Pillsbury announced that it is applying for a license to open an office in Hong Kong as part of the firm’s long-term strategy to extend its reach in China. Prominent aviation finance lawyer Paul Jebely will lead the firm’s highly ranked Transportation Finance practice in Asia and play a key role building the new office once a license is obtained. Jebely comes to Pillsbury from the Hong Kong office of Clyde & Co., where he was a partner and Global Head of Aviation Finance.
Once opened, the Hong Kong office will be the firm’s third in China following the establishment of offices in Shanghai (2006) and Beijing (2014). In addition to aviation finance, the Hong Kong office is expected to focus on international disputes (including internal investigations and regulatory enforcement matters) and private client advisory.
Recognized as one of the leading aviation finance lawyers in Asia and Africa, Jebely has advised clients on commercial and corporate aircraft transactions worth billions of dollars. He has most recently worked on behalf of clients including Investec, Aviation Capital Group, DVB, AerCap, CHC Helicopter, Nedbank, Global Jet Capital, Credit Suisse and Nok Airlines among others, including numerous ultra-high net-worth individuals.
Jebely’s addition caps a period of rapid global expansion for Pillsbury’s Transportation Finance practice, which has consolidated its position on the short list of pre-eminent global teams. Last month, the firm welcomed finance and capital markets partner Jonathan Goldstein in New York, after recruiting former Squire Patton Boggs aviation practice leader Charles Donley II last July. In March 2014, Pillsbury brought on a team of transportation finance lawyers in London led by Graham Tyler and Debra Erni, now consisting of two partners and five additional timekeepers. With the addition of Jebely and his team, Pillsbury’s Transportation Finance practice now boasts dedicated attorneys in four time zones and six different offices.
“Our news today is exciting on two fronts: We are moving forward on our long-term strategy to expand in China and we are doing so by building on the strengths of our acclaimed Transportation Finance practice,” said Firm Chair Jim Rishwain, Jr. “Our long-term strategy has always been to grow in those areas where we have existing strengths and this is a perfect example of the firm executing on that strategy.”
“Paul is a class act whose reputation precedes him. The strategic and cultural fit is exceptional and he will slot right into our fully integrated, ‘one team’ approach. We are confident that our collective clients will quickly recognize the added value of this enhanced geographical offering,” noted practice co-leader Mark Lessard.
Jebely added, “I’ve known Mark Lessard personally for some time now, and I’m thrilled to work with him and the amazing group of people here at Pillsbury and to help launch and grow the firm’s Hong Kong office. Our clients will no doubt benefit from this move and launch.”
Jebely’s practice focuses on negotiating and executing international commercial and business aircraft and engine financing, leasing and trading transactions involving all classes of commercial and business aircraft. He also advises clients on enforcement and repossession issues. He is qualified to practice in England, New York and Ontario, Canada.
Pillsbury’s Transportation Finance practice is a leader in the field of structuring, negotiating and executing transactions involving all classes of hard assets, with particular emphasis on aircraft and other aviation equipment. For more than 60 years, the firm has represented some of the most active international participants in the financing of transportation assets, including major banks, leasing companies, airlines, investors, traders and manufacturers. Since 2000, Pillsbury attorneys have assisted their clients in the financing or refinancing of more than a thousand commercial and corporate jet aircraft with an aggregate value of more than $40 billion.
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