Representative Experience

Representing one of the world’s largest satellite operators in export control matters.


Representing O3b Limited, an innovative provider of very high speed, low-latency satellite links, in complex spectrum proceedings in the United States.


Assisting Planet (formerly Planet Labs), a provider of Earth-imaging services through its innovative smallsat constellation, in commercial, financing and regulatory matters.

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  • Represented Arianespace, the world’s leading commercial launch service provider, in reviewing the largest commercial launch contract in history.
  • Successfully represented two satellite operators (one MSS operator and one satellite radio operator) in obtaining authority to operate terrestrial base stations to more effectively reuse satellite spectrum in urban areas.
  • Helped SkyBox Imaging obtain a license from NOAA to operate its Earth-imaging service.
  • Helped smallsat startups obtain equity and debt financing for new ventures, public companies with new issues, and a new satellite broadband project in obtaining export credit-backed project financing.
  • Helped an investor in a high-risk satellite venture obtain its own insurance to mitigate its potential losses in the event of a launch system failure.
  • Assisted NewSat Limited (Australia), in its acquisition of satellite spectrum, in negotiation of complex partnership and system procurement agreements, and in obtaining both equity and export-credit backed project financing.

Practice Area Highlights

Pillsbury is one of the first firms to practice commercial space law.


Our lawyers obtained the first U.S. license for high-powered direct broadcast satellites (the system is now DIRECTV™).


Members of our Communications team represented Mobile Satellite Ventures (now Ligado™) in obtaining the first “ATC” rights to re-use satellite spectrum terrestrially.