Walter Hinton is Counsel in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, where he is a member of the Firm’s Air Transport Industry Group.
Mr. Hinton maintains a corporate and commercial practice including aviation, equipment leasing, commercial contracting, corporate acquisitions and dispositions, debt finance and maritime transactions. He regularly handles financings, leases, sales and dispositions of aircraft as well as structuring aircraft ownership and operating arrangements for corporate operators.
Mr. Hinton serves aircraft operators entering into tax-deferred like-kind exchanges, dry and wet aircraft leases, aircraft management agreements and interchange agreements. He frequently works with banks and lessors financing aviation assets, as well as aircraft managers and fractional-ownership program managers. Mr. Hinton has advised lenders, lessors, borrowers and lessees in financing transactions for a wide variety of capital equipment and plant assets. He also assists manufacturers and distributors in negotiating business acquisitions and dispositions, commercial contracts and technology licenses. Additionally, Mr. Hinton is experienced in maritime transactions including the sale, financing and chartering of commercial vessels and yachts.
Representative matters for Mr. Hinton include representing an industrial company acquiring a trans-Atlantic corporate jet via a synthetic lease; a domestic airline engaging in purchases, leases and debt financings of regional aircraft for its fleet; syndicated investor-lessors in the sale of a wide-body aircraft to a trunk airline lessee with high-yield bond financing from the lessors; an institutional investor acquiring a wide-body aircraft leased to a major airline; purchasers of percentage interests in corporate aircraft managed by fractional ownership program managers; an air charter agent in negotiation of air arrangements agreements with customers and single-entity air charters with direct air carriers; a manufacturer entering into a synthetic lease of an office campus; a non-vessel-owning common carrier in preparation of bills of lading for dry cargoes; a helicopter lessor in a dispute over the return condition of helicopters leased for medevac use; and a North American investor acquiring FAA-certificated aircraft repair stations.
Mr. Hinton is a member of the Georgia, New York, and South Carolina Bars. He also is a member of the American Bar Association, its Business Law Section and its Aviation Law Forum; the Maritime Law Association of the United States; and the National Business Aviation Association. He served on the South Carolina Law Institute Editorial Committees for Articles 2A, 8 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code on personal property leasing and security. Mr. Hinton is fluent in French and conversational in German and Italian.
Prior to joining SGR, Mr. Hinton was a partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Previously he had been Division Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Integrated Resources, Inc., a financial services company.
Mr. Hinton received his A.B. degree in English from Dartmouth College. He earned his J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Hinton is a former Director and corporate secretary of American Leprosy Missions, a charity engaged in fighting leprosy and tuberculosis, and continues to perform pro bono legal work for ALM. Mr. Hinton is an elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC. He also is the former district enrollment director responsible for interviews of South Carolina applicants to Dartmouth College.
American Bar Association Business Law Section and Aviation Law Forum
The Maritime Law Association of the United States
The National Business Aviation Association