Donald Mitchell is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
In both corporate and private practice, Mr. Mitchell has represented airlines, finance companies, maintenance facilities, brokerage firms, fixed-base operators, parts dealers, private companies and individuals with purchase, sale, lease, maintenance, training and services transactions involving aircraft (both commercial and private), engines, fleet equipment and other capital equipment and inventory. He has also represented manufacturers, maintenance facilities, fixed-base operators, general commercial businesses and individuals in litigating tort and commercial claims. Mr. Mitchell is a trained mediator and consultant on aviation and industry matters.
Mr. Mitchell’s real world industry experience and practical approach to complicated issues serve as the foundation for his practice. Representative matters include: U.S. and Cross-Border (including the Americas, Europe, Middle East, India and Australia) purchase, sale and lease (operating, finance and leveraged leasing) of commercial aircraft (passenger and cargo), private aircraft, engines and equipment; “end of life” programs including consignments, joint ventures, and “green-time” leases; new aircraft manufacturer purchase and support agreements for large and regional commercial aircraft, aircraft engines and private aircraft including new engine flight hour maintenance programs and support; financings for multiple aircraft and engine acquisitions including facility, government (export credit agency) and manufacturer supported financings; aircraft and engine part-outs and consignments; U.S. and cross-border collections, restructurings, work-outs and, when all else fails, asset repossessions; development and implementation of a comprehensive forward fleet aircraft disposition programs including multiple airframes, spare engines, inventory and related flight equipment; maintenance, storage, flight services and cargo conversion agreements and equipment “power by the hour,” inventory material management and “maintenance cost per hour” programs.
Mr. Mitchell is a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), and a contributing editor to Jetrader, the ISTAT member magazine. He has been recognized annually in Who’s Who Legal: Transport since 2007 and is a past Chair of the Aviation Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. He served as co-Chair of the Georgia Aerospace Policy Working Group (2011-2018) under the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Mr. Mitchell previously served as General Manager, Aircraft Acquisition and Sales for Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, Georgia where he developed and implemented strategies for the worldwide acquisition, disposition and support of aircraft, engines and flight training equipment. He negotiated and managed agreements for the same. Previously at Delta, Mr. Mitchell was Senior Attorney handling commercial transactions for the acquisition, disposition and support of fleet assets, engine leasing and maintenance and training services. He was also a member of a cross-divisional management team charged with fleet planning and renewal. Mr. Mitchell started his legal career in Miami, Florida with an aviation defense litigation and commercial transactions practice firm.
Mr. Mitchell received his B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, magna cum laude, from Temple University and received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. He is admitted to practice in Georgia, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Author , “Sign, Consign,” Jetrader, Autumn, 2015.
Panelist – Aerospace Engineering Professional Licensing, Georgia House Study Committee on Aviation & Job Creation, December 4, 2014.
Presenter – Aerospace Investment Conference – Americas, May 15, 2012.
Presenter – ELFA conference, April, 2012.
Author, “Is it time for a Tune-Up,” Jetrader, Winter 2014.