Friday, March 7, 2008

How many lawyers does it take to ...

get an airship off the ground?

Have a think about it for a moment. I'm sure most of you said 'someone to help with the FAA'. Good, that's one. But actually, it takes quite a few more than that. As we are fortunate to have a wonderful group of patient and easy to understand representatives of the legal profession working with us, I thought I'd take a moment to give you a little insight into how many legal plates are spinning!

First, there are indeed experts helping with the FAA and DOT. That's Jennifer, Jonathon and their colleagues in Washington DC at Pillsbury Law. San Francisco Pillsbury also provide us with Bob for copyrights, patents and trademarks and a colleague on federal lease documents, LA Pillsbury houses Deborah and Erin who are experts in gift certificates and other consumer issues, and Daveed is in Sacramento where he's helping us figure out what airline travel sales rules we need to abide by.

Our corporate stuff (incorporation etc) is handled by Rob and Teresa at Morrison and Foerster, and they also handle all our critical work with investors such as term sheets, convertible notes and the like.

There's a pile of tax issues to deal with. We have a great accountancy firm in Berger/Lewis and they, through principal Tom, coordinate with Steven from Reed and Roth to ferret out all the rules and issues related specifically to aviation sales and use tax, and business property tax.

You can imagine that we have quite a number of complex aircraft purchase related contracts to deal with and a veteran of aircraft contracts, Stuart, from Warren Sklar, casts his eyes over the material that comes from Zeppelin.

And finally, we have some visa related work as we expect a couple of the team from Zeppelin to be with us for the first few months of operation which Paul from Fragomen, Del Ray is coordinating.

And as to my question? The answer is at least Eleven. You can do the math on the fees yourself.

Yeah, I know, there's a punchline in there somewhere about hot air, but I'm grateful that it doesn't apply to any of our team.

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