Nick Swinburne is a partner in the London office of Milbank LLP and is a member of the firm's Transportation Finance Group.
Primary Focus & Experience
Nick focuses on corporate finance work in the transportation sector.
He advises arrangers, financiers, equity investors, leasing companies and operators on aircraft, marine and other asset-based and receivables-backed finance and leasing transactions. He also advises on acquisitions and disposals of assets, asset portfolios and transportation-related businesses.
His experience encompasses a wide variety of leveraged debt, capital markets, tax-enhanced, risk participation and intercreditor structures, and includes pre-delivery financings, Islamic financings, securitisations and other rated and unrated asset portfolio financings, as well as transactions involving export credit or other governmental support.
As well as advising on the structuring and execution of such transactions, he advises on trading and repackaging them. He has extensive experience of advising on restructurings (including security work-outs and asset repossessions).
Nick’s experience includes advising:
· SMBC Aviation Capital on the combined pre-delivery financing/sale and leaseback of five Boeing 787 aircraft to be operated by Air Europa;
· A major European financial institution as arranger on a number of structured operating lease financings, including of four Sikorsky S-92 helicopters for Avincis, of three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for Singapore Airlines and of two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for Cathay Pacific;
· Amedeo on its US$8.3billion acquisition of 20 Airbus A380 aircraft and associated capital arrangements;
· The Equity Arrangers in relation to British Airways’ US$929 million EETC;
· Avolon on its US$636 million rule 144A securitisation of 20 aircraft operating leases;
· Kenya Airways in relation to its US$2 billion PDP and long term financing of Boeing and Embraer aircraft (utilising a combination of Ex-Im Bank guaranteed debt with capital markets options and senior and junior commercial debt);
· SMBC Aviation Capital in its merger with SMFL Aircraft Capital Corporation B.V. and Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management (SAAM), following the disposal of the SMBC Aviation Capital business by RBS, creating a combined entity valued at over US$10 billion;
· Various financial institutions on numerous portfolio financings of aircraft, including Nord/LB and DVB on a US$425 million operating lease portfolio financing of 13 aircraft for Investec funds;
· ING Capital on Ethiopian Airlines’ PDP financing of 10 Boeing 787 aircraft;
· Financial institutions including Citi, HSBC, ING and TD on numerous Ex-Im Bank guaranteed financings with capital markets take out options;
· Various aircraft operating lessors, including Avolon, AWAS and RBS Aerospace (now SMBC Aviation Capital), on their ECA-supported financings;
· Credit Agricole CIB as arranger on the structured operating lease financing of six ATR aircraft for Jet, utilising export credit debt supported by COFACE and SACE and commercial debt provided by Investec;
· Various equity arrangers and lenders on numerous Japanese operating lease (JOLCO) aircraft financings, involving airlines such as Air China, Air France, British Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, easyJet, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, TAM and Turkish Airlines, as well as advising AWAS on its first operating lessor JOLCO financing, and subsequent similarly-structured transactions;
· The arrangers on the first ever Spanish Operating Lease (SOL) aircraft financing (of five Airbus A340-600 aircraft for Iberia), and subsequently the equity arrangers and/or lenders on a number of subsequent SOL aircraft financings, some of which involved debt supported by the European, Brazilian and Canadian ECAs;
· Several airlines on landing and take off slot acquisitions, disposals and leases at airports including London Heathrow and Frankfurt;
· Bahri on the US$1.3 billion acquisition (utilising cash and shares) of Saudi Aramco’s very large crude oil carrier fleet;
· BNP Paribas, HSBC and a syndicate of lenders in relation to the US$530 million K-Sure supported financing of seven large ore carrying vessels for Vale;
· A multinational banking and financial services corporation on the US$147 million structured lease facility in respect of four Aframax Tankers for BP;
· Various lenders on export credit-supported financings of cruiseships for Carnival
· A major US financial institution on the structured acquisition of a US$1.5 billion portfolio of export credit backed aircraft, marine and project finance loans;
· Barclays as arranger in connection with £3.5 billion liquidity and working capital facilities supporting Network Rail’s £20 billion bond issuance programme; and
· Various Lenders and ECGD in relation to the insolvency of Sabena and the related restructurings and/or security work-outs of 28 aircraft financings.
Recognition & Accomplishments
Nick is ranked in the ‘Top Tier’ of asset finance lawyers in the UK by Chambers & Partners 2017.
He is also recognised as a leading lawyer for asset finance and leasing, transportation, trade finance and capital markets work global-wide by Chambers & Partners.
The Chambers Global legal directory describes him as a "very quick-witted, very good negotiator". Chambers UK has noted his strength in both aviation and shipping finance, and praised “his energetic approach to matters”, his “combination of commercial and technical skill and his “analytical, calm and collected” style. Legal 500 has remarked on his ability “to handle complex structures in a very professional manner”, recommending him for asset finance and leasing, as well as for trade finance. Who’s Who Legal cites his aircraft and marine asset-backed expertise, describing him as “dedicated and intelligent”.
In 2014, he was named by Dow Jones Financial News as one of the "40 Under 40" most influential lawyers working in European debt and equity capital markets.