BART BIGGERS is co-leader of Sidley’s global Aviation and Airlines practice and an internationally recognized advisor in transportation and infrastructure. For two decades, Bart has advised both operating and investment clients in mergers and acquisitions, commercial and cross-border transactions, outsourcing, workouts and restructurings, and corporate finance and corporate governance matters. During his career, he led and continues to lead evolutionary transactions for some of the largest airlines in the industry.
Bart’s unique and deep understanding of the aviation and airline industry has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a preeminent aviation and airline lawyer and strategic partner to participants in the aviation and airline industry. His reputation is due to his two decades of dedication to the industry including his work as counsel to American Airlines during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization for which Bart guided the company through the assumption, rejection, or renegotiation of more than 50,000 agreements. In addition, Bart has guided clients through the merger integration process including the merger of an airline with its merger partner to create one of the world’s largest airlines.
Recently, he represented United Airlines in the purchase of supersonic aircraft that received significant media exposure, and was a leading story on a TODAY show broadcast on NBC and on a 60 Minutes broadcast on CBS. In addition, Bart has also recently assisted multiple airlines in the purchase of and investment in the manufacturing of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and electric regional aircraft. Bart’s work helping aviation and airline clients reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieving ESG goals through innovation was recognized when Sidley was awarded the Financial Times' 2021 “Innovation in Sustainability and ESG” award. Bart also frequently speaks about aviation and airlines at conferences throughout the world. In April 2022, he was featured on Airlines Confidential, a leading industry podcast, discussing airline consolidation, sustainable aviation, pilot shortages, and other important issues.
Bart is particularly skilled in counseling major international and domestic airlines and industry participants on a wide array of commercial transactions for virtually all functions of the aviation and airline business, including fleet, supply chain, human resources, mergers and acquisitions, corporate development, marketing and sales, hospitality, loyalty programs, operations, regional matters, fuel, technology (hardware procurement, content and software licensing, data security, and privacy), and other business-process outsourcing transactions, as well as restructuring matters. His deep industry knowledge enables him to offer a strategic perspective that is invaluable to his clients.
As part of Bart’s broader transportation and infrastructure experience, he is a member of Sidley’s highly acclaimed Transportation practice, which U.S. News recognized as one of the nation’s top-tier practices in 2020 and a Band 1 ranking by Chambers USA in 2021. He advises clients as they navigate the complex legal challenges inherent in moving passengers and freight around the world. This experience includes some of the largest transactions in the rail industry over the past two decades.
Bart has established a practice that fulfills a range of corporate and commercial transactional needs for clients of any industry. This includes mergers and acquisitions, supply chain management, technology, business-process outsourcing agreements, cross-border transactions, workouts and corporate restructuring, corporate finance (including public and private securities and other capital markets transactions), corporate governance, and other general corporate matters.
Bart’s extensive experience includes working with public and private companies including private equity and hedge funds.
Bart’s international experience routinely spans the globe and includes representations in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.