FFW guides Azerbaijan on comms satellite deal

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has advised the ­Azerbaijan government on the launch of its first ­communications satellite.

The FFW team was led by partner John Worthy, who joined the firm from SNR Denton legacy firm Denton Wilde Sapte in July 2010.

The contract was awarded to French company Arianespace, which will supply the ­Ariane 5ECA launch vehicle for the satellite. Arianespace was advised by in-house counsel Romain Darde.

Production of the ­satellite by US company Orbital ­Sciences Corporation, advised by in-house ­counsel John Scott, is underway, and the launch is expected in late 2012 from French Guiana.

The satellite will occupy Malaysia’s orbital position, which has been leased by Azerbaijan as part of a joint venture with Malaysian satellite operator Measat.

Worthy has been working as external counsel to the Azerbaijan Ministry of Communication and ­Information Technologies for the past 18 months, and also advised on the joint venture with Measat and the satellite procurement ­agreement with Orbital.

“The project is part of the development of Azerbaijan’s communications infrastructure and builds on strong economic progress in the country,” said ­Worthy.

“Our involvement reflects the strength of the firm’s expertise in the satellite and ­communications sector.”