"Bringing Order to Chaos"

By: Stewart Lapayowker

Business Aviation

I was watching Star Trek First Contact with the kids the other night (actually, they were watching it with me).  There’s one scene in which Data asks the Borg leader whether she is the “brain” of the Borg. She responds “No, I bring order to chaos.”  What a great phrase to describe the work of an aviation transaction lawyer!  We help clients navigate the issues involved in an aircraft purchase. Some think that the process is as simple as buying or leasing a car.  Others believe that they know it all.  And yet others are overwhelmed by  all of the issues that need to be addressed to have a successful transaction: purchase agreement, deposits, finance, pre-purchase inspection scope, sales tax planning, federal tax planning, FAA compliance, DOT compliance, FAA registration issues, insurance, risk management, management, Part 135, among others.

Many times a client tries to learn about the issues by anecdotal research, information gathered from friends on the golf course, from web sites that only touch the tip of the iceberg.  Learning the ins and outs of all the issues involved in closing an aircraft transaction takes years. The absolute worse time to learn is in the middle of a transaction, although we can guide a client through the maze in an orderly and efficient manner.

In an aircraft transaction, chaos is sometimes intentionally created by people on the other side of the transaction pushing an agenda, chaos is created often times by a client who would rather run the transaction themselves requiring us to “claw back” after a deal has begun, and chaos is often created by the myriad of issues required to be addressed to bring a transaction to a smooth and successful consummation.

So, perhaps the best phrase to describe our job is that we “bring order to chaos.”  I hope Paramount doesn’t mind.

Happy Halloween!