Thomas is a partner of Odi-sé Avocats with a wealth of experience in structured finance, debt restructurings and work-outs, acquired in both top ranking international law firms and major financial institutions. This dual practice provides Thomas with a deep understanding of clients' needs and expectations in complex cross-border financing transactions.
Thomas advises the firm’s international and domestic clients on all legal aspects of the purchase, disposal, leasing and financing of aircraft.
Having held expert and senior positions in the legal department of global banking institutions and in law firms, Thomas covers the full spectrum of legal issues surrounding the financing and leasing of large assets, from the structuring of transactions to work outs and default situations, including repossession and insolvency. Thomas speaks French and English and is a member of the Paris bar.
The Court of Cassation recently had, for the first time, the opportunity to provide its interpretation of Article 3(3) of EC Regulation 261/2004. It confirmed that lump-sum compensation for flight cancellations or delays may not be awarded to passengers who are travelling at a reduced fare that is not directly or indirectly available to the public or free of charge. To support its interpretation, the court used foreign-language translations of the regulation.
The French Aircraft Registry, previously located in Paris, recently moved to Athis-Mons, approximately 20km south of Paris. Due to this relocation, the registry has been closed from 9 November 2020 until 13 November 2020 (however, the registry may be in a position to answer to emails as of 12 November 2020). Applicants to the registry that wish to register aircraft, and any related leases and mortgages, will have to use new registration forms which will refer to the registry's new location.
Insolvency has been a topical issue in the French aviation market in 2020 with two significant mid-sized airlines declaring bankruptcy at the start of the year and the number of airlines in financial difficulty set to rise due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this video, Matthieu de Varax and Thomas Boone discuss these issues as well as efforts to reduce the level of carbon emissions that the French aviation sector produces.
The French Civil Aviation Authority's Registration Office recently moved from Paris to Athis-Mons. As a result, aircraft mortgage beneficiaries must elect domicile in the jurisdiction of the Evry Tribunal Judiciaire. This will not prove too difficult for French banks, which may elect domicile at a branch in the Court of Evry's territorial jurisdiction; however, foreign lenders and non-banking mortgagees will have to find someone (eg, a notary) who will accept such election of domicile on their behalf.
Bank account pledges are often part of the security package in secured lending. To avoid the risk of the account being emptied prior to enforcement, practitioners have developed a blocking notice that may be delivered to the account holder where a default occurs. This aims to prevent the debtor from sweeping the account ahead of enforcement actions. However, following two recent court decisions, bank account pledges may not be as bulletproof as previously thought.
The Court of Cassation recently clarified its position on first-demand guarantees. Considering the significant consequences for the beneficiary of a guarantee (depending on whether it is characterised as a first-demand guarantee or suretyship), the court's reasoning should be looked at carefully by any drafter of a first-demand guarantee.