A corporate partner and satellite practice co-head, Steve Kaufman uses industry knowledge and versatility to negotiate and close many types of deals globally.
For 18 of his 30 years at the firm, Steve served as outside general counsel for satellite clients, leading strategic joint ventures, “bet-the-company” contracts, financings, and M&A.
What Steve does best: understanding complex business issues and translating them into legal documents. If a client can describe something, Steve can draft it. Working from complicated to simple, he has many times reduced a lengthy contract into a few pages of bullet points, showing the client what it needs and how to obtain it. He has even written a business and financing model for parties in the form of an agreement. Many clients comment that the business guidance from Steve is as valuable as the legal advice.
Steve relies on his familiarity with issues common to satellite and communications companies to give him an edge in negotiations. This experience produces extra benefits when Steve deals with specialized satellite contract terms, targeted warranties, creative covenants, use of insurance to close gaps, license and spectrum issues, and even finance and accounting matters. According to Chambers Steve Kaufman is “a real authority and somebody who will always know the answer.”
In advising clients, Steve emphasizes practicality, striving to achieve the client’s business objectives for the transaction, whether economic, risk reduction, regulatory/compliance, or transaction speed. This carries over into deal management as well as negotiations, where he willingly takes the lead. Steve and satellite practice co-head Randy Segal are regulars at the satellite conferences, making connections among clients and even adverse parties. He is listed in Chambers, Super Lawyers, and Legal 500.Dan Hart
Over the course of his career, Dan has served in senior leadership roles across a wide range of aerospace programs, spanning human spaceﬂight, satellite development, launch, and missile defense, and running through all phases of the aerospace product life cycle, from research and development through design, production, and spaceﬂight operations.
Dan currently serves as President and CEO for Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s pioneering commercial space ﬁrm, which launches small satellites into space from a rocket carried under the wing of a modiﬁed Boeing 747. It is Virgin’s contribution to the massive transformation going on in space technology, and has the clear goal of opening access to space to improve life on Earth.
Dan joined Virgin Orbit after more than three decades of aerospace leadership at the Boeing Company, where he most recently served as Vice President of Government Satellite Systems. In that position, he oversaw Boeing’s government satellite programs, developing and managing missions for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA, and other national programs. Dan’s portfolio included marquee programs such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Wideband Global SATCOM, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) system, and the X-37 spaceplane.
Outside of Virgin Orbit, Dan serves on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC), which advices the Secretary of Commerce on the development and implementation of strategies and programs to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. Additionally, in early 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Dan to join the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, which works to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover from the COVID-19 induced recession.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the State University of New York at Albany and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. He is a passionate and committed advocate for STEM education, and serves on the Executive Board of the California Science Center, as well as the Dean’s Advisory Council for California State University, Long Beach’s College of EngineeringLars Hoffman
As Senior Vice President, Lars is responsible for Rocket Lab’s global business and government affairs. With more than 30 years of experience in national security and aerospace, Lars brings a deep knowledge of the global space industry and U.S. Government space requirements.
Before joining Rocket Lab, Lars was an executive at SpaceX, from 2014 to 2018. At SpaceX, Lars facilitated certification of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and he led the capture of more than $2 billion of national security space business.
Prior to joining industry, Lars completed a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, as a U-2 reconnaissance pilot, a test pilot, and in senior leadership roles at The Pentagon.
Lars holds advanced engineering degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, and U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Lars also earned national security degrees from MIT, Air University, and National Defense University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from UCLA.
About Rocket Lab:
As a global leader in launch and space systems, Rocket Lab is transforming space access. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab provides end-to-end mission services that provide frequent and reliable access to space for civil, defense and commercial markets. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron and Neutron launch vehicles and Photon satellite platform. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 104 satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab operates two launch sites, including the world’s only private orbital launch site located in New Zealand, and a second launch site in Wallops Island, Virginia.Chris Kemp
As Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chris leads the overall company strategy and direction for Astra. Chris previously served as CTO of NASA and founded OpenStack, an open-source cloud computing infrastructure software project that is one of the three most active open source projects in the world.
At NASA, he partnered with Google and Microsoft and helped create Google Moon and Mars (online maps that allow you to explore the planets) and worked with the White House to develop the cloud computing strategy for the government. Chris advises and serves as a board member at various tech companies.Pablo Gallego Sanmiguel
Pablo Gallego Sanmiguel is PLD Space Senior Vice President, Sales & Customers. Before joining PLD Space in 2019, he developed his professional career from California (United States) working as Mission Manager of Launching Services with SpaceX as well as providing aerospace consulting services. Previously, Pablo had participated actively in several other rocket launch operations, such as Ariane 4, Ariane 5, Soyuz, Dnepr, Vega, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. Currently, Pablo coordinates his activities in PLD Space between the United States and Europe where he directly addresses the needs of customers.Jorn Spurmann
Jorn Spurmann is the Chief Commercial Officer of Rocket Factory Augsburg AG and managing director of RFA Azores and RFA Portugal. As Rocket Factory’s co-founder he operationalized the company mid of 2018. Mr. Spurmann has a proven track record as head of sales, program and business unit manager in the space domain. Throughout his senior leadership roles, he has gained excellent knowledge of the institutional and commercial space business.