Alan Burnett, CenterPoint Aviation Law
LEADING LAWYER DIRECTORY – Alan Burnett, CenterPoint Aviation Law
Alan Burnett is a Seattle based lawyer and has specialised in aircraft transactions since 2001.
“To start, build a team of aviation-specific professionals. Asking your real estate, corporate or in-house lawyer to take the lead puts them into the position of taking on the single largest source of legal malpractice – projects outside of an attorney’s practice area – and for a purchase of this magnitude, you deserve a lawyer who is familiar with the intersection of aviation and tax laws that will govern your purchase or sale. Too many clients have come our way after learning this lesson the hard way. While aviation lawyers may be more expensive, you tend to get what you pay for in aviation. Once you have your team assembled, begin the deal with a strong and detailed letter of intent. Starting this way is much more cost-effective and efficient than starting with a purchase agreement.
“Take this purchase seriously. Many clients come to us with a four page agreement for a seven figure purchase thinking it warrants a quick read by a lawyer. Given the potential civil liability, FAA or other civil aviation authority enforcement risks, and federal and state tax consequences, it is worth it to put the time, attention and money into making the right deal and successfully closing it.”
“Over a decade ago, I attended an aviation seminar in Seattle as the guest of a friend presenting at the seminar. At the time I had no interest in talking to a bunch of aviation lawyers, so I escaped the networking function to join a few lawyers in the adjoining room to watch a football game. I ended up chatting with one the chair of the aviation transactions group at a large firm. When I joked that Seattle was so pretty that I was going to stay, he gave me his card and told me to give him a call if that ended up happening. Long story short: I bought a house in Seattle a few days later and went in for an interview with that attorney shortly thereafter. Next thing you know, I was an aviation lawyer.”
Alan Burnett has focused his practice on aircraft transactions since 2001, representing domestic and foreign clients including private individuals, sovereign governments and companies of all sizes in hundreds of aircraft transactions, including structuring deals and aircraft ownership and usage, which has earned him an international reputation as an expert in his field. Alan specializes in advising and counseling aircraft owners and operators in the purchase, sale, leasing and exchange of new and previously owned aircraft.
In 2008, Alan co-founded CenterPoint Aviation Law PLLC in Seattle, Washington, where he has a worldwide transactional aviation law practice. Before founding CenterPoint, Alan became an experienced negotiator with private and business aircraft buyers and sellers, aircraft manufacturers, financing institutions, fractional share providers, aircraft management and charter companies, brokers and other parties while practicing transactional aviation law at a small boutique firm, and previously in the aircraft transactions group at a large firm. Alan’s experience advising clients on a broad range of transactions provides an understanding of the needs of aircraft owners and operators, including the executives, accountants, brokers, attorneys and other representatives that support them.
Alan has authored a number of articles on business aviation regulatory and tax topics. He also regularly presents at national and regional forums on a variety of transactional aviation law topics.
Alan serves on the National Business Aviation Association Tax Committee where he works to educate the aviation community on transactional aviation topics, including serving as the immediate past-chair of the aircraft transactions working group. He is also a member of the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, past-president and member of the aviation section of the King County Bar Association, and a member of the State Bar of Washington State.