Gates and Partners eyes stronger Mideast presence
Dubai, November 25, 2010
Leading aviation law firm Gates and Partners (G&P) is eyeing opportunities to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, having closed 25 deals in the region in 2009 and an even bigger number this year.
Moreover, success rates are running at close to 100 per cent and the company is seeing much more faith in the market from lenders into 2011, said a statement.
“We are seriously investigating opening an office in the Middle East as increasingly clients are requesting presence in the region,” said Partner Aoife O’Sullivan, who will attend the Middle East’s premier business aviation show MEBA in Dubai during December 7-9.
“We will take the time to explore this further while we are there. It is too early to say when that will be, or where, we just need to find the right partner for the company,” he said.
Currently G&P deals with a number of Middle Eastern clients ranging from banks financing aircraft destined for the UAE, high net worth individual buyers, and an increased number of corporate buyers making use of business aviation to support their business activity. There are more established aircraft operators in the region now who are starting to experience growth, she notes.
“A real maturity has entered the market over the last 10 years as operators have improved their operating standards. They are very proud of their industry,” she said.
Most of the aircraft sales G&P have advised on have been for mid to heavy jets. “This market is still only interested in the larger aircraft, entry level jets still don’t’ really fit the buyers profiles and requirements” she continues.
Looking to the future Gates expects to see an increase in transactions from Saudi Arabia which is gradually starting to open up. “Sharia law remains an issue to some extent, but Saudi offers additional enforcement options under the SAMA Committee which is attractive to western lenders, and we have looked at a number of transactions in the region this year.”
Although based in the UK, Gates has already been recognised as a leading international firm and was recently voted as one of the world’s leading aviation legal companies by Air Finance Journal readers this year. – TradeArabia News Service