William B. Piels is an attorney in Holland & Knight's San Francisco office and has more than 25 years of experience in aircraft lease and financing transactions. The clients he has represented include some of the world’s largest aircraft operating lessors and international financial institutions. Mr. Piels has also represented major international airlines, U.S. domestic airlines, engine manufacturers, engine lessors and spare parts lessors. He has extensive experience in a broad range of transactions in the aircraft leasing and financing area, including aircraft operating lease transactions, secured loans, aircraft purchase and sale transactions, single investor and leveraged lease transactions, securitizations, cross-border financing transactions, regional jet and commercial jet manufacturer purchase transactions, engine leasing and financing transactions, spare parts leasing and financing transactions, leveraged lease, operating lease and debt workouts and restructurings, and repossessions and foreclosures.


  • University of Oregon School of Law, J.D.
  • Macalester College, B.A., Economics, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Aviation Working Group, Legal Advisory Panel, Executive Committee Member and Former Chair 
  • American Bar Association Subcommittee on Aircraft Finance and Contracts
  • International Registry Advisory Board, Representative for the American Bar Association
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, Inc.
  • International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Equipment Finance Law, Securitization and Structured Finance Law, 2006-2022
  • Chambers Global - The World's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Asset Finance, 2014, 2020, 2021; Aviation Finance, 2015-2019
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Banking & Finance: Equipment Finance & Leasing, 2012, 2013; Transportation: Aviation: Finance, 2008-2021
  • The Legal 500 USA, Asset Finance and Leasing, 2010-2017; Aviation and Air Travel: Finance, 2017-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, San Francisco Equipment Finance Law Lawyer of the Year, 2013; San Francisco Securitization and Structured Finance Lawyer of the Year, 2017
  • Who’s Who Legal: Transport, Aviation Finance, 2005-2021; Thought Leader – Global Elite, Aviation, USA, 2019-2021; Thought Leader, North America, Aviation Finance, 2018; Who’s Who Legal 100: Aviation, 2014
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides, 2004-2020
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014
  • The Best of the Best USA, Aviation, Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides, 2013, 2015-2018, 2020
  • The Best of the Best, Aviation, Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides, 2003-2009, 2014
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, Fellow
  • Who’s Who Legal: California – Aviation, 2007-2009
  • Order of the Coif


Speaking Engagements