Space – NewSpace & SpaceTech

HEUKING offers legal counsel on space-related investments, projects, technologies, and both national and international space law. Our clients include young enterprises and established private companies, VC investors, financiers, and public and institutional stakeholders.

The rapid development of space-related technologies, collaboration models between private and state actors, the increasing number of private projects, and the availability of private investment funds contribute to the evolving landscape. The complexity of legal requirements, fueled by new regulatory measurers, is growing just as rapidly, driven also by the need to protect existing know-how and the value of investments.

Drawing on decades of experience advising public and private space entities, as well as technology-driven projects, along with a prominent role as advisor for investments, investors and start-ups, HEUKING delivers integrated, comprehensive legal advice for space-related projects across all pertinent legal areas.

Regarding the areas of expertise

HEUKING provides legal counsel to both national and international entities, including companies, investors, financiers, and institutions, while also offering expertise to founders and partners of start-ups, in matters pertaining to their activities in the Space and SpaceTech realms.

The advice provided by HEUKING in the area of Space is based on significant sector experience and extensive consulting expertise in the following key fields:

Technology and Data

Technology and Data

The scope of established and emerging NewSpace players inherently revolves around technology. This is evident in their utilization of innovative technologies as a fundamental tool.

In our advisory role with NewSpace players, we are able to leverage decades of experience advising  national and international technology companies, coupled with expertise regarding leagl questions in connection with around advanced technologies like AI.

a) IP, Patents, Know-how, Licenses

We advise on the legal structuring of property rights, licenses and agreements related to IP and know-how. Our approach considers the intricacies of collaborating with multinational organizations and aligns with the overall IP protection requirements within the space industry. In the realm of NewSpace, HEUKING experts combine their legal expertise in IP and patents with their extensive experience in advising technology-focused companies, incorporating the requirements of financing and collaboration processes.

b) Data Protection and Security, Cybersecurity

As New Space, encompassing commercial satellite constellations, continues to expand, cybersecurity measures are becoming critical. Given the borderless nature of space activities, international standards and guidelines for cybersecurity are essential and already in place.

HEUKING possesses extensive experience and expertise in offering legal counsel to both private and public entities concerning data protection, satellite data security, and cybersecurity. Our advisory services cover compliance with German and international laws, guidelines, and agreements, along with corresponding contractual provisions.

c) Space Applications

Health applications, agri/food tech, smart materials, geo and climate engineering and the utilization of space resources represent key sectors of significance within the space sector.

We not only advise clients on legal technology issues, but also support clients in navigating the requirements of governmental and international institutional programs.

Venture Capital, M&A and Financing

Venture Capital, M&A, Financing and Capital Markets

We advise both, emerging and already established NewSpace companies, along with national and international investors, as well as family offices. Leveraging the experience of one of the large M&A, VC and PE practices in the legal market, we offer significant expertise in innovative financing solutions.

a) VC, PE, M&A, Legal and Tax Structures

HEUKING advises investors, business angels and start-ups on an ongoing basis and, as a representative of strategic investors, space-focused investment funds and family offices, is constantly involved in space-related Investment processes.

Our experts also support the activities of accelerators and incubators in the technology and space sector as mentors, network partners and event organizers.

b) Financing & Project Financing, Capital Markets

High costs, the use of new technologies and the specific regulatory and inherent risks associated with space projects create distinctive challenges in structuring and hedging of debt financing.

We advise national and international NewSpace players and financiers on structuring and securing financing. Drawing on our experience in the areas of bonds, mezzanine and project financing, HEUKING experts advise on the development and structuring of financing arrangements and security structures.

In addition, HEUKING will be able to draw on its strong experience regarding capital market related solutions for equity and debt structuring as well as regarding continuing requirements.

c) Tokenization, Blockchain, Crypto Assets

The use of tokens offers innovative financing models in the NewSpace sector. Tokenisation opens up investment and financing opportunities for small financial contributions, which are particularly suitable for start-ups. The tokenization of assets such as satellite, service or payload capacities or rights to technology or IP enables the efficient and flexible use of resources for financing. We have considerable experience in advising German and international financial institutions and emerging and established companies in connection with tokenization as a means of financing and the use of crypto assets in the financing and investment sector. In addition to advising on relevant projects, Heuking is represented in specialized associations and supervisory bodies and is at the forefront of developments in this area.

d) Teaming, Collaboration and Joint Ventures

The varying sizes of participants and the predominant emphasis on IP and technology in projects necessitate the formulation of unique cooperation structures and specialized IP and utilization frameworks.

We advise NewSpace players and multinational organizations in designing collaboration solutions, and assist investors and financiers in evaluating such solutions as a prerequisite for investment and financing decisions.

Satellites and Telecommunications / ITU

Satellites and Telecommunications / ITU

Communication, data transmission and navigation as well as the digitalisation as such, have long been inconceivable without the use of satellites and systems for transmitting large amounts of data in, from and to space. This also applies to the security and defense policy considerations of the Federal Republic of Germany and other countries.

The steady advancement of data acquisition and analysis systems enhances the utilization of space-derived data for climate monitoring and addressing the impacts of climate change. It further empowers companies to meet their commitments under sustainability and ESG/Green Deal-related regulations.

a) Manufacturing and Launch

Through the years, we have been advising satellite manufacturers as well as private and public clients/satellite operators on a range of legal issues relating to the production of satellites. HEUKING offers comprehensive advice covering essential manufacturing contracts, , logistics, transport, and launching contracts. Our consulting services extend to the operation of essential launch, uplink, and downlink infrastructure. We closely monitor anticipated regulatory enhancements related to ESG/sustainability at national and EU levels.

b) Orbits, Frequencies, Telecommunications / ITU

In addition to the technology, the number of satellites and privately-operated satellite constellations are also developing rapidly. Simultaneously, there is a trend towards the rapidly growing expansion of satellite capacities by both private companies and states, as well as an emerging strengthening of regulations on satellite constellations, particularly in the realms of sustainability and traffic management.

Our advisory services extend to satellite operators, covering essential national and international authorizations for orbits and frequencies, conflict resolution, and the intricacies of German and international telecommunications law, including ITU regulations.

Public Sector Clients and Project Partners

Public Sector Clients and Project Partners

The public sector and state-sponsored institutions remain, despite the development oft he private NewSpace economy. the primary actors and investors in the EU's space sector. Consequently, legal advice related to procurement and contracts with public-sector clients is a crucial aspect of space-related activities.

a) Procurement, Awarding

For years, HEUKING has been one of the leading German law firms in advising public authorities and institutions as well as companies as clients or contractors in all areas in which the "public sector" acts as a client.

b) Contracts with Public Sector Clients, PPPs

In addition to participating in award and procurement processes, we have also been advising on public-private partnerships and the structuring of contracts with public-sector clients, for decades. Our experts advise public-sector clients both in the defence sector and specifically in the space sector and, on the basis of this experience, also advise private players on an ongoing basis.

Space Law, Regulatory Developments, Compliance

Space Law, Regulatory Developments, Compliance

The evolution of space law is profoundly international, marked by the absence of a dedicated space law in 2023 for both Germany and Europe. The coexistence of binding international law and specialized national and international laws requires NewSpace players to pay a great deal of attention to changes. Furthermore, the anticipation is that dedicated space laws will emerge at both the German and European levels starting in 2024.

a) Space Law

Our experts constantly analyze current regulatory developments, both, from their advisory activities and from their involvement in committees, associations and networks. On this basis, we provide forward-looking advice on products, services, projects and financing and investment processes. The expertise of HEUKING experts in both ESG / sustainability and security enables us to incorporate the expected significance of these areas for future regulation into our advice from the outset.

b) Foreign Trade Law, Sanctions

Activities in the space sector are inherently technology-intensive and are currently subject to restrictions under foreign trade laws and various perspectives on sanctions. The often international execution of space projects introduces unique demands in this domain. This includes compliance with both national and international environmental and sustainability requirements.

We advise on the basis of broad experience in the areas of foreign trade, sanctions, environmental and other national and EU-wide compliance requirements.

Risk Management, Liability, Insurance

Risk Management, Liability, Insurance

Risk management for activities in space is exceptionally demanding in light of the high costs, long project periods, potentially high losses and particular technological uncertainties. Against this backdrop, a system of insurance benefits, which is also subject to constant change, is emerging in the area of space damage insurance in parallel with the development of activities in space.

HEUKING has been one of the key advisors for providers and clients in the insurance and risk management sector for decades and, based on this proximity to the market, also supports developments in the space sector.

a) German and International Liability Law

States are fundamentally responsible for the space objects they "launch". An international convention on international liability for damage caused by space objects sets out the rules for compensation for damage caused by space objects. In countries where national space law exists, the liability of private polluters or recourse against them is generally also stipulated.

However, these regulations vary greatly from country to country and are subject to constant change. At the end of 2023, there will be no corresponding national regulation in the Federal Republic of Germany.

We advise private space actors and organizations on the development of space-related tort law, liability to third parties and forward-looking risk management in contracts.

b) Space and Satellite Insurance

The rapidly increasing number of activities and satellites in space leads to a steadily rising risk of collisions and space debris. This risk is exacerbated by the ever-increasing number of "old/retired" satellites. Against this background, regulatory efforts are being made not only with regard to an STM (Space Traffic Management) system, but also with regard to stricter regulatory requirements for the insurance of space activities.

HEUKING has been one of the key advisors for providers and clients in the insurance and risk management sector for many decades and, based on this proximity to the market, also monitors developments in the insurance market in the space sector. We advise both space players and insurance providers on specific solutions, claims and regulatory developments.

You are currently using an outdated and no longer supported browser (Internet Explorer). To ensure the best user experience and save you from possible problems, we recommend that you use a more modern browser.