Holland & Knight Grows Asset Finance Group with Addition of Debra Erni in London
LONDON (January 17, 2024) – Highly regarded aviation finance and leasing attorney Debra Erni has joined Holland & Knight in London as a partner in the Asset Finance Group. Ms. Erni joins from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where she served as managing partner of the London office from January 2017 to December 2022.
Ms. Erni is active in all manner of leasing, financing and trading work across the aviation industry and is also regularly engaged in lessor platform mergers and acquisitions (M&A), disputes strategy, restructurings and asset repossessions for her clients. She maintains an active practice counseling lenders, equity investors, major trading houses and numerous aircraft and engine lessors.
Ms. Erni is widely viewed as a thought leader in the industry and is one of a select group of practitioners with fluent Japanese language skills and familiarity with Japanese corporate structures, tax regulation and cultural practice who are able to guide lenders, investors and borrowers on optimal ownership and leasing structures involving Japanese equity. She is currently the highest-ranked female attorney in Chambers UK – Asset Finance: Aviation Finance, a position that she has held for a number of years, together with her status as a "Leading Individual" in the Transport Finance and Leasing Section of The Legal 500 United Kingdom.
"Debra's impressive experience in the aviation finance industry, as well as the value she places on a collaborative culture, will make her a great addition to the firm," said Phillip Durham, leader of the firm's Asset Finance Group. "We are excited to welcome such a high-profile aviation finance partner to our London office, whose complementary practice will create numerous opportunities to expand the type of work that we are currently handling for clients."
Holland & Knight's Asset Finance Group has boasted a Tier 1 ranking in the Transportation Finance Section of The Legal 500 USA for several years and is noted for its "deep and experienced bench" of attorneys firmly "entrenched in the industry." In the U.K., its practice is recommended in the 2024 Chambers UK guide and boasts London-based Partners Victoria Koob, Robert Ricketts and Richard Sharman, who are also individually ranked in the Asset Finance: Aviation Finance category.
"Holland & Knight has a reputation for excellence, and I am excited to now be a part of its team of highly experienced and talented attorneys practicing aviation and asset finance in London and across the globe," said Ms. Erni. "I am looking forward to taking advantage of the many synergies and growth opportunities created by combining my skill sets and client following with the existing practice of the Holland & Knight Asset Finance Group."
Ms. Erni received an LL.B. degree from the University of Waikato in New Zealand and an LL.M. degree from King's College in London. She has practiced as an English Solicitor in London for the last 20 years.