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Atherden recognised as ‘rising star’

Recognised: Angela Atherden of Conyers

Aviation finance lawyer Angela Atherden is flying high.

Ms Atherden, who is counsel at Conyers’ Bermuda office, has been recognised as a “rising star” by Airfinance Journal, a market-leading financial publication of the global aircraft and aviation business. She is one of only seven lawyers worldwide to be given this recognition in the publication’s 2019 awards issue.

Conyers says Ms Atherden has extensive experience advising banks, airlines and leasing companies on the financing of commercial and private aircraft, aircraft portfolio securitizations, sale and leasebacks, pre-delivery payment and warehouse facilities. Her practice covers all aspects of corporate and commercial law, including international asset finance with a focus on aviation finance and debt and equity offerings, the firm said.

Over the past year, Ms Atherden has worked on two large lease finance transactions for Avolon totalling $5.75 billion, Conyers said, as well as on some of the most significant Bermuda-domiciled aviation asset-backed securitizations transactions, including the ground-breaking Start Ltd, Maps 2019-1 Ltd and Start II Ltd.

The Start Ltd transaction, the firm said, brought a new development into the ABS market last year: it was the first aircraft ABS transaction to utilise a 144A tradable e-note.

Ms Atherden, the firm said, was also involved in advising two new issuers in 2018: Merx Aviation and Zephyrus Aviation Capital. Conyers acted for the issuer, Maps 2018-1 Ltd, for Merx Aviation’s inaugural ABS composed of $506.5 million in three tranches of notes secured on a portfolio of 25 aircraft.The firm also advised Zephyrus Aviation Capital on the new lessor’s debut ABS, which financed a portfolio of 21 aircraft acquired from Avolon.

The firm said Ms Atherden advised Castlelake in June 2018 on a $911.3 million ABS transaction, and acted for Air Lease’s Thunderbolt II ABS, which launched in July 2018. The $450 million midlife aircraft ABS is secured against 18 aircraft. This transaction also incorporated a 144A tradable e-note. Thunderbolt II was the first aircraft ABS deal, Conyers said, to use a passive foreign investment company tax structure that facilitates offshore ownership and removes tax-related transfer restrictions.

Julie McLean, global head of the firm’s aviation finance practice, said: “Angela is respected by her peers, is a mentor to junior attorneys and a reliable, hard-working resource to the partners of Conyers. She is a highly valued member of our aviation team and we are proud of the high-quality service she provides to clients.”

Ms Atherden joined Conyers in 2005, and was promoted from associate to counsel on April 1, the firm said.