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James Janaitis


Jim Janaitis is a premier business aviation attorney with a reputation for taking the time to understand each client's business, help them navigate the complex web of regulations that apply to business aviation, and create bespoke solutions to accomplish their individual goals.

Professional Biography

Mr. Janaitis is a shareholder with the Corporate Group in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on helping business aviation clients of all sizes and mission profiles navigate a variety of transactions and the complex regulatory challenges that come with owning, operating, and chartering aircraft. He also has extensive experience partnering with all types of aviation businesses including maintenance and repair facilities, aircraft leasing and financing companies, helicopter operators, airport ground services providers, charter operators, aircraft management companies, aircraft parts manufacturers and sellers, fixed base operators, and companies acquiring targets that own aircraft or hold Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Janaitis had experience working with the FAA's legal department and a corporate aviation consulting firm. He has also worked in the safety department of two national airlines, and he has a private pilot's license with an instrument rating.

  • Partnered with publicly traded and private companies, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals to understand their unique goals and challenges, help them navigate the complex landscape of FAA, Department of Transportation, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Transportation Safety Administration, and international regulations that apply to business aviation, and analyze and implement a variety of client-specific structures for owning, leasing, and chartering business aircraft.

  • Represents a variety of helicopter operators, including EMS, external load, and offshore, in all aspects of their operations.

  • Assisted clients with aviation, import/export, secured asset, and tax issues for operating and financing leases and purchase and sale agreements for aircraft in various international locations, including Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, France, Greece, Greenland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad and Turkey.

  • Advises private equity clients in the acquisition of various aviation related companies, including fixed base operators, aircraft parts manufacturers, aircraft repair facilities, on-demand operators, and transportation and logistics companies.

  • Acted as primary aviation counsel in negotiating and drafting a $350 million credit facility, including conducting title searches, resolving title issues and preparing necessary filings for more than 150 financed aircraft.

  • Represents multiple aircraft component manufacturers and repair and completion facilities in the sale of their products and services.

  • Advises charter operators, aircraft management companies, and charter brokers in negotiating customer agreements and regulatory compliance.

  • Represents a large air cargo transportation company in all aspects of their global operation, including agreements for ground and cargo services, maintenance, repair, and overhaul, blocked space cargo, and full aircraft charter.

  • Listed in Mid-South Rising Stars (2013)
  • Named "Top 40 Under 40" by the Tri-Cities Business Journal (2013)
  • Recipient – Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, Legal Aid of East Tennessee (2012)
  • Honor Roll Recipient – Legal Aid of East Tennessee
  • Keith J. Schapiro Business Bankruptcy Writing Award
  • Committee Member – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Regulatory Issues Advisory Group
  • Member – American Bar Association
    • Forum Committee on Air and Space Law
  • Moderator – "Rotary Leasing 2023," Helicopter Investor Conference, London (March 2023)
  • "Legal Issues for Entrepreneurs," AccelNow Boot Camp (April 2013)


  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., 2009, with honors
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, B.S., 2004, magna cum laude


  • District of Columbia, 2016
  • Tennessee, inactive

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