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Overview

Focusing on business aviation, Mike represents individuals and businesses that own, operate and manage aircraft. 

He advises on the purchase, sale, lease and financing of business and commercial aircraft, as well as on regulatory compliance and federal and state tax issues. Mike’s range of aviation knowledge, coupled with his 12-year prelaw career as a tax practitioner, make him a valuable resource for clients in the field of aircraft ownership.

Importantly, Mike understands that the regulatory scheme of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not necessarily sync with that of the Internal Revenue Code, and he tailors his guidance to business owners to account for that reality. Mike endeavors to fully grasp client objectives before crafting strategies and knows that the best solutions are often not the most straightforward.

Mike’s aviation practice has global reach, but he works closer to home as well. He advises clients from formation through sale or transfer, and on all aspects in between. Mike also leads an initiative on succession planning for closely held businesses in Springfield, Missouri, and surrounding areas.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2015
  • Missouri Bar Pro Bono Wall of Fame, 2012
  • Springfield Business Journal, “40 Under 40,” 2001

Education

  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
  • B.S., University of Missouri-Columbia
    • Agricultural Economics

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Professional Associations and Memberships

  •  American Bar Association, Aircraft Finance Committee, Taxation Section and Business Law Section, Air and Space Law Forum (General Business and Charter Aviation Subcommittee and Drones: Regulations, Operations and Litigation Subcommittee)
  • Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association
  • Kansas City Business Aviation Association
  • National Business Aviation Association
  • Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association
Experience
  • Represented major aviation and aerospace manufacturer in acquisition of multiple jet aircraft valued at more than $75 million. Negotiated separate aircraft management and charter agreements for each aircraft.
  • Advised multinational energy company on aviation regulatory and tax compliance issues, including personal use of company's aircraft by its executives, reimbursement arrangements by subsidiaries and affiliates to comply with FAA guidelines, and related federal excise and state sales and use tax matters.
  • Counseled multinational corporation on repatriating $25 million aircraft from Europe for import and operation in United States, including VAT and other tax issues.
  • Represented U.S. aircraft finance group in purchase and lease of multiple Embraer 145 Regional Jets for operation by Bahamian air carrier.
Outside the Office

Mike more than dabbles in cooking.

A few times a year, Mike prepares and serves a 14-course meal from recipes he has developed himself. The culinary endeavors are reserved for New Year’s Eve and periodic celebratory dinners for new firm partners and clients.

From smoked duck crostini to lemon-buttermilk panna cotta, Mike spends multiple days preparing the banquet. He wakes up before dawn the day of a dinner to make sure everything is just right and serves guests late into the evening, giving them a unique and delicious experience.  

Community Leadership

Mike serves on the executive committee and is treasurer-elect for the Ozark Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Although Mike participated in Boy Scouts only briefly as a child, he renewed his interest when his son joined the group. (His son is now an Eagle Scout.) Mike stays active within the organization to help promote life skills and family values to children and teens. It also helps feed his love of nature by allowing him to participate in all of BSA’s High Adventure Bases.

Additionally, Mike is involved with the Ozark Empire Fair.

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