Michael Mulitz, Kaye Scholer
LEADING LAWYER DIRECTORY – Michael Mulitz, Kaye Scholer
Michael Mulitz is special counsel at Kaye Scholer and specialises in commercial and corporate jet aircraft transactions.
“The best advice I can give a client is to not go it alone. The client should have experienced legal counsel involved in negotiating the term sheet, the purchase agreement and (if relevant) any related financing documents. This will ensure that the client is protected from the beginning of the transaction, through inspection and acceptance of the aircraft, to compliance with all conditions precedent to make sure they are satisfying all requirements both for their own commercial needs as well as those of the other parties involved. Particular attention needs to be paid to structuring the transaction properly from the beginning, which includes understanding and meeting the requirements of the jurisdiction of registration, any aviation authority regulatory requirements, and tax structuring issues in connection with the ownership and operation of the aircraft.
“Of particular note, clients in these transactions must select the best structure for ownership in order to address and accommodate each of these aspects. An experienced lawyer will understand the client’s needs for acquiring and operating the aircraft, their business and how he or she can be of the best assistance in structuring their acquisition and financing in order to maximize the client’s ownership and tax benefits, as well as to comply with all applicable regulations. Some of these structures can become quite complicated in order to address these needs.
“Clients should avoid arriving at a less than optimal structure for their deal. They should also avoid inadvertently failing to comply with regulations from the relevant jurisdiction. Both mistakes are easy to make, but also easy to avoid – with the assistance, that is, of experienced counsel to discuss the client’s unique requirements for their acquisition, ownership and operation of the aircraft.”
“I was always interested in international business transactions, and started my career working on big ticket equipment financing transactions, which included commercial aircraft leveraged lease financing transactions, both for US airlines and many international airlines. As many of my clients – both on the debt and equity sides of these commercial transactions – also finance corporate jets, I soon developed an expertise in the acquisition, financing and leasing of corporate jets as well.
“My practice area then expanded into fractional interest and joint aircraft ownership programs when these became more popular. We have represented several clients in the acquisition and financing of multiple aircraft who are involved in fleet operation of corporate aircraft in order to grow their fleet.
“Finally, I expanded our corporate jet practice through the representation of high net worth clients and their closely held corporations in connection which their acquisition of corporate aircraft for either business or personal use to be registered in the US and other jurisdictions.”
Michael Mulitz is a Partner in the Finance Department, Chair of the Aviation Finance and Leasing Group, and a member of the Transportation Asset Finance Group. He concentrates on commercial and corporate jet aircraft transactions, with extensive experience in the structuring, drafting and negotiation of financing and leasing transactions (including tax-based leveraged and cross-border leasing, operating leases, PDP financings, portfolio securitizations and ECA financings) on behalf of banks, leasing companies, financial institutions, hedge and private equity funds and other companies acting as debt and equity participants, lessors, lessees, operating lessors, owner trustees, indenture/loan trustees, guarantors, airframe and engine manufacturers, management and remarketing agents and purchasers and sellers of equipment involving commercial, private and cargo aircraft and aircraft engines and spare parts. He also has significant experience in fleet financing, acquisition and financing of business jet aircraft, fractional interest ownership and time-share programs.
Mr. Mulitz, with over 20 years of experience, is internationally recognized for commercial aviation finance and leasing transactions. In 2008, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business noted that Mr. Mulitz “is praised for doing a ‘consistently excellent job.'” He is a regular speaker at aviation-related conferences, including those sponsored by AirFinance Journal and the International Centre for Business Information’s Geneva International Aviation Forum. He has organized and chaired many conferences on Commercial Aircraft Finance Transactions and Corporate Jet Finance Transactions. He is on the Board of Editors for the LJN’s Equipment Leasing Newsletter and frequently writes articles on aviation finance and leasing for various publications. He is a member of the Legal Advisory Panel to the Aviation Working Group for the Cape Town Convention and is familiar with all matters relating to the Convention.