London Firm Facilitates Escrow Process

 - May 21, 2010, 5:56 PM

Securus Escrow has been established as a new specialist escrow service aimed at bringing greater piece of mind and transparency to aircraft transactions. The London-based company is supported by aviation law firm Gates & Partners and can provide separate escrow accounts for clients with a leading UK bank.

According to managing director Geoff Gates, the new service is aimed mainly at aircraft brokers who want a safe and secure process for holding deposits, funds and documents on behalf of people and companies selling aircraft. “We hold these until both parties [to the aircraft transaction] are ready to proceed and then hold a conference call with both the buyer and seller on the line to confirm that everything is in place,” Gates explained. “On acceptance of the signed agreement the funds are released by wire transfer.”

The need for escrow services is driven largely by concerns about what Gates called “misbehavior” in the aircraft sales process. “It’s a way of ensuring that everything is legal and above board,” he told AIN. “The funds could be misdirected or fail to materialize at the right time.”

Securus Escrow is now in further discussions with its undisclosed banking partner to provide greater levels of certainty for sellers as to the source of money being used in a transaction. The new company has full indemnity insurance to protect against transaction failures and errors.

Before using the escrow service, both parties have to agree that they will abide by its terms and conditions and that any legal questions will be resolved under UK law. The respective legal teams behind buyer and seller can agree upon additional special requirements in advance. If the deal doesn’t go through for any reason, the funds are held in the escrow account until the outcome can be resolved.

The Securus Escrow accounts will be offered in three currencies: U.S. dollars, British pounds and euros. It is one of only a few escrow services offered in Europe for the aviation sector, with most being in the U.S. The company charges a flat fee for its services.

“This is a welcome addition to the aviation landscape as currently our buyers and sellers have limited access to European escrow agents,” said Gates & Partners attorney Aoife O’Sullivan. “This new offering from Securus Escrow provides an excellent alternative to existing service providers and operates within sympathetic time zones.”