Legal Services for Private and Commercial Aircraft

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP’s Aviation Practice provides diverse legal services to aviation businesses and owners, operators and lessors relative to private and commercial aircraft. The group also regularly represents banks and other institutional lenders who finance the purchase of commercial and private aircraft of all types.  This representation includes assistance both with the documentation and perfection of the original transaction and with repossession and foreclosure of aircraft, aircraft components, and major parts including engines that have been pledged as collateral.  The firm’s aviation attorneys have been successful throughout the U.S. in recovering aircraft components and parts when necessary.  The firm has represented lenders and lessors in protecting and enforcing their rights in both state and federal insolvency and bankruptcy courts as well.

Our Aviation Legal Services

In addition, the Aviation Practice has extensive experience in aviation transactions, including handling all aspects of the purchase, sale, and leasing of private and commercial aircraft, representing both buyers/lessors and purchasers/lessees.  Our transactions have ranged from the lease, purchase, and sale of single engine aircraft, to multi-airplane leases and purchases and sales of wide body jet aircraft with transaction values ranging from as little as $20,000 to in excess of $75 million.  In connection with such transactions, we have also advised clients with respect to Section 1031 – Like Kind Exchanges, state sales and use tax issues, FAA and international registration matters, and national security concerns/requirements. We also handle all stages of aircraft financing, as well as ancillary contracts, such as charter agreements, agreements for providing operating and ground services to third parties, and agreements with ancillary businesses such as remote luggage delivery operations and air carriers. 

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s work in the aviation industry has allowed us to develop a broad contact base that can substantially assist our clients in obtaining necessary aviation services quickly and efficiently.  Our aviation attorneys are able to assist clients with locating missing aircraft and obtaining any necessary repossession agent, hangar space, properly qualified pilots and maintenance personnel that may be required.  In the event of an aircraft loan default and repossession we are able to draw on our resources expediently.  We have successfully handled situations where an aircraft is located and qualified crews en route within 24 hours. We  have direct access to industry contacts to deal with insurance, brokerage, storage and other necessary related services.  We also represent airlines and airline-related service businesses. Given our multiple locations, we are able to address matters quickly and proficiently wherever they may occur. Furthermore, our attorneys have experience with defects in aircraft titles and liens.  We can provide assistance with matters relating to mechanics liens, federal government seizures, clearing title, and international registry issues. 

Several members of the Aviation Practice are also pilots, with qualifications ranging from private pilot to commercial pilot and FAA Certified Flight Instructor.  As pilots, our attorneys understand the intricacies involved in flying and maintaining aircraft and regularly put their additional knowledge to work for the benefit of our clients.  Many in the group are also involved in various trade organizations, committees and task forces in the industry. The Aviation Practice is a member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 Member Companies of all sizes and locations across the country.




The group includes attorneys who have received the following recognition:

Trade Groups & Associations


Robert A. McKenzie