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Steven M. Kaufman

Washington, D.C.

Steven M. Kaufman

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.


"'Creative, sensible and precise,' Steve Kaufman combines both regulatory and financial advice concerning communications transactions. One source highlights his practical attitude, which means he is 'somebody the other side will listen to.'"

Chambers USA 2012

Representative Experience

Represented and advised manufacturer/JV partner/investor in many facets of cutting-edge OneWeb satellite program.

Negotiate satellite contracts for a major manufacturer with its U.S. customers.

Represented Asian customer in satellite procurement, from RFP through negotiated contract.

Represented Middle Eastern satellite operator in satellite, launch and ground system procurements.

Serving as commercial and M&A counsel for national telecom network for railroad industry to implement train safety.

Served as lead outside counsel for a satellite radio company in 15 equity and debt financings and commercial projects over nine years.

Satellite and commercial counsel to inflight internet company.

Represented satellite maritime company in several M&A disposition transactions.

Lease acquisition of capacity for full satellite for African customer.

Served as merger and acquisitions counsel for two major satellite companies over a 10-year period.

Lease acquisition of satellite capacity for South American customer.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1984
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Yale University, 1981

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts


Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite

Chambers USA


America's Spirit of Giving Trailblazer Award


Communications, Aviation and Aerospace, Business/Corporate

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Transactions

Legal 500 US


Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional

Legal 500 US

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