Debra Erni is an asset finance attorney in Holland & Knight's London office. Ms. Erni focuses her practice on international asset finance and leasing, with a particular emphasis on the aviation industry.
With significant client followings in Japan, California, Amsterdam and Ireland, Ms. Erni has for the last two decades represented several of the world's most significant aircraft and engine leasing companies, financiers, equity investors, arrangers and manufacturers in connection with all manner of leasing, financing and trading work. She is also regularly engaged in aviation platform mergers and acquisitions (M&A), disputes strategy, restructurings and asset repossessions.
Per client feedback from Chambers UK, Ms. Erni "offers commercial solutions in tough situations" and "has the ability to see the big picture."
A former resident of Japan for nearly a decade, Ms. Erni speaks and reads Japanese fluently and is familiar with Japanese corporate structures and many other aspects of Japanese law.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Erni was an attorney with a global law firm in its London office. She has also previously spent time on secondment with the world's largest aircraft leasing company.
- Represented a regional aircraft lessor in the acquisition and related lease transfers of 20 aircraft, covering eight jurisdictions
- Represented the subsidiary of a Japanese trading house with the sales and related lease transfers (covering 15 jurisdictions) of 35 used aircraft into a new lessor platform acquired by the subsidiary of a U.S. alternative investment firm in a highly compressed three-month period
- Represented an engine lessor with the acquisition of more than 50 spare aircraft engines and leasing thereof across 25 jurisdictions
- Represented the subsidiary of a Japanese trading house with a highly bespoke forward sale arrangement of purchase options relating to seven aircraft subject to ongoing Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) leases
- Represented an engine lessor with the disposal of its remaining spare engine portfolio to four separate engine leasing companies and the related lease transfers
- Represented a Californian aircraft lessor with sales of used aircraft and new aircraft delivery positions and the related lease transfers to seven separate aircraft leasing companies
- Represented a Japanese equity investor on the sale of a portfolio of used aircraft and the related transfers and on the acquisition of a portfolio of spare engines and the related lease management arrangements
- Represented the subsidiary of a major Chinese financial institution in the purchase and leasing of nine new aircraft to Indian and Central American airlines
- Represented the subsidiary of a major Australian financial institution in pandemic-occasioned lease restructurings and re-registrations of aircraft on lease to various airlines in Asia
- Represented a major California-based lessor in the purchase and leasing of new aircraft to a Philippines airline
- Represented the subsidiary of a major Australian financial institution in annual winter fleet transitioning of aircraft from European to Canadian-based airlines
- Represented a European regional aircraft lessor in the purchase and leasing of aircraft to various airlines based throughout Africa
- Represented a European arranger in the re-leasing of repossessed aircraft to a Spanish airline
- Represented a major California-based lessor as the pre-delivery payment (PDP) lender to European and Central American airlines
- Represented a major California-based lessor as the borrower in various secured loan facilities from Japanese, Australian and European banks
- Represented a European regional aircraft lessor as the borrower in various secured loan facilities from European banks
- Represented a major California-based lessor as the junior lender on a 10-aircraft facility
- Represented the subsidiary of a Japanese trading house as the mezzanine lender for a PDP financing of 12 new aircraft
- Represented a Japanese lessor on secured loans to an alternative investment manager for aircraft on lease to a U.S. carrier
- Represented a Japanese trading house in the original formation and subsequent unwind of its joint venture engine leasing platform with a major European-based engine leasing platform
- Represented a Japanese trading house and a number of its subsidiaries in connection with the amalgamation and integration of three separate lessor platforms into a Hong Kong-backed single platform (subsequently acquired by a U.S. alternative investment manager)
- King's College London, LL.M.
- University of Waikato, LL.B.
- England and Wales
- Law Society of England and Wales
- International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT)
- The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom guide, Aviation Law, 2023, 2024
- Chambers UK guide, Asset Finance: Aviation Finance, 2015-2024
- Leading Individual, The Legal 500 United Kingdom, Transport Finance and Leasing, 2014-2024
- Transport Aviation Finance Expert, Lexology Who's Who Legal, 2014-2024
- Guide to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, Euromoney Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2012-2021
- Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law, Euromoney Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2012-2021