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Top Space and Satellite Lawyer Joins Greenberg Traurig in Denver

DENVER – Feb. 5, 2024 – Milton "Skip" Smith has joined global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP as chair of the Space and Satellite Industry Group, where his more than 40 years of experience as a leading lawyer will be a driving force supporting the firm’s robust aerospace and defense capabilities in the space domain.

Smith, who served as director of space law at Space Command and chief of space law for the Air Force, will be a shareholder in the Government Contracts Practice and reside in the Denver office. He joins the firm from Sherman & Howard LLC.

"Greenberg Traurig is committed to taking our air and space industry capabilities to new heights, serving the unique demands of our clients in the fast-growing aerospace industry," said Ernest LaMont Greer, co-president of Greenberg Traurig. "Skip's unparalleled expertise and deep industry knowledge and reputation will be instrumental in this endeavor."

Smith's extensive practice covers the gamut of space law including litigation, contracts, regulation, and transactional work. But clients value him most for his ability to draw on his experience at the highest levels of government and commercial space, both in the United States and globally, to help them stay one step ahead as they navigate complex and novel legal issues.

“We are thrilled to have Skip join us in Denver, a move that further entrenches us in the significant aerospace community in this region," Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Duffy and Denver Co-Managing Shareholder Naomi G. Beer said. “Skip also serves as yet another example of Greenberg Traurig’s commitment to strategic growth in markets where our clients operate while simultaneously expanding our capabilities on a national and global scale.”

Smith is a force in the space industry internationally, nationally, and locally in Colorado. He helped establish and is a past chair of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable and has taught space law as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver Law School.

Smith’s contributions to the field have earned him numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Institute of Space Law. He also served in Geneva as the legal adviser of the 50-person U.S. Delegation at the ITU Conference on the Geostationary Satellite Orbit, and organizes and moderates the signature Space Law & Regulation Track and General Counsel Forum at the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium.

"Clients will be hard-pressed to find a better ally in the aerospace industry; Skip has been at the forefront of space law since the government was first forming a legal basis for the public use of the Global Positioning System (GPS),” said Jeffery M. Chiow and Jennifer S. Zucker, co-chairs of the Government Contracts Practice. "Whether it’s a regulatory authorization for novel space activities, a brewing dispute, or a market moving transaction, Skip will be an incredible asset for our clients who are navigating often unresolved legal issues.”

“Joining a firm with the scope of Greenberg Traurig’s capabilities will allow me to serve every corner of my clients’ needs,” Smith said. “There is an incredible roster of talent at this firm, including in specialty areas critical to space and satellite companies like government contracts, intellectual property, export controls, and CFIUS review, which, when combined with our commitment to our clients, will coalesce into making us a dominant player in the space industry.”

Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and he received his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. He also earned an LL.M. and Doctorate from the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Denver Office: Greenberg Traurig's Denver team offers clients a business-minded perspective into legal issues as well as a strategic gateway for Denver businesses, including those serving in the robust aerospace industry, to operate in today’s global marketplace. The Denver team’s core practice areas include American Indian Law, appellate litigation, commercial litigation, compensation and benefits, commercial litigation, corporate transactions, data privacy, employment litigation, energy and natural resources, environmental compliance and litigation, federal regulatory and administrative law, financial services litigation, healthcare and FDA law, intellectual property and technology, land use and zoning, mergers and acquisitions, public finance, real estate, securities law, tax and water law. 

About Greenberg Traurig’s Government Contracts Practice: Greenberg Traurig’s Government Contracts Practice excels in serving aerospace, defense and national security clients. The team helps companies navigate the highly regulated acquisition and compliance processes of federal, state, local, and foreign governments and their agencies. Alongside governmental affairs professionals they assist both experienced contractors and newcomers with a broad array of issues arising from the sale of products and services to public customers. The practice also focuses on meeting the transactional and U.S. regulatory needs of clients in the commercial, defense, aerospace, information technology, telecommunications, medical and health care, and other high-tech sectors.

About Greenberg Traurig: Greenberg Traurig, LLP has more than 2750 attorneys in 47 locations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. The firm is a 2022 BTI “Highly Recommended Law Firm” for superior client service and is consistently among the top firms on the Am Law Global 100 and NLJ 500. Greenberg Traurig is Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certified Plus by The Diversity Lab. The firm is recognized for powering its U.S. offices with 100% renewable energy as certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e® Energy program and is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The firm is known for its philanthropic giving, innovation, diversity, and pro bono. Web: