Boeing Satellite Litigation

In May 2016, Judge Andre Birotte, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of The Boeing Company and Boeing Commercial Space Company and found S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation, Energia (with subsidiaries and affiliates, Energia) and KB Yuzhnoye (with subsidiaries and affiliates, collectively Yuzhnoye) were liable for repayment of their share of loans made by Boeing to Sea Launch. Sea Launch was a joint venture between Boeing, Energia and Yuzhnoye to launch satellites from a mobile sea platform, which failed and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. Boeing sued Defendants in 2013 alleging that it financed the joint venture and that at inception, Defendants agreed to repay portions of loans made by Boeing to Sea Launch. Energia and Yuzhnoye subsequently alleged that Boeing was the cause of the failure of Sea Launch. Compass Lexecon served as consulting experts and provided support for testifying expert Senior Consultant Professor Bradford Cornell who testified as rebuttal expert. Professor Cornell testified that even under Defendants’ assumptions, Sea Launch would not have been able to avoid bankruptcy. The Court agreed with Professor Cornell, ruling that “there is no conclusive evidence demonstrating that Sea Launch would have avoided bankruptcy [under Defendants’ assumptions].” We worked closely with Michael B. Slade and Alec Solotorovsky of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Professor Cornell was supported by a Compass Lexecon team that included Rahul Sekhar, Rajiv Gokhale, Robin Stahl and Jonathan Polonsky, among others.