Brian E. Kersey
Brian Kersey devotes his business and corporate practice to a wide array of aviation and financial transactions. As a combination of those practice areas, he has a particular focus on aircraft financing transactions.
Prior to law school, Brian was a commercial loan officer with a large regional bank. He draws from this background in his representation of both lenders and borrowers in syndicated loan facilities, secured and unsecured term loans and revolving credit facilities, real estate loans, asset-based lending, and construction lending. Well respected among his peers, Brian has been selected to the list of The Best Lawyers in America© each year since 2013 for his work in banking and finance law, and Best Lawyers named him 2019 Grand Rapids “Lawyer of the Year” in that same discipline. He has also been recognized by the Leading Lawyers Network as a Leading Lawyer in corporate finance law.
In aviation matters, Brian represents clients ranging from individuals buying or selling single-engine aircraft to high net worth individuals, family offices, and corporate flight departments acquiring or disposing of large cabin jets. He also frequently represents fixed based operators, Part 135 charter operators, and flight schools. Brian advises on a variety of transactions and issues including U.S. and international purchases and sales, regulatory compliance (for both Part 91 and Part 135 operations), risk management, tax planning, aircraft management, and leasing arrangements (for both aircraft and hangar space).
Clients value Brian’s practical counsel and his comprehensive assessment of both the risks and options unique to each transaction. He views his role as a deal-facilitator, not a deal-killer, and frequently uses “us” and “we” when talking with clients about their goals and objectives. Rather than simply offering legal advice as a means to an end, Brian seeks to build lasting relationships with clients and becomes their trusted advisor.
Brian is active in professional, business, and community circles as well. He served as the Chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Aviation Law Section from 2017 to 2018, and is a member of the National Business Aviation Association and The Economic Club of Grand Rapids. Brian is the president of the Bills Lake Association where he has a cottage, and he and his family have proudly supported Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for several years by creating handcrafted Christmas ornaments that they then sell at art and craft shows, with donations totaling more than $45,000 to date.
Purchase and resale of foreign registered Boeing Business Jet.
Purchase of new Gulfstream G280.
Purchase of FBO with Part 135 certificate and Part 141 flight school.
Represented a national financial institution in multiple rounds of financing for 737 and 767 aircraft.
Purchase of NetJets fractional interest in Phenom 300.
Purchase agreement for up to 36 new single-engine piston airplanes with scheduled deliveries over a period of approximately 18 months.
Sale of undivided interest in King Air aircraft with co-owner agreement.
Numerous transactions representing buyers and sellers of used aircraft across the United States with individual transaction values ranging from $200,000 to $15 million, including aircraft being imported into the United States. Clients include individuals, family offices and corporate flight departments.
- University of Notre Dame Law School, Juris Doctor, 2000
- Indiana University, Master of Business Administration, 1996
- Beta Sigma Gamma Business Honor Society
- Central Michigan University, Bachelor of Business Administration, 1988
Honors & Awards:
- Best Lawyers© in America
- 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Banking & Finance Law (Grand Rapids)
- Banking & Finance Law (Grand Rapids) – 2013 to present
- Leading Lawyers℠
- Commercial Finance Law (Grand Rapids)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- State Bar of Michigan
- Chair, Aviation Law Section (2017-2018)
- National Business Aviation Association
- The Economics Club of Grand Rapids
- Bills Lake Association
- Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
- Volunteer Fundraiser