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Celine Zeng


Capital markets | Industrials | Infrastructure |

First-class legal competence, an excellent sense for the client's economic interests and goal-driven negotiation

Client testimony, JUVE Handbook

Profile details

About Celine Zeng

Celine is a banking and finance lawyer who specialises in asset finance with a particular focus on the aviation industry. She regularly acts for airlines, operating lessors, major banks or other financial institutions on cross-border finance and leasing structures. Celine also advises on China-related transactions.

Celine completed her training contract at a leading international law firm in London and Munich before joining Freshfields upon qualification.

She speaks German, Mandarin, Shanghainese, and English.

Recent work

  • Advising Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft on more than 70 aircraft financings, including Japanese Operating Lease (with Call Option) (JOLCO), Finance Lease, and Operating Lease structures for A320 / A320N / A321 / A321N / A350 / A380 / B777.
  • Advising Commerzbank AG on the financing of two B777 aircraft with DHL.
  • Advising Etihad Airways P.J.S.C. on the financing of their group members.
  • Advising KGAL GmbH & Co. KG on various aircraft financings with VivaAerobús, VietJet Air, Stobart Air, and an Asian carrier.
  • Advising Air Berlin on a DIP-financing in the form of a state aid measure backed by the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Advising KfW IPEX-Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Ltd (SMBC) on the financing of the purchase of trains for the DISA franchise of Abellio.
  • Advising a Chinese bidder on the acquisition financing for a leading German waste management company, Energy from Waste (EEW).
  • Advising a Chinese company on the acquisition of the trademark of a leading Dutch cookware manufacturer.



Born in China, raised in Germany, Celine was educated in England at King's College London and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University.

Professional qualifications

  • Solicitor, England & Wales
  • Solicitor, Republic of Ireland
  • Rechtsanwältin, Federal Republic of Germany