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Le V. Lam

Shareholder

Le V. Lam is a member of Winstead’s Airlines Industry Group and its Corporate, Commercial Transactions & Outsourcing Practice Group. His practice is devoted to airline representation with specific focus on finance and capital markets transactions. During his career as a private practitioner and as in-house counsel of a global U.S. airline where he initially served as associate general counsel and then as deputy general counsel of the corporate legal department, Le has handled over $75 billion of financings and other transactions for various airlines. He has been involved in numerous pioneering liquidity raises in the aviation industry, including all manner of debt and equity capital market transactions (such as registered and private offerings of unsecured high-yield bonds, secured bonds, common stock, convertible notes and enhanced equipment pass through certificates (EETCs)), private and syndicated loans (such as bi-lateral aircraft mortgages and syndicated term loans and revolving loans secured by various airline equipment and non-equipment assets) and leasing transactions (such as sale-leasebacks, operating leases and cross-border leases, including Japanese operating leases (JOLs) with and without call options (JOLCOs)).

Beyond financings, Le has experience representing airlines in various commercial transactions, including in negotiations with major aircraft manufacturers and in restructurings of aircraft and other fleet-related matters in bankruptcy, as well as corporate governance and investor relations matters and public company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Le has been recognized by Chambers USA for Aviation Finance. He also has been recommended by The Legal 500 US for Asset Finance and Leasing and has been recognized as a “Rising Star” and shortlisted for Best in Aviation by Expert Guides (Euromoney Legal). Prior to his legal career, Le worked at a Big 4 public accounting firm as a consultant in its forensics and litigation practice group.

Experience

Representative Transactional Experience

  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $10 billion loyalty program financing, which was comprised of two series of senior secured notes privately offered in the aggregate amount of $6.5 billion and a syndicated term loan facility in the amount of $3.5 billion.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $4.5 billion concurrent debt and equity capital markets transactions, which was comprised of its $1 billion registered offering of convertible notes, $1 billion registered offering of common equity and $2.5 billion private offering of senior secured notes. This transaction won Airline Economics Aviation 100 “Recapitalisation Deal of the Year” 2021 award.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1 billion private offering of senior notes secured by certain of its intellectual property. This transaction won AirFinance Journal’s “2020 Innovative Deal of the Year” award for being one of the first financings to significantly leverage brand and trademark intellectual property as collateral in the airline sector.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1 billion 364-day delayed draw term loan, which won Airline Economics Aviation 100 “Americas Debt Deal of the Year” 2021 award.
  • Representation of a U.S. airline in its $160 million loan facility secured by its pre-delivery payments to an aircraft manufacturer. This transaction won AirFinance Journal’s “2018 Innovative Deal of the Year” award for its novel use of a large pool of assets as a borrowing base coupled with airline favorable drawdown and prepayment flexibility.
  • Representation of a global airline in a JOLCO transaction in the U.S., which was recognized for its “pioneering Jolco structure” by Global Transport Finance and selected as the “Jolco Finance Deal of the Year: Americas” category winner at the 2017 Global Transport Finance Awards. 
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1.9 billion term loan and $1 billion revolving credit facility secured by certain route authorities, slots and rights to use or occupy space in airport terminals that the airline uses to operate international passenger service between the United States and South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. This transaction won Airline Economics Aviation 100 “2014 Restructuring Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline as a special aircraft counsel, in its successful Chapter 11 proceedings involving the restructuring of complex financing arrangements relating to more than 400 aircraft generating savings in excess of $1.8 billion and to the raising of more than $9 billion of new financing through various capital markets, syndicated lending and other financing transactions. This restructuring was honored by Turnarounds & Workouts as one of a dozen “Successful Restructurings – 2013.”
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in the aircraft financing aspects of the then largest aircraft order in aviation history, the acquisition of 460 narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, with options for an additional 465 aircraft, which included approximately $13 billion of committed financing provided by the manufacturers.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $450 million private offering of notes secured by a large number of vintage aircraft, part of a series of financing transactions which won AirFinance Journal’s “2009 Editor’s Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline holding company in its $400 million common stock registered offering and concurrent $460 million convertible notes registered offering, part of a series of financing transactions which won AirFinance Journal’s “2009 Editor’s Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of various airlines in more than 25 registered and private offerings of EETCs, financing and refinancing in the aggregate more than 500 new and vintage aircraft and raising more than $15 billion in proceeds, including the first ever EETC offering by an airline in bankruptcy and the then largest EETC in terms of both aggregate proceeds and number of aircraft in the collateral pool. For further details, see “Representative EETC Offerings” below.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1 billion private offering of high yield bonds secured by certain route authorities, airport take-off and landing slots and rights to use or occupy space in airport terminals that the airlines uses to operate international passenger service to London, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its 2021 and 2020 “at-the-market” registered offerings of more than $1.5 billion of common stock in the aggregate.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its 2020 and 2019 private offerings of $1.2 billion of senior unsecured notes in the aggregate.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline holding company in its 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 common stock registered offerings with aggregate proceeds in excess of $1.4 billion.
  • Representation of global U.S. airline in a series of sale-leaseback transactions with multiple lessors completed in 2020, 2019 and 2018 with aggregate proceeds in excess of $2 billion.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in an operating lease facility to finance its purchase of 22 Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
  • Representation of an airline in a series of private mortgage financings for $1.1 billion, in the aggregate, with multiple syndicates of banks involving senior and junior loans for the purchase of 29 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in a series of mortgage financings completed in 2017 and 2016 for $1.4 billion, in the aggregate, with multiple lender groups to finance and refinance various Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in a series of mortgage financings completed in 2016 for $450 million, in the aggregate, with five separate lender groups to refinance 26 vintage Airbus A319, A320, A330 and Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its backstop financing arrangements with a regional jet manufacturer for its purchase of 60 regional jets.

Representative EETC Offerings

  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1.1 billion registered offering of 2019-1 EETCs secured by 35 Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $650 million private offering of 2019-1 EETCs secured by 83 spare engines, which won AirFinance Journal’s “2019 EETC Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of an airline in its concurrent private placement of $100 million of two subordinated C-tranches under two separate outstanding EETCs.
  • Representation of an airline in its $420.5 million registered offering of 2017-1 EETCs secured by 12 Airbus aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $500 million registered offering of 2015-1 EETCs secured by 15 Boeing aircraft, which was the first EETC to feature the now market-standard Class “AA” senior tranche.
  • Representation of an airline in its $576.6 million registered offering of 2015-1 EETCs secured by 15 Airbus aircraft, which was the inaugural EETC offering for this airline.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $2.2 billion registered offering of 2013-2 EETCs secured by 75 Boeing aircraft, the then largest EETC in terms of both aggregate proceeds and number of aircraft in the collateral pool, a transaction which won the Airline Economics Aviation 100 “2014 Debt Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $783 million registered offering of 2013-1 EETCs secured by 13 Boeing aircraft, which was the first ever EETC offering by an airline while in bankruptcy.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $479 million registered offering of 2012-1 EETCs secured by 31 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $725 million registered offering of 2011-2 EETCs secured by 43 Boeing aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $608 million registered offering of 2010-2 EETCs secured by 28 Airbus, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $689 million registered offering of EETCs secured by 27 aircraft, part of a series of financing transactions which won AirFinance Journal’s “2009 North American Deal of the Year” award.
  • Representation of a global U.S. airline in its $1.4 billion offering of 2007-1 EETCs secured by 46 aircraft, which was the airline’s first large capital markets financing after its exit from its Chapter 11 restructuring.