Applegate leaves Aerlex to launch Soar Aviation


New year coming and a new aviation law firm too, as Aerlex Law Group partner, Amanda Applegate announces she is leaving to setup her own firm, Soar Aviation Law in January. 

The news was broken today by Applegate and Aerlex, founder and president, Stephen Hofer. Aerlex senior transactional attorney, Sarah Northcraft Spann will be joining Applegate as partner in the new firm, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

Applegate joined Aerlex in October 2011 and was named a partner in October 2016 at the same time that Northcraft Spann joined the firm. Applegate told CJI she is now looking forward to creating her own organisation from the ground up. 

“I think having my own firm is a better fit for me as I can create an organisation from the ground up in my vision. The timing is simply that I made a commitment to stay as a partner at Aerlex for 5 years. That commitment ends in December of 2021 so the timing was all driven by that agreement and not tied to the current market conditions. Having said that, certainly the market conditions will support a growing business,” said Applegate.

She believes there is a need for more aviation attorneys. Applegate intends to hire and train new attorneys at Soar Aviation Law. “I loved my role as a mentor and leader when I was at NetJets and I look forward to doing more of that again. In the current market it is imperative to provide thoughtful legal advise but responsiveness is critical.”

Applegate spent a decade in-house at NetJets before she moved to Aerlex. Generally a risk adverse person, launching a new business is a step outside of her comfort zone. However, Applegate thinks many people who know her and the work she does, expected this a long time ago. 

“I think what pushed me into finally making this move is that I believe I can offer something different with my knowledge, background and leadership style and, of course, my obsessive need for timely responses. I think spending the first 10 years of my career in-house in both a legal and executive role helped me understand the urgency of transactional work and that has stayed with me over the past decade while I have been in private practice,” said Applegate.

Hofer said he was both pleased and saddened to share the news. “Pleased because I know Amanda and Sarah’s new venture will be successful but saddened because they have been important members of the Aerlex team for many years and we are sorry to see them go.”

He added having started his own firm back in 2005, “I can totally respect that choice.”