Leading global air and space law group joins Reed Smith

Global law firm Reed Smith LLP today announced the formation of a new area of focus for the firm– Aviation and Aerospace Finance and Commercial Space Business – with the addition of two attorneys: partner Elizabeth (Liz) Evans joins the firm’s New York office and senior counsel Delbert (Del) D. Smith, PhD will be resident in the firm’s Tysons office. Both attorneys were most recently with Dentons, where Liz was the global co-head of the Aviation and Aerospace Group and Del led that firm’s Space Business Group.

“Building our finance capabilities at the highest levels in order to align with our clients’ businesses is a priority of the firms, so Liz and Del are ideal additions,” said Ed Estrada, chair of Reed Smith's Financial Industry Group. “We’ve seen growth in the aviation and satellite finance sectors, as well as the equipment finance area, and Liz and Del’s experience, specifically their space and satellite practice, is market-leading and involves cutting-edge work. We believe that their practice, already at the top of the aviation and aerospace industries, will continue to develop at Reed Smith, and we anticipate that our bank and fund clients, which are collectively driving more and more deals in the aircraft, satellite and equipment finance markets, will find the team’s experience to be extremely beneficial.”

Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner, added, “We are focused on ensuring that we have the best very talent at Reed Smith and building our key industry sectors. We will continue adding depth and experience to our Financial Industry Group, both in New York and across the country, to partner with our clients wherever – and however – they need us.”

Liz Evans

Evans concentrates her practice in aviation, project and satellite finance, as well as in equipment leasing and related transactional work, including private placements of debt and equity, structured finance arrangements, asset-based financing and leveraged leasing. She also has represented financial institutions, foreign and domestic banks, private equity investors, export credit agencies and leasing companies in complex aircraft purchases, satellite financings, equipment leases, air traffic control system financings, NextGen air traffic control undertakings, airport and terminal development projects and other asset-based financings. She has represented a variety of clients, including manufacturers, satellite operators, MRO providers, trucking and rail car companies, domestic and foreign passenger and cargo airlines in a wide range of areas, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance, equipment financing and leasing programs , bankruptcy matters and privatizations. She has represented Fortune 500 corporations and high net worth individuals in the purchase of corporate aircraft.

She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and her B.A. magna cum laude from Wellesley College. Prior to joining Dentons in 2014, Evans was a partner at Jones Day from 2010 to 2014 and a partner at Weil Gotshal & Mangesfrom 2002 to 2010. She has been recognized in Chambers USA, Euromoney's Expert Guides (where she was ranked “Best of the Best" for aviation lawyers) and Who's Who Legal.

Delbert (Del) D. Smith, PhD

Smith has more than 45 years of experience in the high tech and space business sectors, focusing his practice on the financing, regulatory, institutional and international issues at the cutting edge of telecommunications and satellite communications. He advises clients on matters surrounding satellites, including direct satellite broadcasting, utilization of the geostationary orbit, international telecommunications policy, technology transfer, transborder data flow, satellite insurance and computer/communication interactions.

In addition to asset-based and corporate acquisitions, Smith provides strategic consultation to commercial enterprises and public sector entities pursuing the development and implementation of communications satellite systems. He has represented banks, satellite manufacturers, satellite operators and space insurance underwriters in a variety of complex transactional matters. In particular, he has advised non-U.S. companies in expanding into U.S. domestic and international space and telecommunications markets through direct investment and joint ventures.

He earned his B.S., M.S. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin and holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a diploma in Public International Law from the Hague Academy of International Law. He has been a member of the Society of Satellite Professionals International's Hall of Fame since 2007.

Lawyers in Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group are experienced in every aspect of the financial sector. We have advised banks and financial institutions on finance, lending, investment management, restructuring and insolvency, regulatory and litigation transactions across the globe. Armed with this experience and our global connections, we help businesses anticipate and address the requirements of any transaction. Our combined dedication to delivering first-rate services across the financial industry spectrum and deepening our relationships with clients fosters a uniquely personal approach that sets us apart from the rest.


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