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Dentons Expands Practice in Aviation Law – Creates Space Business Sector

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Summary: Dentons makes high-profile hires to establish practice in Space Business and issues related to satellites in space.

Dentons announced last week the expansion of its global Aviation Finance practice and the creation of a Space Business sector team, enhancing its client service capabilities in the Aviation and Aerospace sector. The Space Business team will focus on transactional, insurance, intellectual property, regulatory, import/export and litigation and arbitration needs on behalf of businesses in the commercial satellite and space arena.

Elizabeth (Liz) H. Evans, who joins the New York office as a partner, will serve as global co-chair of the Firm’s Aviation Finance practice and lead the practice in the US. Also joining in the Aviation Finance practice is Deepak Reddy, who will be a partner in the New York office.

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In Washington, DC, veteran satellite telecommunications lawyer Delbert (Del) D. Smith, PhD., joins as senior space business counsel to lead a newly-formed, multidisciplinary global Space Business discipline in which Evans and Reddy will also participate.

“The arrival of Liz, Deepak and Del allows Dentons to meet one of our major strategic priorities: extending our seasoned Canadian and UK global aviation and aerospace team to the United States,” said Dentons US managing partner Mike McNamara. “The talent and experience they bring will augment the Firm’s exceptional aviation finance and telecommunications capabilities around the world and deepen our corporate offerings.”

Evans focuses on aircraft, project and satellite financing, as well as equipment leasing of other assets (including rail cars, mining equipment, telecommunication equipment, ships and trucks). Her experience within the aerospace industry involves high-value, cross-border transactions, such as her representation of an international aviation leasing company’s board in its US$1.4 billion acquisition of a portfolio of 49 commercial jets from a global aviation asset management company.

Evans earned her JD from Columbia University, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and worked on the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. She received her BA from Wellesley College, magna cum laude, where she was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Reddy concentrates on representing airlines, aircraft leasing companies, financial institutions and investment funds in connection with mergers and acquisitions (M&A), financing and leasing transactions. He is also a recognized counselor in business jet and related transactions, advising Fortune 500 companies and high net worth individuals in connection with acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, charter, fractional jet and time-share programs. He was recently recognized by Corporate Jet Investor as a leading business aviation lawyer in the US.

Smith, who comes to Dentons with more than 35 years of experience practicing as an international lawyer in the high-technology and space business sector has been a member of the Society of Satellite Professionals International’s Hall of Fame since 2007. He earned his JD, MS and BS with honors from the University of Wisconsin, and also holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a diploma in Public International Law from the Hague Academy of International Law.

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