Bird & Bird and European Space Agency sign Co-operation Agreement on ISS commercialisation

12 October 2004

International law firm Bird & Bird has just signed a co-operation agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) which will enable the firm to play a significant legal role developing the commercial use of the International Space Station (ISS).

As one of the most high tech projects to have ever been initiated in space, the ISS is an international co-operative programme between Europe, the US, Russia, Canada and Japan. Its aim is to jointly develop, operate and utilise a permanently inhabited space laboratory in low Earth orbit. ISS is also open to private parties and through co-operating industry partners, ESA enhances the commercial use of the ISS. Several industry partners such as Dutch Space, Bradford, EADS Space, BEOS, Contraves, Alenia, Altec and Kayser Threde have joined the Co-operation agreement since its inception in 2002 and now Bird & Bird has become a partner as well.

Bird & Bird’s role will be to provide these Co-operation partners with regular workshops on legal issues and assist them with legal matters if desired. The firm’s Aviation & Aerospace team, led for this project by Armand Killan and Harry Rek in The Hague, will provide industry legal specific knowledge. Bird & Bird’s experience in the Aviation & Aerospace sector across Europe has been an important decisive factor for the Co-operation partners choosing the firm.

Armand Killan commented:

"It’s a privilege to be involved in this high-tech project and to assist the other Co-operation partners. The firm is a strong player in the Aviation & Aerospace sector and being part of a project of such scale brings us close to the most complicated and interesting issues of the day".

For more information, please contact Armand Killan on +31 (0) 70 353 88 24 or Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.

Read about Bird & Bird’s Aviation & Aerospace sector here.