airbus Corporate Jet.

Simultaneous acquisition and sale of business jets

Advised on a simultaneous purchase of a US$38 million business jet and sale of a US$8 million business jet for a German client, including advising on brokerage arrangements, valuation issues, service agreements, letters of intent, Federal Aviation Administration registration and trust issues, and International Registry issues.

Purchase of a US$17 million Embraer aircraft

Advised on the purchase of a US$17 million Embraer aircraft for a Russian client, including negotiating letter of intent and purchase contract, co-ordination of valuation and inspection experts, mitigation of European VAT, International Registry issues, and financing.

Aircraft contracts for high-net-worth individuals

Advised on aircraft contracts for high-net-worth individuals with major fractional ownership providers, including NetJets, CitationAir, Flight Options and PlaneSense.

Acquisition and financing of a US$32 million Dassault Falcon

Advised on the acquisition and financing of a US$32 million Dassault Falcon aircraft for a Bermudan single purpose company and its leasing to a Delaware LLC, as well as the latter’s operating agreement with a Brazilian company.

Aircraft lease financings in North and South America

Advised on the development of multiple leveraged, tax-advantaged aircraft lease financings in North and South America for one of Israel’s largest aircraft companies.

Acquisition of a corporate jet for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian

Advised on the purchase of a large corporate jet from a member of a leading family of a Gulf state, including advice on UK VAT, for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian.

Purchase of a Norseman motor yacht

Advised on the purchase of a Norseman motor yacht for an Australian entrepreneur and its registration under the Italian flag and subsequent transfer to the Australian flag.

Sale of two 35m plus luxury yachts

Advised on the sale of two 35m plus luxury yachts for a family office of an ultra-high-net-worth individual.

A luxury yacht builder

An Italian luxury yacht builder consulted Withers when it found itself in dispute with a Maltese client over a shipbuilding agreement. This was essentially a contractual dispute involving delay, construction in accordance with strict shipbuilding specifications and a claim for liquidated damages.

Structuring international assets

Advised on UK tax aspects and co-ordinated the structuring of the purchase and use of a plane and a New York apartment for a UK resident non-domiciled individual. Our team of lawyers worked with trust professionals in many time zones and with different specialisms bringing its own challenges.

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