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Dr. Frank Thomas

Partner
+49.(0)69.945.196.270
Fax +49.(0)69.945.196.499
Frank Thomas is a partner in the firm’s banking and asset finance practice in Frankfurt. He has extensive experience with domestic and cross-border financing, rail and aircraft finance transactions, infrastructure projects, privatizations, restructurings, public-private partnerships, and leasing, as well as advising public authorities or companies acting for public authorities.

His main focus is on projects and transactions in the following sectors: rail, aviation, technology, energy, and infrastructure, as well as utilities.

He advises companies, credit and financial services institutions, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, public transport authorities, state governments, and other public authorities.

Mr. Thomas “enjoys a very good reputation” (Legal 500 Germany 2018). He is appreciated by colleagues and clients alike and is recognized by Best Lawyers/Handelsblatt 2019, Chambers Europe 2018 (First Tier), Chambers Global 2017, and Expert Guides 2014 as one of the leading asset finance and transportation lawyers (“highly experienced in aircraft financing and refinancing in rail transport,” Chambers Global 2017).

Clients emphasize “his strong negotiating skills” and praise his “first-class contract drafting” (Chambers Europe 2017). They “enjoy working with him,” describe him as “very efficient and client-oriented” (Chambers Europe 2018), and also appreciate his transaction management and competence in the implementation of projects: “He was very flexible, well organised and we were very well looked after” (Chambers Europe 2018) and “highly recommended (...) for his extensive experience in the field of rail finance” (Chambers Global 2015).

Professional Background

Mr. Thomas is the chairman of the Annual International Rail Finance Conference and the annual LeasingFORUM, and he regularly gives speeches at national and international conferences (e.g. FORUM Institute) on finance, transportation, infrastructure and PPP matters. Mr. Thomas is a member of the advisory board of “Privatbahn Magazin”, and a representative of K&L Gates in the Rail Working Group Association on the implementation of international security over rolling stock.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member of the German Lawyers' Association (DAV) working group for tax law (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Steuerrecht im Deutschen Anwaltsverein)
  • Member of the German Lawyers' Association (DAV)
  • Bar Association (Rechtsanwaltskammer) Frankfurt am Main

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Thomas is the chairman of K&L Gates’ Railway and Infrastructure Finance Conference in Frankfurt and regularly speaks at national and international conferences (e.g., FORUM Institute) on finance, transportation, infrastructure, and PPP matters. Mr. Thomas is a member of the advisory board of Privatbahn Magazin and a representative of K&L Gates in the Rail Working Group Association on the implementation of international security over rolling stock.
Among others, Frank Thomas has advised:

Infrastructure Projects
  • A bidder consortium on the sale of Toll Collect GmbH by the Federal Republic of Germany and the operating agreement for the operation of the German truck tolling system.
  • A group of companies from Saudi Arabia on restructuring an export credit financing and financing a hospital and related medical equipment.
  • A leasing company in connection with a sale and leaseback transaction for telecommunications equipment and related software.
  • A U. S. cable operator in numerous sale and leaseback transactions for telecommunications equipment and related software.
Rail Transport and Financing
  • A publicly listed, internationally leading wagon hire and rail logistics company on the financing of more than 5,000 freight cars in the United States.
  • A banking consortium on the financing of 27 Alstom rail vehicles for operation by DB Regio AG on the local rail passenger transport network “S-Bahn Nürnberg.”
  • A bank on financing a fleet of Vossloh locomotives.
  • A regional state bank on the financing of 26 rail vehicles of the Polish manufacturer PESA for operation by DB Regio AG on the local rail passenger transport network “Dieselnetz Allgäu.”
  • Private equity investor KKR on the foundation of European Locomotive Leasing (ELL) GmbH & Co. KG and on the syndicated loan financing with an international consortium of banks for 100 locomotives.
  • A bank on the reorganization and restructuring of various financings in Europe for a leading international wagon hire and rail logistic company.
  •  A leasing company on the procurement, financing and rental of rail vehicles within a local rail passenger transport tender procedure.
  • A railway company on a lease financing of 28 regional trains for operation on the local rail passenger transport network “Netz Augsburg I” using the so-called capital service guarantee model.
  • A local transport operator in German rail and bus transport for the procurement and financing of rail vehicles within the local rail passenger transport tender “E-network Allgäu.”
  • A local transport operator for the procurement and financing of rail vehicles in the context of the local rail passenger transport tender “S-Bahn Hannover.”
  • A local transport operator in the public transport system of a major German city when awarding contracts and procuring trams.
  • An insurance group on the intended financing of regional trains for operation on a local rail passenger transport network.
  • A local transport operator in German rail and bus traffic on the procurement and financing of rail vehicles in the context of the local rail passenger transport tender “Ulm.”
  •  A local transport operator in German rail traffic for the procurement and financing of rail vehicles within the scope of the local rail passenger transport tender “S-Bahn Stuttgart.”
  • A railway undertaking for the Autozug Sylt Shuttle project.
  • An fund house and an infrastructure fund for the purchase and financing of 15 new Bombardier locomotives, 90 used passenger cars, and three ALSTOM multiple units as part of the “Netz-West” tender (Hamburg – Westerland/Sylt line).
  • One of Europe’s largest municipal transport companies as a bidder in the tender for the first part of the Berlin S-Bahn (circular railway).
  • Numerous public transport companies in connection with the termination of U.S. cross-border leasing transactions.
  • One of the largest public transport operators in the UK when entering the German market.
  • A fund initiator as bidder for the procurement and financing of new regional multiple unit trains for the Rhine-Ruhr-Express (RRX), one of the largest rail transport projects in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • A leasing company on a cross-border German-French leasing transaction for ALSTOM locomotives.
  • A local transport operator in German rail traffic for the procurement and financing of rail vehicles in the context of the local rail passenger transport tender “Elektro-Netz Niedersachsen-Ost” (ENNO).
  • A leading leasing company on model leasing contracts for locomotives and freight cars.
  • A leading European locomotive lessor concluding a supply contract for 50 Siemens Vectron AC/MS locomotives.
  • A leading European leasing company for freight cars in connection with a sale and leaseback agreement for 500 freight cars.
  • A consortium of banks providing syndicated loan financing for a fleet of around 5,000 freight cars for a leading wagon hire company.
  • A consortium of banks with a EUR 300 million syndicated loan for more than 60 new ALSTOM diesel trains.
  • A consortium of banks for a syndicated loan for 2,000 new gas and tank rail vehicles.
Bus transport, trucks, and financing
  • A leasing company in connection with a cross-border financing of 120 Solaris buses.
  • A credit institution on restructuring the financing of a leading French car and truck rental company.
  • A financial investor on the acquisition of three public transport bus companies.
Aviation and aircraft financing
  • An aircraft lessor in connection with the insolvency of Air Berlin.
  • A financial investor on the acquisition and financing of two Airbus A319 for a well-known German airline.
  • A financial investor on the financing of three Airbus A320 for a well-known German airline.
  • A credit institution selling two Boeings 737-800.
  • An aircraft lessor on the purchase of a Boeing 737-8k5 and the rental of this aircraft to a European airline.
  • A bank on the restructuring of three Airbus A330-343 financings.
  • A financial investor on the conclusion of the financing (JOLCO) for four Airbus A320-214s.
  • A leading global logistics management company in the conclusion of an outsourcing and maintenance contract for 15,000 aircraft containers with a well-known airline in the United States.
  • A lessor on the extension of lease contracts for ten Airbus A330.
  • A lessor on the conclusion of a leasing contract for an Airbus A319 aircraft.
  • A lender on the financing of a closed engine fund (KG structure) with GECAS as the fund’s asset manager and Emirates as the airline.
  • A consortium of banks in the financing of aircraft spare parts.
  • A credit institution in the United States on the financing of two Cessna Citation 680 Sovereign business jets.
  • A high-net-worth individual in Eastern Europe on the purchase of a Gulfstream G550 business jet.
  • A credit institution in the United States on the financing of a Cessna Citation sovereign in operation with a German airline.
  • A bank on the financing of a Cessna Citation Sovereign (Model 680).
  • A bank on a senior secured loan for a Cessna Citation Sovereign Business Jet.
  • A global leader in aircraft container management on the acquisition of TrenStar Inc. shares and ULD management contracts with national and international airlines.
Further Financings
  • A bank on the restructuring of a non-performing credit exposure and a cross-border debt-to-equity swap.
  • A credit institution selling two NPL portfolios to Lone Star.
  • An export-credit provider on financing and securing the export of economic goods.