John Schmidt is a 35-year veteran in the aviation legal field, and has been a member of the Aero Law Group since 2004. In 2022 John will be celebrating his fourth anniversary as a shareholder. While his leadership responsibilities keep him busy, he spends most of his time representing clients around the world in their purchase and sale of business, commercial and personal aircraft. In fact, John is one of the few aviation attorneys who are experts in the two separate worlds of commercial and business aviation.
John is in his element when he negotiates aircraft purchase agreements aircraft manufacturers such as Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, Textron, Embraer and Pilatus, among others, on behalf of corporate and individual clients. Additionally, he is our go-to attorney for cross-border transactions and representing clients from other countries. He rounds out his expertise representing airlines and commercial leasing companies on four continents in their purchase of aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer.
Prior to joining Aero Law Group, John gained crucial experience during seventeen years at Boeing where he negotiated commercial aircraft sales contracts with airlines across Europe. While at Boeing he also negotiated contracts with various foreign governments, including Russia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Brunei. John was involved for several years with Boeing’s business development activities in Russia where he was a Director of Boeing’s Russia Program.
The seeds of interest in aviation were planted at a young age when John’s oldest brother took him flying in one of his Cessna aircraft. After law school John chose to start his legal career at Boeing to satisfy his interest in international business, but while he was there his fascination for aviation continued to grow. “I was hooked,” John explains, “I took as many aviation related classes as I could to learn all facets of the aviation industry.” One of his favorite Boeing memories is when he was able to tour the Central Air Force Museum in Monino, Russia where he was able to learn how aviation developed in that country.
John received his law degree from the University of Washington and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Soviet International Studies from Willamette University. He also took part in foreign study programs at the University of Zagreb, Leningrad State University and the University of Hamburg. Additionally, John was a guest lecturer in international law at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. He speaks Russian and German.
John is a member of the state bar of Washington and the American Bar Association. In his spare time, John tries to keep up with his wife and two sons.