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Aircraft are not cheap. Aircraft finance transactions are not simple. There are many risks to analyse, allocate, mitigate and price – and lawyers have to help the financiers do this. Country risk is one example: consider the possibility of being unable to repossess the aircraft because it is in a country with laws which are ambiguous or debtor-friendly. As such, the Cape Town Convention has been trailed as a quantum leap forward in country risk mitigation. Given the sums at stake, the complex structures, many jurisdictions and issues in aircraft deals, it is not surprising that it took a diplomatic conference and thousands of lawyer hours – over many years – to create the new cross-border legal regime that is the Cape Town Convention.

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