Smith Gambrell Russell Client Transactions Awarded as Airfinance Journal Deals of the Year for 2021


ATLANTA (May 31, 2022) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that the firm acted as legal counsel in connection with four transactions that were recently awarded “Deals of the Year” for 2021 by Airfinance Journal, the leading commercial aviation industry publication. The Airfinance Journal Global Awards, announced on May 5 during the Airfinance Dublin 2022 conference, celebrate the best-in-class aviation finance deals to have closed over the past calendar year, while recognizing the organizations and teams that played central roles in these deals.

The winning deals on which SGR advised included:

  • Airline Restructuring Deal of the Year – Avianca restructuring: SGR advised Avianca in its Chapter 11 restructuring which included a $1.6 billion financing package and the restructuring of aircraft fleet financings, including ECA supported financings, EXIM Bank supported financings, JOLCOs, and private placement structures.
  • Latin America Deal of the Year – Avianca $482m sale and leaseback of 27 aircraft: SGR advised Avianca in the negotiation, documenting and closing for the sale and leaseback of A330 aircraft with Castlelake and A320 aircraft with Fortress.
  • Structured Lease Deal of the Year – Turkish Airlines Italian lease combined with ACG guarantee for three A321neo aircraft: SGR represented Aviation Capital Group (ACG) and was lead drafting counsel for the transaction.
  • ABS Deal of the Year – SALT 2021-1: SGR represented UMB Bank, N.A., as Indenture Trustee, Operating Bank and Security Trustee for SALT 2021-1, an $893 million asset-backed securities (ABS) loan transaction for 156 aircraft.

Members of SGR’s Global Transport Practice in Austin, Miami, New York, Charlotte, Chicago, and UK served as legal counsel in these award-winning transactions. The primary SGR team included Partners Peter Barlow (Practice Head), Ellen Fontanella, Joshua Gentner, Jason Huff, Marc Latman, Donald Mitchell, Israel Sanchez, and Jeffrey Tenen, Counsel Mickey Jett, Associates Alexandra Davidson, Alessandra Ferrero, Gareth Hawes, Rory O’Driscoll, Ade Ola, and Anna Stangle, and Paralegals Therese Callahan and Lorna Virts.

To see the Airfinance Journal Awards 2021 winners, see AFJ announces Product Awards 2021 winners.

About Airfinance Journal
Airfinance Journal is a market leading financial publication of the global aircraft and aviation business. Published continually since 1979, it has been at the forefront of supporting and informing aviation professionals. The Journal includes the latest news, analysis and data relating to the financing of airlines, aircraft leasing companies and manufacturers. For more information, please visit

About Smith Gambrell Russell
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 270 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, construction, employment law, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

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