Sep 22, 2023

Smith Gambrell Russell UK Partner Gareth Hawes Named to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 by Airline Economics

ATLANTA (September 22, 2023) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that UK Partner Gareth Hawes has been recognized by Airline Economics, the flagship publication dedicated to commercial aviation finance and leasing industry, in its 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. The 40 Under 40 list highlights top up and coming aviation professionals who are nominated and endorsed by their peers, colleagues and clients in the aviation industry. Gareth was chosen from among the nearly 120 individuals nominated in 2023.

Additionally, UK Partners Ben Graham-Evans and Matthew Leigh are recognized in the publication’s list of leading Aviation Industry Mentors of 2023. Ben was nominated by Gareth, while Matt was nominated by his former associate colleague Terry Chang, now an attorney with Morgan Lewis.

As a partner on the Firm’s UK team, Gareth Hawes focuses on advising aircraft leasing companies, airlines and financial institutions on commercial and corporate aviation transactions, including new aircraft deliveries, operating leases, sale and leaseback transactions and novations with a particular emphasis on seasonal sub-leasing of multiple aircraft into different jurisdictions.

Ben Graham-Evans is a founding partner of SGR’s UK offices along with Partner Mark Turnbull. His practice specializes in international aircraft finance and leasing transactions advising lessors, purchasers, and operators on buying, selling, and leasing of commercial aircraft, engines, and parts.

Matthew Leigh is a partner in SGR’s London office where he specializes in structured asset finance and leasing acting for banks, financial institutions, lessors, and operators in a wide range of jurisdictions. He was previously recognized in the Airline Economics 40 Under 40 Class of 2019.

Mark, who was also recognized as a Mentor in 2022 and in the first 40 Under 40 Class of 2017, said, “We congratulate Gareth, Ben, Matt, and all those nominated this year. We are extremely proud of the team we have built, and we are thrilled to be consistently recognized for the legal work we do, as well as for our focus on mentorship and professional development which are hallmarks of our practice.”

First published in 2016, the Airline Economics 40 Under 40 list celebrates the up and coming aviation industry professionals, such as airline and leasing company executives, bankers, lawyers, and consultants. The final 40 individuals are chosen from the collection of nominations and endorsements made by senior members of the broad aviation community, which also predominantly includes clients. The 40 Under 40 members are then given the opportunity to nominate other industry individuals who have acted as mentors to them during their aviation careers. Those nominated are compiled into the leading Aviation Industry Mentors list.

About Aviation News Ltd
Aviation News Ltd is a publishing and events company dedicated to the commercial aviation finance and leasing industry. Founded in 2010, Aviation News Ltd launched as an online daily news service and emailed newsletter, which quickly expanded into a full print and digital publication, Airline Economics. 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 nearly 400 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 50 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, insurance/reinsurance, construction, employment law, international, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has 14 domestic and international offices, including Atlanta; Austin; Charlotte; Chicago; Jacksonville, FL; London; Los Angeles; Miami; Munich; New York; Southampton; Springfield, IL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.

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