Mr. Lapayowker devotes his law practice to corporate aircraft transactions. He counsels corporate and individual clients, foreign and domestic, on issues relating to the acquisition, leasing, registration and financing of new and pre-owned jet aircraft (including fractional aircraft). He counsels on a wide variety of aviation matters, including implementing tax efficient structures, related FAA and DOT regulatory matters, regulatory evaluation of operations, aircraft management arrangements, personal use issues and compensation-related SEC issues in connection with the use of business aircraft by public companies. He has excellent working relationships with major aircraft manufacturers which facilitates his ability to get transactions accomplished efficiently.
He is Chair of the National Business Aviation Association’s Tax and Regulatory Committee, past Chair of its Aircraft Transactions Working Group, past Vice-Chair of its Regulatory Working Group, and a member of the Aviation Law Committee of The Florida Bar.
Stewart has written articles and editorials, has been quoted in the press, cited to by a federal appellate court and has lectured on various topics in business aviation.
Stewart is devoted to helping aircraft owners and operators find solutions to challenges that they face on a daily basis. He hosts an internet radio show PlaneTalkRadio (which has had more than 2,800 listens to its archives) and has developed software applications including Speed-Offer® and Trip-Speed®.
He is committed to supporting a variety of charitable causes, including the Corporate Angel Network and Debbies Dream Foundation for Stomach Cancer, an organization devoted to curing a rare form of stomach cancer, and annually does stand-up comedy at the Improv at the Hard Rock in Hollywood Florida as part of the Debbies Dream Foundation Night of Laughter.
Selected as a 2014 Tier 1 Best Law Firm by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.
Selected for inclusion in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
Selected for South Florida’s Best Lawyers (2012 and 2009 Edition; Incisive Media)
Selected as a Top Lawyer by South Florida Legal Guide 2009 (Volume 1, Number 1, 2008)
Quoted in Daily Business Review, March 24, 2008 (John Pacenti, Justice Watch, Feds Take Closer Look at Aircraft Deals)
Selected for Who’s Who Legal – Florida 2008; Aviation (Law Business Research Ltd.)
Selected for South Florida Super Lawyers 2007 (June 2007)
Featured in The Miami Herald, Job File (Closing the Deal on their next set of Wings) (June 4, 2007)
Quoted in Worth Magazine, April 2007 (Connecting Flight)
Cited in United States of America v. Lake, 10th Cir. U.S. Ct. App. (Jan. 5, 2007)
Quoted in Base and Bonus, 2006, Volume 2 No. 12, page 3 (Does Empty Return Flight Count as Comp)
Quoted in Base and Bonus, 2006, Volume 2, No. 7, Page 11 (BofA Execs Getting Steeper Jet Valuation)
Selected as on of Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend Magazine in 2004.
Selected as one of “The Best of the Bar 2003” in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal in the area of Corporate/Business Aviation
Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell
Lecturer and Moderator, Closing and Covering Your Assets. Closing Deals in Uncertain Times, Business Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, February 6-7, 2014
Moderator, Managing International Tax and Regulatory Issues, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2013
Moderator, Off-Shore Aircraft Registration: Time to look beyond Oklahoma? Corporate Jet Investor – Corporate Jet and Helicopter Finance Americas Conference, Miami, Florida, September 9, 2013
Lecturer and Moderator, Wrestling with the EU – Challenges and Solutions for the VAT and EU-ETS (Emissions) Issues, National Business Aviation Association Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference, Bonita Springs, Florida, February 2013
Lecturer and Moderator, Seeking an Alternative Jurisdiction for Aircraft Registration – the Isle of Man and Other Options, National Business Aviation Association Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference, Bonita Springs, Florida, February 2013
Lecturer and Moderator, International Tax and Regulatory Issues Panel, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Conference, Orlando, Florida, October 2012
Lecturer, Isle of Man Aviation Conference, Isle of Man, June 2012
Lecturer, Part 91 Flight Department Workshop, National Business Aviation Association, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2012
Lecturer, 2012 Aircraft Registration Conference, Delray Beach, Florida, February 2012
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2011
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Aircraft Transactions Conference, New York, New York, June 2011
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Aircraft Registration Conference, Naples, Florida – February 3-4, 2011
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia – October 2010
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia – October 17-18, 2009
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Seminar, Orlando, Florida – October 18-19, 2009
Lecturer, 14th Annual Aircraft Transactions, New York, New York – June 1-2, 2009
Lecturer (legal Issues Relating to Leases and Loans – A Lender’s and Borrower’s Perspective), 16th Annual Aircraft Registry Forum, Naples, Florida – February 9-10, 2009 (scheduled)
Lecturer (Aircraft Acquisition Planning), National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Seminar, Orlando, Florida – October 4-5, 2008
Lecturer (An Introduction to Business Aviation for the Non-Aviation Professional), Financial Planning Association Retreat 2008, Weston, Florida – June 1, 2008
Lecturer (Update on FAA and Tax Issues Relating to Business Aircraft), U.S. Trust, Bank of America and Bank of America Private Wealth Management Aviation Symposium, Orlando, Florida –April 3, 2008
Panelist (Corporate Aircraft Issues), Equipment Finance Leasing Association – Orlando, Florida, March 17, 2008
Lecturer (SEC Reporting of Aircraft Use), National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax Regulatory Seminar – Atlanta, Georgia, September 2007
Lecturer (Aviation Regulatory Environment), NBAA Business Aviation Taxes Forum – Chicago, Illinois, June 1, 2007
Lecturer (Dealing with an Imported Aircraft), 14th Annual FAA Registry Forum and the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol – Miami, Florida, February 2007
Lecturer (Personal Use of Corporate Aircraft), Aviation Directors Roundtable, December 2006
Lecturer (Cape Town Convention Language), National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax Regulatory Seminar – Orlando, Florida, October 2006
Lecturer (Introduction to Aviation Taxes), National Business Aviation Association Annual Tax and Regulatory Seminar – Orlando, Florida, October 2005
Lecturer, National Business Aviation Association Regulatory Issues Forum – Boca Raton, Florida, January 28, 2005
Lecturer – “Certifying a Large Aircraft Under Part 135: A Hybrid Process or Double Trouble?”, Strategic Research Institute 8th Corporate Aircraft Conference to Address Risk ad Regulatory Issues – New York, New York, July 10, 2003 – July 11, 2003
“Buying a Business Aircraft – Don’t Be Emotionally Compromised?”, Business Aviation Advisor, May 2014
“Your Plane Will Punish You…If You Don’t Behave,” JSSI AirWays, Fall 2012
“IRS Chief Counsel Advice Could Result in IRS Auditors Applying Federal Excise Tax to Part 91 Management Arrangements,” Vectors Florida Aviation Law Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, November 2012
“Corporate Planes Are Assets Not Excess,” Miami Herald, April 6, 2009 (p. G-8)
“FAA Should Allow Executives to Reimburse Companies for Personal Aircraft Use,” Editorial, Aviation International News, February 2008
“Taxing Personal Use of Corporate Aircraft – A Conversation You Don’t Want But Need To Be Ready For”, Executive Flyer Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 May, 2006
“Corporate Aircraft – Why the Law is Not So Simple”, SmartBusiness (Broward/Palm Beach Edition), February, 2005
“Valuation of Personal Usage of Corporate Aircraft and The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004”, thecorporatecouncil.net, February, 2005
“Personal Usage of Corporate Aircraft and The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 – Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, Client Advisory
“Corporate Aircraft” Four Common Compliance Issues, Co-author, ACC Docket 21, No. 10 (Nov/Dec), 2003
Mr. Lapayowker has personally handled the following transactions, among others:
*Represented aircraft owner in connection with arrangements for having its aircraft appear in the MGM major motion picture James Bond 007 Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig
* Represented clients in connection with the acquisition of new and pre-owned Gulfstream G650 aircraft.
*Represented Fortune 100 company in connection with transitioning its fleet of pre-owned Gulfstream aircraft to new Gulfstream aircraft, and transitioning its fleet of pre-owned Sikorsky helicopters to new helicopters, including the sale of the pre-owned aircraft, acquisition of the new aircraft, related FAA regulatory structuring, State tax planning, Federal tax planning (including coordination with the company’s tax department), implementation of 1031 exchanges, and addressing personal use issues and related SEC disclosure matters.
*Represented Fortune 100 company in connection with the negotiation and execution of sales agreements for new Gulfstream G450 and G550 aircraft, including related FAA compliance structuring, and State and Federal tax planning in coordination with the company’s tax department, and continuing representation in connection with the disposition of its pre-owned Dassault.
* Represented Fortune 100 company in connection with the disposition of its fleet of Gulfstream aircraft and Sikorsky helicopters.
*Represented public company in connection with the acquisition and import of pre-owned foreign-registered Dassault aircraft, including related FAA regulatory structuring, State tax planning, Federal tax planning (including coordination with the company’s tax department).
*Represented public company in connection with the negotiation of a purchase agreement with Bombardier for a Challenger 605 aircraft and negotiation and implementation of progress payment financing and lease financing with financial institution, including related FAA regulatory structuring, State tax planning, Federal tax planning (including coordination with the company’s tax department).
* Represented party to Gulfstream sales agreement for a G550 in connection with the sale of the aircraft to large public company.
*Represented Singapore based company in connection with the acquisition of a new Bombardier Lear 60 aircraft and related bank financing, and owner trust registration.
* Negotiated the purchase of one of the first Boeing Business Jets and Global Express aircraft, the first operational Eurocopter EC 155B VIP-configured helicopter delivered in the United States, as well as the related financing and completion arrangements
* Negotiated one of the first Bombardier FlexJet FlexOne aircraft program purchases
* Structured the purchase of one of the first corporate aircraft to be privately owned by a Chinese company (and not the Chinese government)
* Concluded the purchase and related financing of aircraft to be based in Indonesia, Poland, the Middle East and the Caribbean
* Negotiated the purchase of a new Challenger 605 aircraft in 4 business days.
* Import of a Boeing 737-200 aircraft from Switzerland
* Import of a DeHavilland Twin Otter from Australia
* Negotiated consignment arrangements with the ministry of defense of foreign governments
* Negotiated the purchase of new Gulfstream G650, G550, G450, G350 and G150 aircraft on behalf of buyers
* Concluded the assignment of lease of Gulfstream G450 demonstration aircraft and the sale and export of the aircraft
* Represented client in connection with the purchase and trade-in of Bell 430 helicopters
* Negotiated the purchase of Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 very light jet
* Represented the purchaser in connection with the purchase and related lease financing of a new Dassault Falcon 2000EX
* Consummated the acquisition and import from Italy of an Agusta AB-139 helicopter, and related completion agreement
* Represented aircraft buyers in connection with the negotiation of progress payment financing for the acquisition of Bombardier Challenger 300 and Bombardier Challenger 604
* Represented a client in connection with the importation of its U.S. registered Gulfstream G-550 aircraft into the United Kingdom for free circulation into the European Union
* Negotiated and documented Part 91 and Part 135 management arrangements of Dassault Falcon 2000EX, Challenger 300, Challenger 605 and other aircraft with regional and national charter management companies
* Represented purchaser of Gulfstream G-IV in connection with its purchase and import from Spain, and related lease financing
* Assisted with the arrangements necessary to operate helicopters from a yacht for use in the European Union and Eastern Europe
* Represented the purchaser of Boeing 737-200 from charter operator in Switzerland and subsequent import from Switzerland
* Represented the purchaser of DeHavilland Twin Otter from Australian airline and subsequent import from Australia
* Represented a client in connection with the import of its helicopters into the United States from Great Britain
* Represented a client in connection with the import of its helicopter into Bermuda from Malaysia via the United States
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Economics, 1986
Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania J.D.,1989, Honors: Cum Laude
Temple Law Review, Research Editor
New Jersey, 1989 (inactive)
Pennsylvania, 1989 (inactive)
Lapayowker Jet Counsel, P.A.. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2008-Present)
Partner in law firm located in Boca Raton, Florida, 2006-2008
Shareholder, Akerman Senterfitt (Miami, Florida), 1996 – 2006
Associate Attorney, Gunster Yoakley Valdes – Fauli and Stewart, P.A. (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), 1995 – 1996
Associate Attorney, Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Shiekman and Cohen (Philadelphia, PA), 1989 – 1995