Aviation Attorneys and Specialists

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The following lawyers and specialists are experienced in tax law related to private aviation usage, negotiating full and fractional ownership contracts, reviewing jet card agreements and offer additional services you may find valuable. Private Jet Card Comparisons does not receive compensation from any parties listed. We provide them to you as a recommended list based on our experience and others who have worked with them in the past.

Specialists

Nel Stubbs, JSSI Consulting/Conklin & de Decker

Contact: 928.583.9260 or Nel@conklindd.com

Nel Stubbs is considered one of the foremost tax experts in the industry and has extensive experience in the areas of tax planning, cost and financial analysis, budgeting, aircraft ownership and operating structures and tax audits. Over the course of the last 35 years, Nel has worked with the Internal Revenue Service and various state departments of revenue and taxation regarding tax issues associated with general aviation aircraft. She is also an active participant in industry-related tax activities, a frequent speaker at seminars and industry forums, and has been widely published in the aviation trade press. Nel is a member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Tax Committee, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Air Charter Committee, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Business Industry Advisory Board, and Business Aviation Advisor’s Advisory Board. She has also served on the Helicopter Association International Finance and Leasing Committee; NBAA Associate Membership Advisory Council; National Aircraft Finance Association’s Board of Directors; and Arizona Business Aviation Association’s (AZBAA’s) Board of Directors, where she also served as President. Prior to joining Conklin & de Decker, Nel was with the NBAA from 1987 to 1999, where she was instrumental in the development of their tax program. She also played a key role in developing NBAA’s first comprehensive aircraft cost comparison program.

Services: Federal Tax Planning for aircraft ownership and operations; State and Local Tax planning of aircraft purchases, ownership, and operations; Life Cycle Cost Analysis Cost and Financial Analysis of various forms of aircraft operations; Personal Use/Entertainment Use Tax Planning; State Tax Audits; Federal Excise Tax Audits; Application of Federal Aviation Regulations to aircraft ownership; Aircraft Needs Analysis; Structure and Operation

Craig Ross, Aviation Portfolio

Contact Craig Ross at Craig@AviationPortfolio.com.

Catering to fractional and whole aircraft owners, Aviation Portfolio was founded former Marquis Jet COO Craig Ross in 2011 and today its team of 16 includes executives with over 200 years of aviation experience with from Embraer to NetJets, Vista Global, Directional Aviation (owner of Flexjet), Atlantic Aviation, Argus, and the United States Coast Guard.

Services: Aviation Portfolio via its deep and daily relationships at all levels with providers helps clients maximize their ownership experience, including contract adherence, quality control for each of your flights, risk advisory, reliability assurance, contractual compliance, and integrity of cabin, professionalism, airport, and itinerary.

By analyzing real-time segment disruption by provider and severity Aviation Portfolio identifies controllable problems before they impact you and ensures clients get the highest level of service, don’t have to worry about billing mistakes, and have the best travel experiences.

Aviation Portfolio does not accept payments or referral fees from vendors but works on a subscription model with clients paying for auditing and performance services. Annual fees typically run between $25,000 and $50,000.

Attorneys

Amanda Applegate, Soar Aviation Law

Contact: 614.940.9181 or amanda@soaraviationlaw.com

Ms. Applegate spent the early part of her career in leadership positions at NetJets, the creator of fractional aircraft ownership. She gained comprehensive experience as she managed hundreds of whole aircraft transactions and thousands of fractional share purchases during her 13 years with the company. Most recently, Applegate served clients worldwide for over a decade at Los Angeles-based Aerlex Law Group where she was elevated to Partner in 2015. Applegate is highly regarded in the business aviation industry for her legal expertise and negotiating skills. She speaks frequently at industry conferences for NBAA, NAFA, IADA, and CJI, among others. Applegate authored a monthly column in BusinessAir Magazine for nine years, resulting in an encyclopedic collection of information on every aspect of aircraft acquisition and ownership, and reflecting her expansive knowledge of the industry.

James D. Butler, Shaircraft Solutions LLC

Contact: 301.652.9885 or jbutler@shaircraft.com

Mr. Butler is the Chief Executive Officer of Shaircraft Solutions. Since launching Shaircraft in 1997, clients have included professional golfers Scott Hoch, Scott Verplank, Bob Tway, and NFL Hall of Famer, Howie Long. Mr. Butler also has worked extensively with corporate clients, including SFX, a division of Clear Channel Communications, Protective Life Corporation, the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation, Talisker Corporation, and McWane, Inc. An attorney by trade, Butler established The Law Offices of James D. Butler in 1992, specializing in corporate and business transactional matters. Clients have included Philip Morris, George Washington University, and Georgetown University, as well as Olympian Dan Jansen and professional golfer John Daly. Before launching his legal practice, Butler was an attorney for six years with the prestigious law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., and clerked for Bernard M. Decker, Senior Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). A cum laude graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Butler also holds a Master of Science degree in Government from the London School of Economics (awarded with the highest distinction) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College (awarded summa cum laude), where he was a semifinalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.

David Hernandez, Vedder Price

Contact: 202.312.3340 or dhernandez@vedderprice.com

Mr. Hernandez is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Global Transportation Finance team. From 2016 through 2020 Hernandez was recognized in Private Aircraft (Global-wide) in Chambers High Net Worth as one the world’s leading high net worth business aircraft advisers. In 2015, 2017, and 2018, Vedder Price was named Airline Economics Aviation 100 Law Firm of the Year. Hernandez frequently advises clients on new and used aircraft purchase/sale agreements, fractional program documents, aircraft management agreements, aircraft registration, aircraft use policies, cross-border transactions, personal use of company aircraft, and aircraft use agreements to ensure compliance with FAA, SEC, and IRS regulations. Hernandez also has considerable experience assisting clients with aircraft operational issues, financing, leasing, and regulatory matters, complex government investigations, aircraft, and part certifications, FAA, DOT, BIS/OFAC (export controls), IRS, and SEC enforcement matters. Prior to joining Vedder Price, Hernandez was a Prosecutor at the FAA as well as a DOT Honors Attorney. He also served in the Office of the Counsel to the President during the Clinton Administration and was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Timothy H. Hopkins, Groom & Cave, LLP

Contact: 408.286.3300 or thopkins@groomandcave.com

Mr. Hopkins graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, California in 1982 with a B.A in Political Science, and received his law degree from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California in 1986. Hopkins joined the firm of Hopkins & Carley in San Jose, California in 1990 and was a partner in the litigation and commercial transactions department from 1993 until 1997. Hopkins joined the firm of Groom & Cave, LLP in 1997 and has focused his practice on tax and business planning for individuals. In addition, Hopkins’ practice is focused on providing advice to individuals and companies in connection with the purchase, sale, leasing, financing, tax structure, ownership, and management of aircraft. His practice includes the representation of owners’ purchasing fractional interests in aircraft as well as whole aircraft. Hopkins has worked extensively with all of the companies offering fractional ownership programs and has concluded in excess of 100 transactions for clients purchasing fractional interests in aircraft.

David T. Norton, Shackelford

Contact: 214.780.1407 or dnorton@shackelfordlaw.net

Mr. Norton is a partner and head of the aviation practice at the law firm of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP in Dallas, Texas. He has an internationally recognized practice that encompasses a broad range of business aviation industry regulatory, transactional, tax, commercial dispute resolution, and general risk management issues. His clients include fortune 50 businesses and high-net-worth individuals operating complex jet aircraft to all kinds of aviation support businesses and individual pilots flying small aircraft, and everything in between.

Eileen Gleimer, Crowell

Contact: 202.624.2840 and egleimer@crowell.com

Ms. Gleimer is a partner at Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C., and the chair of the Aviation Group, where she focuses on aviation law with an emphasis in business aviation. Gleimer represents and advises both publicly traded and privately owned businesses as well as individuals on regulatory, tax, and other legal issues affecting the purchase, sale, lease, financing, management, and operation of business aircraft and fractional interests. From the time the negotiations begin for the acquisition of the aircraft to its operation and ultimately the disposition of the aircraft, she helps clients navigate the complex and often counter-intuitive legal issues that arise. Among other things, she advises clients on developing structures for the ownership and operation of the aircraft to address operational, citizenship, tax, and regulatory compliance issues. As a seasoned business aviation lawyer with over thirty years of experience, Gleimer is able to assist clients in achieving business goals within the competing and often conflicting regulatory and tax requirements of numerous agencies. She also advises clients in connection with the development of aircraft use policies, issues arising from personal use of business aircraft, disclosure and reporting requirements, risk management issues, emergency response plans, and the negotiation of agreements with management companies, maintenance organizations, and other parties providing goods and services related to the aircraft. Gleimer is a member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Tax Committee and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Air Charter Committee, former chair of the NBAA Regulatory Issues Advisory Group, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Journal of Air Law & Commerce. She is repeatedly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in Equipment Finance Law, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers in the Aviation-Finance and Aviation-Regulatory categories, and Women in Business Law in the Aviation category. Gleimer earned her J.D., with distinction, from Emory University School of Law in June 1982, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as articles editor of the Emory Law Journal. She received her B.S., cum laude, in the administration of justice from The American University in May 1979, and she also earned a certificate in executive international business from Georgetown University in July 1996.

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