Frank Polk’s practice is focused on aviation title, finance and regulatory law and related matters, as well as the Cape Town Convention, the new international treaty that is having a dramatic impact on the perfection and enforcement of rights in aircraft and engines.
Due to the firm’s close proximity to the FAA Civil Aircraft Registry in Oklahoma City, Frank often acts as special FAA counsel and renders legal opinions based on the Transportation Code and applicable FAA regulations. In this capacity, he has represented a wide variety of regional, national and international clients in connection with owning, leasing, acquiring, financing and operating aircraft. This includes counseling clients on projects relating to ownership and operational issues of corporate aircraft (including fractional ownership) that are governed by FAA regulations.
Frank previously served as the leader of the Aviation Group for many years. His achievements have earned him inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America (aviation law; corporate law; equipment finance law). He was selected by Best Lawyers as the “Oklahoma City Equipment Finance Lawyer of the Year” for 2016 and “Oklahoma City Aviation Lawyer of the Year” for 2021, honors only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.
Frank is widely regarded in global industry circles for his expertise and insights regarding aircraft transactions and regulatory matters and is frequently called upon to provide advice and technical assistance to many of the industry’s leading organizations. He currently serves as a representative to the Legal Advisory Panel of the Aviation Working Group and as a technical advisor to the International Registry Advisory Board, both dealing with the Cape Town Convention. Additionally, he is a member of the National Business Aviation Association’s Regulatory Issues Advisory Group and has served on the NBAA’s tax committee since 1995.
Frank is also a frequent panelist, speaker and organizer of aviation law conferences. In addition to lecturing on the Cape Town Convention, his speaking credits include:
- Co-Chairperson, “Business Aircraft Finance, Registration & Legal Conference,” sponsored by National Business Aviation Association (“NBAA”), 2011–2013
- Co-Chairperson, “Current Issues in the Law of FAA Aircraft Registration, Liens and Security Interests,” sponsored by Strategic Research Institute (“SRI”) 1994–2008; and INSIGHT, 2009–2010
- Speaker or panelist, “Corporate Jet Transactions,” sponsored by SRI from 1995–2012
- Speaker or panelist, Annual Tax, Regulatory and Risk Management Conference, sponsored by the NBAA, 1995–2012
- Speaker or panelist, various tax and regulatory forums sponsored by the NBAA, 1995–2009
- Speaker or panelist, Aviation Conferences sponsored by the Federal Bar Association in 1991, 2001 and 2007
- Speaker or panelist, Forum on Negotiation and Documentation of Aircraft Finance Transactions, sponsored by SRI (various years, 1994–2007)
- Speaker or panelist, Annual Aircraft Acquisition Planning, sponsored by Conklin & de Decker, 2006–2007
- Speaker or panelist, various national and international conferences pertaining to the Cape Town Convention, sponsored by the Legal Advisory Panel to the Aviation Working Group, including those located in London, New York, Singapore and Brazil, 2007–2012
- Advising clients regarding the perfection and enforcement of rights under the Cape Town Convention and Protocol.
- Structuring transactions to comply with the Transportation Code and related regulations on U.S. citizenship and aircraft registration issues, including the use of owner trusts, voting trusts and additional registration alternatives.
- Representation of banks, lenders and lessors in connection with financing aircraft and perfecting interests of record with the FAA.
- Representation of clients by issuing lien memorandums regarding the status of the FAA records, drafting documents to be recorded with the FAA, and issuing closing opinions addressing FAA issues.
- Representation of local, national and international individuals and companies in all aspects pertaining to the purchase and sale of corporate aircraft.
- Representation of fractional interest companies in connection with title and registration issues with the FAA Aircraft Registry.
- Representation of aircraft owners, including co-owners under fractional interest programs, with issues relating to cost reimbursement for aircraft operations under FAR Part 91.501.
- Representation of individuals and companies in negotiating and purchasing a fractional interest in an aircraft from a fractional program manager.
- Providing escrow and closing services in connection with aviation transactions.
- Providing advice and analysis with regard to the acquisition of aircraft title insurance.
Honors and Awards
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (aviation law; corporate law; equipment finance law)
- Named “Oklahoma City Equipment Finance Lawyer of the Year” in 2016 and “Oklahoma City Aviation Lawyer of the Year” for 2021 by The Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
- Named to The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers
- Listed in Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- National Business Aviation Association (Tax Committee; Regulatory Issues Advisory Group)
- Aviation Working Group (Legal Advisory Panel)
- International Registry Advisory Board (Technical Advisor)
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- American Bar Association (ABA Forum on Air and Space Law; Aircraft Finance and Contracts Division)