Associate & Special Counsel

Sam Tabak

Company & Business Law  

Sam joined Holland Beckett as an Associate and Special Counsel in 2017.  He grew up in Tauranga and has recently returned with his family after a number of years practising in the UK.
Prior to joining Holland Beckett, Sam worked in London for eight years in two leading international asset and structured finance practices, where he advised on a wide range of commercial and finance transactions representing financiers and large corporates such as asset lessors and airlines.  Most recently, Sam was counsel and co-leader of the international aviation practice at Freshfields.  Before moving to London, Sam worked for a leading banking and finance practice in Auckland.

Sam also specialises in aviation, focussing principally on aircraft finance, leasing and related tax driven structures as well as providing aviation related advice on M&A and restructuring transactions and in relation to sanctions and disputes.  Sam has extensive experience in this field, including a one year secondment with a leading aircraft lessor in Ireland (2010 — 2011). 

Sam’s experience includes advising:

  • Virgin Atlantic on its large aircraft campaign which involved the lease of four A350 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation and the direct purchase of eight A350 aircraft from Airbus and Rolls Royce;
  • AerCap on its US$5.4 billion acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation from AIG and subsequent restructuring and optimisation of the combined business. (Overall Deal of the Year: AirFinance Journal 2014) as well as numerous aircraft financing and leasing transactions; 
  • Avolon on the aviation aspects of its US$10 billion acquisition of CIT Group’s aircraft leasing business and its earlier dual track trade sale and IPO (Equity Deal of the Year: AirFinance Journal 2014) as well as numerous aircraft financing and leasing transactions; 
  • Investec on the acquisition of a portfolio of 10 aircraft by an Investec managed joint venture from SMBC Aviation Capital; 
  • equity investors on a US$927 million financing programme for British Airways which combined enhanced equipment trust certificate (EETC) capital markets financing and Japanese operating lease (JOLCO) structures for the first time; 
  • Goldman Sachs and Credit Agricole CIB (joint book runners and structuring agents) on the first UK Export Finance guaranteed $150m bond issued by AerCap to refinance existing export credit supported bank facilities relating to the acquisition of two Airbus A330-300 aircraft (Deal of the Year: Jane’s Transport Finance 2010); 
  • sellers and purchasers on a number of significant aircraft portfolio sales and acquisitions; 
  • aircraft financiers and operating lessors on a wide range of secured financing and operating lease structures, including 100% LTV finance structures, China Free Trade Zone leasing structures and sanctions matters;
  • operating lessors and financiers on lease and financing restructurings, defaults and aircraft repossessions; and
  • the Aviation Working Group (an international body comprised of leading aircraft manufacturers, financiers and lessors) on a wide range of matters.

LLB BCom University of Otago 2005
Admitted to the Bar in New Zealand 2006
Admitted in England and Wales 2011