Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory in United States

DLA Piper LLP (US)

A combination of ‘extensive substantive knowledge, in-depth technical expertise, and astute political savvy’ makes DLA Piper LLP (US) in Washington DC a go-to firm both for domestic as well as multi-jurisdictional matters. Michael Senkowski co-leads the practice; an eminent authority in the field he is an expert in telephony issues and counselling companies on market access. Alongside him, Nancy Victory co-heads the team, a seasoned veteran in FCC matters, she is a specialist in obtaining regulatory approvals and handling enforcement matters with a particular focus on ownership issues. Together they served as lead counsel for T-Mobile in its industry-shaping merger with Sprint and continue to advice the client on commitments relating thereto. They work together with specialists in other sub-sectors such as Eric DeSilva who focuses his practice on wireless telecoms and cutting-edge matters such as 5G and Private LTE. Similarly, Edward Smith covers the whole range of possible issues in satellite and wireless sectors, regarding both transactions and regulation. Peter Karanjia is an expert appellate and civil litigator and represents his clients in government-facing and enforcement litigation. To answer growing demand from clients, the firm bolstered its satellite practice with February 2021 Tony Lin from Hogan Lovells US LLP, while counsel Andrew Sacks is also noted.

Other key lawyers:

Eric DeSilva; Edward Smith; Peter Karanjia; Tony Lin; Kristin Jacobson; Melissa Turcios; Peter Shroyer

Testimonials

‘Eric DeSilva is an excellent lawyer with a firm substantive expertise on spectrum and telecom policy and legal issues. Eric produces top notch work faster than what seems humanly possible. The team also has great, reliable associates.’

‘The DLA Piper Telecom Group combines extensive substantive knowledge, in-depth technical expertise, and astute political savvy. They have tremendous experience and are unmatched in their responsiveness. The members of the group plainly know the law, but what makes them stand out is their ability to provide reliable guidance where legal precedent is absent or not clear.

‘Edward “Smitty” Smith is a rising Super Star. He is the total package that brings together the bright lawyer, insightful business acumen and advocacy skills. He is comfortable in the C-suite, in the halls of gov’t, and in the courtroom. He can do it all.’

‘Tony Lin has a ton of experience and is able to provide solid strategic direction and advice.’

‘I have worked closely with DLA Piper team members in regard to regulatory matters, and in particular with Michael Senkowski, Nancy Victory, Edward “Smitty” Smith, and Peter Karanjia. They are a phenomenal team, at the top of their field. They work incredibly hard, generate high quality work product, and are available 24/7 for whatever we need.’

‘Michael Senkowski – great strategist, has deep, unparalleled experience, and is also willing to roll up his sleeves and get the work done himself as needed, regardless of when needed. He is on call 24/7, and has amazing poise under pressure.

‘Nancy Victory – also a great strategist and a pillar of the DLA Piper team that has supported us for years; she is a model for client service, is a straight shooter, and has a knack for communicating effectively with company executives, and managing even tough messages. She is a stellar lawyer all around.’

‘Peter Karanjia – Peter has done great work for us over the past few years and is a critical part of our regulatory team. Peter has led the team on some recent regulatory filings at the state and federal level, and he is a great drafter and has a keen sense for the business, as well as for how to communicate complex issues simply and effectively. He is also a pleasure to deal with on a personal level – engaging, personable, and incredibly bright.’

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

T-Mobile US, Inc.

América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V.

Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc.

Globalstar, Inc.

CTIA – The Wireless Association

Motorola Solutions, inc.

WorldVu dba OneWeb

Polhem Infra KB

InstarAGF Asset Management Inc.

NetChoice

Nation Urban League

Twilio Inc.

Peerless Networks, Inc.

LS Networks

CallFire, Inc.

Planet Labs, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised T-Mobile US, Inc. on compliance with over 170 commitments made to regulators in wake of the merger with Sprint.
  • Advised Polhem Infra KB, a Scandinavian investment firm founded by the Swedish National Pension Funds, in its acquisition of Telia Carrier.
  • Representing the National Urban League, one of the oldest and most renowned national civil rights organizations in the country, as outside counsel and project manager for the development of The Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion – a ground-breaking agenda to ensure access and adoption of broadband for all Americans.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

A ‘go-to‘ firm in Washington DC for domestic and international regulatory matters, Hogan Lovells US LLP hosts dedicated industry groups, offering clients a multidisciplinary approach where their sector overlaps with telecoms and broadcast. Companies may further rely on the firm’s deeply ingrained litigation team which in a recent highlight represented SNR Wireless against the FCC concerning a denial of auction bidding credits valued at $1.3bn. Head of the communications, internet, and media practice Ari Fitzgerald is a distinguished expert on regulatory matters pertaining to communications and spectrum management but especially in the wireless sector. Co-leading the practice with Fitzgerald, Mark Brennan is a specialist in the intersection of telecoms and technology, heading the firm’s global technology and telecoms industry sector group. Their team includes Michele Farquhar, a prominent figure in the industry who guides her clients through policy, license, and compliance matters, spectrum auctions, M&A and litigation. Trey Hanbury advises key telecoms players such as T-Mobile and DISH Network on strategic matters. Up-and-coming specialists such as counsel Arpan Sura handle high-impact internet related matters before the FCC. Additionally recommended is associate George John for his expertise in the space and satellite sectors. With Gerry Oberst's arrival from in-house telecoms positions, the firm welcomes a former colleague and specialist in satellite, broadcast, and technology back into its Washington DC office. Tony Lin has departed the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ari Fitzgerald; Mark Brennan

Other key lawyers:

Michele Farquhar; Trey Hanbury; Steven Kaufman; Randy Segal; Arpan Sura; George John; Gerry Oberst

Key clients

T-Mobile

Columbia Capital

Vodafone

Google

GE

CTIA – The Wireless Association

LiveVox

Chrysler / Stelantis

Spotify

Condé Nast

United Launch Alliance

ABC

Lockheed Martin

Daimler/Mercedes-Benz

SNR Wireless

Turnitin

NextNav

SES

Gogo

KBR, Inc.

Dell

MSD Capital

OVHcloud

Internet Association

Fox Corporation

Honeywell

Airbus

Ironman Corporation

ACA International

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management

Orbit Fab, Inc.

Firefly Aerospace

HawkEye 360

Advance Publications

Barings LLC

Omnispace

Bell Canada

PTC 220

TCN

Edison Electric Institute

Navient

The Walt Disney Company

Neustar

United Healthcare

RFD-TV

American Association of Railroads (AAR)

DISH Network

Southern Linc

MAXIMUS

Motorola Solutions

Grain Management

Work highlights

  • Advised T-Mobile US Inc. following its $146bn merger with Sprint Corp. on several legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts.
  • Advised Columbia Capital, and its portfolios in the telecoms and satellite sectors, on regulatory, transactional, financing, and IP matters, both domestically and globally.
  • Advised American Robotics on securing approval from the Federal Aviation Administration of the nation’s first-ever fully automated commercial drone flights beyond the line of sight of a remote pilot.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP is a regulatory powerhouse in Washington DC that represents clients like Charter Communications and T-Mobile. Former general counsel to the FCC Samuel Feder co-heads the practice and led the team in representation of Neustar before the FCC. Co-head John Flynn has extensive experience in counselling key players in the sector, including advising on matters pertaining to wireless, 5G, and satellites  and guides start-ups through the process of commercializing their innovations. Co-head Rebekah Goodheart is another former FCC official, a seasoned advocate, and expert in broadband network issues who advises CTIA on implementing the new Broadband DATA Act. Howard Symons is a seasoned telecoms veteran who represents companies and their trade associations alike. Further recommended is Luke Platzer, for his experience in litigation especially on the intersection of traditional telecoms, technology, and the internet. Camillie Landron bolsters the firm’s strength in matters pertaining to spectrum auctions, licensing, and allocation as well as new technologies and the space industry, and was promoted to partner in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Samuel Feder; John Flynn; Rebekah Goodheart

Other key lawyers:

Howard Symons; Luke Platzer; Camillie Landron

Testimonials

‘Jenner’s partners have more regulatory experience than most, if not all, law firms in DC with a telecom practice. We trust their guidance on strategy for matters before the FCC and other regulatory agencies, especially given their extensive experience at the agency.’

‘All of the individuals we work with at Jenner are extremely hard working and knowledgeable about telecom regulatory matters. Luke Platzer and Rebekah Goodheart stand out.’

 

Key clients

Charter Communications, Inc.

Altice USA, Inc.

Elliott Management Corporation

SoftBank Group Corporation

Ossia Inc.

T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Neustar, Inc.

Windstream Communications

Cox Communications

CTIA

DRW

ACA

TEGNA, Inc.

NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association

Meta (f/k/a Facebook, Inc.)

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Work highlights

  • Representing Charter Communications, Inc. regarding net neutrality, their $1b FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund award, cable rate regulations, and implementing their wireless strategy.
  • Representing petitioners in securing an order from the FCC lowering the rates that incarcerated persons and their families pay for phone calls.
  • Representing Facebook on the legal and regulatory aspects of their unlicensed spectrum strategy.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Based in Washington DC, the team at Latham & Watkins LLP covers the whole telecoms and broadcast industry, providing counsel on complementary fields such as copyright, privacy, and data security and litigate client matters before courts of all instances and the FCC. A regulatory specialist, practice co-head Matthew Brill also handles transactions and litigation for his clients such as his representation of Viasat in an FCC proceeding seeking authorization for a new low-earth-orbit system. James Barker co-heads the practice alongside Brill, counselling companies on administrative regulation pertaining to current and emerging wireless communications technologies. Matthew Murchison is an expert on communications and appellate matters and currently leads the team in providing comprehensive counsel to Viasat, Inc. on a variety of issues. In an example of cross-sector work, Sarang (Sy) Damle is an expert in copyright law who represents in regulatory matters such as the National Association of Broadcasters in ‘Webcasting V’. Elizabeth R. Park  is a specialist in communications, information technology, and media companies where she represents clients before the FCC and guides them in implementing related policies. The firm recently strengthened its expertise in complementary areas of law with the hire of Antony Kim, a specialist in privacy and cybersecurity, from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Brill; James Barker

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Murchison; Sarang (Sy) Damle; Elizabeth R. Park; Antony Kim

Testimonials

‘Matt Brill is one of the most talented lawyers in the bar.’

Key clients

A&E

American Association of Political Consultants

CableLabs

CBS

Charter Communications

Comcast

Cox Enterprises

C-SPAN

Discovery

Disney Enterprises

Facebook

Fox Cable Network Services

Frontier Communications

LICT Corporation

National Association of Broadcasters

NBCUniversal Media

NCTA

Netflix

Viacom

Viasat, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented ten parties including Discovery, NBCUniversal Media, and Viacom against the State of Maine in a suit compelling all cable operators and programmers to sell networks and invdividual programs individually instead of a mandatory service tier.
  • Representing NCTA, Comcast, and Cox Enterprises before the FCC regarding ‘net neutrality’ and classifications for broadband internet access services.
  • Represented NCTA as amicus curiae in proceedings against Fox News regarding the First Amendment and imposition of liability based on allegedly false and misleading news content.

Wiley Rein LLP

The Washington DC-based practice at Wiley Rein LLP is an established go-to for market leading providers of every subsector in the telecoms and broadcast industry as well as hi-tech companies entering the space. Former US Ambassador David Gross co-heads the practice and is renowned for his extensive expertise on international telecoms and internet policies. His fellow co-head Kathleen Kirby is the favored choice of radio and television group owners and programming networks for regulatory matters, and has complementary expertise in newsgathering, content regulation, and First Amendment matters. New in the leadership team is Jennifer Hindin, a specialist in issues pertaining to space and satellite and in a recent highlight represented Virgin Galactic in obtaining FCC approval for use of wireless frequencies between its US launch base and manned spacecraft. Another expert on satellites as well as spectrum proceedings is Henry Gola. Anna Gomez counts three high-profile US telecoms and the industry association CTIA among her clients. Claire Evans is a specialist in matters pertaining to essential infrastructure within the telecoms and broadcast industry and is regularly engaged to deploy advanced services including wireless, 5G, and broadband. Another expert in this area, particularly regarding the 5G technology and broadband deployment, is Christopher Huther. Joshua Turner is a seasoned representative before the FCC, appellate, district and several circuit courts in complex technical issues.

Practice head(s):

David Gross; Kathleen Kirby; Jennifer Hindin

Other key lawyers:

Claire Evans; Christopher Huther; Anna Gomez; Joshua Turner; Henry Gola; Meredith Singer; Sara Baxenberg; Madi Lottenbach; Shawn Chang

Testimonials

The team has unparalleled communication. At every step we have worked together they have been forthcoming, open and helpful. They have done with with good intentions and thoughtful action.’

‘I have worked mostly with David Gross and he has gone above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgably on his industry but does and excellent job of explaining key issues to those less so than him. He is timely, well organized and easy to work with.’

‘Team is friendly, smart, well-connected, responsive, and proactive.’

‘Shawn Chang is a superstar. He is able to synthesize complex legislation and regulations into comprehensible explanations and advice. He also takes this skill to the next level by making recommendations and providing advice based on his understanding of the client’s business operations and needs. He has gained this understanding by asking the right questions of the right people at the right time. He is an essential member of our team.

Sara Baxenberg is supremely talented at comment writing and synthesizing complex FCC rules and churning out persuasive comments and advocacy. She is a great asset to the firm now and in the future.

Anna Gomez has a great strategic sense and knows all of the key regulatory players. Those skills, plus her great knowledge base, translate toward her being a great advocate for her clients.’

Key clients

AT&T

CTIA-The Wireless Association

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Intelsat/Intelsat Inflight

Maxar

Motorola Solutions

Nokia

Satellite Industry Association (SIA)

T-Mobile

Verizon Communications

Virgin Galactic

Marriott

TracFone

Work highlights

  • Representing CTIA in two appeals and more recently, representing CTIA in drafting a Brief in Opposition to a cert petition.
  • Advising Volkswagen in relation to compliance with FCC rules that cover the technology in its cars.
  • Representing AUVSI against proposals by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) to introduce a law that would impose trespass restrictions on low-altitude unmanned aircraft systems.

Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Deeply entrenched in the traditional telecom & broadcast industry, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP in Washington DC is praised as a ‘top telecom/broadcast firm in the city‘ and advises the key players on matters pertaining to satellites, infrastructure deployment, spectrum auctions and sector-adjacent aspects such as privacy. Co-head Christine Crowe is a specialist in regulatory aspects of towers and infrastructure with extensive experience in spectrum auctions. Fellow co-head Bryan Tramont is a distinguished practitioner in the industry who currently defends Iridium’s spectrum rights before the FCC. Further noted is Ken Satten, particularly for his practice pertaining to broadcasting companies and television networks; he acts as primary FCC regulatory counsel for Hubbard Radio. Alongside Satten in this instance works Jennifer Tatel, who leads the firm in FCC appellate matters and cases pertaining to the satellite sector. Adam Krinsky is a specialist in spectrum management and the wireless industry, focusing on communications companies. The team has been bolstered by the arrival of Debrea TerwiligerGreg Sopkin, and Arthur Ortegon in Denver. Karen Milne joined the Washington DC office in April 2021 from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Kelly Donohue  and Russ Hanser have departed alongside Erik Jones

Practice head(s):

Bryan Tramont; Christine Crowe

Other key lawyers:

Adam Krinsky; Natalie Roisman; Jennifer Tatel; David Oxenford; Ken Satten; Phil Marchesiello; Paige Fronabarger; Rachel Wolkowitz; Sean Conway; Lynne Montgomery; Clete Johnson; Emilie de Lozier; Brett Johnson; Erin Griffith; Debrea Terwiliger; Greg Sopkin; Arthur Ortegon; Karen Milne

Testimonials

‘David Oxenford is superb. Paige Fronaberger is excellent too.’

‘David Oxenford is always on top of what my needs are, industry issues and all aspects of the laws that affect my company.’

‘Top Telecom/broadcast firm in the city.’

‘Bryan Tramont is the dean of the bar. Natalie Roisman’s commitment to diversity in the TMT bar is unmatched. Phillip Marchesiello knows how to get the deal done. Jennifer Tatel is simply a very talented lawyer.’

‘WBK is probably the premier law firm for FCC regulation and communications law. Their lawyers are exceptionally well versed in this sector and have a great reputation.’

‘They are extremely responsive and hard working and provide excellent value for money and crisp, clear advice.’

Key clients

Verizon

Comcast Corporation

Cox Enterprises, Inc.

DISH Network/Spectrum and MVNO compliance

CTIA—The Wireless Association

USTelecom

T-Mobile

WIA

ExteNet

nTelos

Connoisseur

Iridium

TerreStar Corporation

5G Automotive Association (5GAA)

Cox Enterprises, Inc.

Cox Communications, Inc.

Cox Automotive Inc.

Cox Media Group, LLC

ATN International, Inc.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Hubbard Radio

Garmin

AURA Network Systems OpCo, LLC

Broadcast regulatory clients

Work highlights

  • Representing Verizon in its proposed acquisition of prepaid wireless provider TracFone, a nearly $7 billion transaction.
  • Advising DISH in connection with the construction obligations associated with its spectrum holdings.
  • AdvisingCox in all aspects of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state public service commission (PSC) regulatory processes in connection with its ~$3 billion acquisition of the commercial services division of a group of companies that operate under the brand name “Segra.”

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter‘s Washington DC based team advises broadcasters, traditional telecoms and hi-tech companies on regulatory matters pertaining to spectrum licenses and investments. Maureen Jeffreys leads the practice, representing clients before the FCC and NTIA, providing strategic counsel and advising media clients on regulatory compliance. Her colleague Scott Feira  is a specialist in FCC merger reviews and license transfer proceedings.  Peter Schildkraut bolsters the team’s strength with his expertise in spectrum use and broadband regulation. Also noted is associate Darrel Pae- previously serving at the FCC, he advises clients on communications law and the relevant legal and policy framework.

Practice head(s):

Maureen Jeffreys

Other key lawyers:

Peter Schildkraut; Scott Feira; Darrel Pae

Key clients

AT&T

WarnerMedia

Digital Promise Global

KCETLink

KQED Inc.

North Texas Broadcasting Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising a number of major public broadcast stations across the country, advising on rules and policies related to indecency, underwriting, closed captioning, cable-carriage, Equal Employment Opportunity, intellectual property, and other issues.
  • Advising Digital Promise Global’s on a range of legal issues, as the organization advances digital education technology polices and implements programs.
  • Represented a smartphone manufacturer in a radio frequency (RF) radiation emission class action litigation, advising on FCC rules and procedures.

Dentons

A long-standing representative of T-Mobile USA, the team at Dentons led by Todd Daubert advises on both traditional telecoms issues and cutting-edge matters arising through technology such as the deployment of WiFi services in rental cars by Avis Budget Group. Based in Washington DC, Daubert is a specialist in such regulatory matters who recently assisted T-Mobile USA with the implementation of its agreement with American Tower Corporation, allowing T-Mobile to deploy 5G. He works closely with associate Lauren Wilson, also based in Washington DC, who guides her clients through the process of obtaining FCC approvals and compliance with complementary regulatory acts. Sam Cullari joined the Washington DC office in September 2021 from Reed Smith LLP, extending the practice’s scope through his expertise in tech, privacy, and data security.

Practice head(s):

Todd Daubert

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Wilson; Sam Cullari

Key clients

T-Mobile US, Inc.

Pincay RE

STADCO LLC

North American Portability Management LLC

Pure IP Limited

Pivotal Home Solutions and affiliates

Avis Budget Group, Inc.

Jones Day

The Washington DC-based practice at Jones Day has strong expertise in matters pertaining to satellites and defense. The department is headed by Bruce Olcott , an expert on issues pertaining to wireless and wireline entities with a strong history representing them before the FCC. Alongside Olcott, Brett Shumate deploys his substantial expertise in litigation, focusing on regulatory matters pertaining to M&A in the sector. Schuyler Schouten is a specialist in navigating regulatory situations with little previous legislation and adjudication. Samir Jain departed the practice.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Olcott

Other key lawyers:

Brett Shumate; Schuyler Schouten; Jennifer Everett

Key clients

Verizon Communications

The Boeing Company

Intelsat ad hoc Creditors Committee

Colt Technology Services

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc.

KVH Industries

NextNav LLC

Teledyne Technologies

PIMCO Investment Management Company

National Republican Senatorial Committee

Five9 Inc.

Global VSAT Forum

Spanish Broadcasting Corporation

Oncor Electric

FirstEnergy

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Intelsat’s new post-bankruptcy ownership group in organization and ensuring FCC spectrum clearing payments of nearly $5bn stay with the company and its new majority owners.
  • Represented The Boeing Company before the FCC to authorize a license relating to the company’s global satellite system, increasing its constellation.
  • Advised NextNav, LLC with the regulatory issues involved in going public, including securing approval from the FCC, preparing SEC disclosure documents and an opinion letter addressing the company’s extensive holdings of FCC licenses.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Relied on by large telecoms trade associations for counsel, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP further demonstrates its powerful domestic presence through its strong involvement in the Universal Service Fund, and extends the reach of its Washington DC-based practice beyond US borders through its expertise in international communication and submarine cables. Highly active in the practice is Chip Yorkgitis who also acts as co-chair for the firm’s committee on foreign investment in the US. 

Other key lawyers:

Henry T. Kelly; Tom Cohen; Chip Yorkgitis

Testimonials

‘Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has handled our non-profit organization’s advocacy to fight to help low-income Americans keep their essential communication services through the Lifeline program. Kelley Drye provides top-notch advice on regulatory compliance with the FCC and state regulations. In addition to providing legal services, Kelley Drye has been a critical component of educating our member base and the public at large with the challenges our organization faces and the poignant strategy we have to try to rectify. This has been conducted through presenting at large trade shows, meeting with high-level government representatives, press and public relations work, as well as traditional public-facing material development. We would recommend Kelley Drye without reservation.’

‘The team has an excellent telecommunications practice group and is very well dialed into the key policymakers in DC.’

‘Chip Yorkgitis is a man of many talents as an attorney with a technical background, so he is able to provide excellent advice on complex topics. Chip is an extremely hard worker who never misses a deadline and is always willing to pick up the phone. We have always been pleased with his work product, and he has a great sense of humor.’

Key clients

Peerless Network

Radiate HoldCo, LLC

Q Link Wireless

AMG Technology Investment Group, LLC dba NextLink Internet

ACA Connects (f/k/a America’s Communications Association)

AmeriFactors Financial Group, LLC

Transaction Network Services Inc.

Verizon

NetNumber, Inc.

National Lifeline Association

Atlantic Tele-Network

BT Americas

Intrado Corporation

Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company

Zipwhip (Twilio)

Excess Telecom

Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Caesar’s Entertainment, Inc.

U.S. TelePacific

CellSpan, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising TNS on development of the STIR/SHAKEN authentication rules and to assist it in providing the product to its major customers.
  • Representing America’s Communications Association  before the FCC, including drafting comments and participating in the meeting with FCC Commissioners and staff.
  • Advising a number of clients on the federal Lifeline program.

Paul Hastings LLP

Offering a ‘deep insight into the FCC with a distinctly business-savvy overlay.’ the Washington DC-based team at Paul Hastings LLP advises large traditional market players such as the National Association of Broadcasters, counsels financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo as well as private equity firms like Novacap on their investments into the space, and guide entertainment companies through their market entry. A long-standing regulatory specialist, practice head Sherrese Smith leverages her previous experience in the private sector and governmental institutions to represent clients such as Providence Equity Partners in its acquisition of Marlink and the corresponding review of foreign ownership issues. By her side in this matter was associate John Gasparini, a commercially-oriented expert on M&A, foreign investment review, and regulatory aspects of satellites, spectrum management and wireline and wireless infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Sherrese Smith

Other key lawyers:

John Gasparini

Testimonials

‘Sherrese Smith is an outstanding communicator and advocate. She understands both the business and legal sides of the issue.’

‘Deep insight into the FCC with a distinctly business-savvy overlay.’

‘Sherrese Smith knows the FCC and has real-world insight into it’s approach and thinking. She can see around regulatory corners.’

Key clients

National Association of Broadcasters

Walt Disney Company

Fox Corporation

Royal Bank of Canada

Walmart

Bank of America

EchoStar Corporation

Cox Enterprises

TEGNA

Novacap Technologies

Aspect Software

Francisco Partners

Euclid Transactional

Providence Equity Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented Aspect Software, then a portfolio company of Vector Capital (a leading global private equity firm) on significant communications regulatory matters associated with its merger with Noble Systems, Inc. and subsequent merger to become Alvaria.
  • Represented Euclid in its role as representations and warranties insurance underwriter for the acquisition of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group by Gray Television, Inc.
  • Represented Francisco Partners—a leading private equity fund based in San Francisco, CA—in connection with obtaining FCC, Team Telecom, and state regulatory approvals in connection with the USD4.3 billion take-private acquisition of LogMeIn, Inc. a leading provider of cloud-based remote connectivity services.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Based in Washington DC, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP assists clients worldwide in matters pertaining to satellite and cable, involving its integrated litigation practice where necessary. Practice head Brian Weimer advises satellite operators as well as financiers of satellite and wireless companies, representing them before the FCC and ITU. His colleague Paul Werner is a seasoned first chair trial and appellate litigator, currently defending the largest nationwide class action ever filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Dave Thomas broadens the firm’s scope with his expertise in wire-based and wireless networks and special focus on broadband networks. In a recent highlight, Werner and Thomas led the team in representation of Charter Communications against the City of Yuma regarding compliance with Arizona’s Uniform Franchise Law, requiring the city to adopt a uniform video service license agreement. Also recommended is Drew Svor, for his expertise in representing clients before the ‘Team Telecom’ governmental agencies as well as CFIUS. Stephen Chernow joined the firm as special counsel in April 2021 from an in-house position, while Ray Rutngamlug  has departed.

Practice head(s):

Brian Weimer

Other key lawyers:

Dave Thomas; Paul Werner; Drew Svor; Imad Matini; Abraham Shanedling; Hannah Wigger; Stephen Chernow

Testimonials

‘Sheppard Mullin’s Telecoms practice sets itself apart by offering clear, actionable advice that our business can quickly implement. The team also offers a deep and thorough understanding of the industry. This allows them to offer top-tier regulatory advice. And they have the ability to handle complex disputes in all fora — whether in state/federal court, before state/federal regulatory commissions, or before international arbitral tribunals.’

‘The Sheppard Mullin Telecoms team truly puts their clients’ needs first. They recognize that offering top-notch legal advice requires constant investment in developing relationships, understanding clients’ businesses, and understanding the industry at large. This allows them to advise “in the weeds” on particular issues, with the vision to ensure their advice complements and advances the overall enterprise.

‘Paul Werner, Partner, an exceptional litigator on any matter, is unparalleled when it comes to litigating complex telecommunications matters. He approaches every dispute with the end game front of mind — driving great results whether the dispute ultimately is settled, arbitrated, or tried and/or appealed.’

Key clients

SES S.A.

OneWeb

Charter Communications

New England Cable & Telecommunications Association, Inc.

Snap

Astra Capital Management

Piper Networks

Rakuten

Susan L. Uecker, Receiver

Comcast Communications

Cox Communications

California Cable & Telecommunications Association

Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association

LCTA – The Internet & Television Association

Maine Cable Association

Vero Fiber Networks

San Diego Gas & Electric

Work highlights

  • Represented SES S.A. in the FCC’s efforts to convert the “C-Band spectrum” from satellite to terrestrial use, culminating in a $80.9bn spectrum auction.
  • Advising OneWeb on FCC and international regulatory matters.
  • Advised Rakuten, a multinational e-commerce conglomerate based in Tokyo, Japan, with respect to FCC regulatory issues in connection with Rakuten’s leadership in Open RAN technology and its global rollout of the new Rakuten Communications Platform.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Strongly intertwined with the firm’s competition practice, the telecoms team at Steptoe & Johnson LLP is based in Washington D.C. and advises both old and new players in the sector on regulatory issues, regularly representing them before the FCC. An advocate on behalf of the online industry in all net neutrality cases, department head Pantelis Michalopoulos has a demonstrably strong track-record of leading regulatory matters. On the M&A regulatory side of the practice, Christopher Bjornson  is noted. Andrew Golodny further bolsters the team’s strength with his expertise in telecoms transaction reviews before the FCC and DOJ. In New York, Michael Weiner offers considerable expertise in regulatory aspects of M&A.

Practice head(s):

Pantelis Michalopoulos

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Bjornson; Andrew Golodny; Michael Weiner

Testimonials

‘I understand clients expect 2 main things: to feel confident and secure, in the certainty that they are receiving the best professional support, at fair prices. Steptoe has been working with our company for over 15 years, within an increasingly successful partnership.’

‘Steptoe professionals have very common characteristics: tireless attention to the customer, clarity in support and in the transmission of knowledge, while showing sincerity in not knowing a topic but always willing to seek knowledge and return.’

Key clients

Dish Network

beIN Sports

Inmarsat

Capstone

Vimeo

SmartSky Networks

Embratel TVSAT Telecomunicações Claro S.A.

Fuse LLC

MVDDS 5G Coalition

Work highlights

  • Represented DISH Network before the FCC in appealing SpaceX’s authorization to use the 12GHz spectrum.
  • Represented MVDDS 5G Coalition before the FCC regarding the 12GHz spectrum band and its sharing between terrestrial 5G wireless and satellite broadband.
  • Representing DISH Network in several on-going matters, including opposing the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Alongside regular representation of Comcast before the FCC in complex regulatory matters, the Washington DC-based team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP handles further high-stake proceedings for key market players. The practice is co-headed by Jonathan Friedman whose clients include major cable operators, video programmers, and equipment manufacturers. In advising Comcast, Friedman regularly works together with fellow co-head Michael Hurwitz , a specialist in regulatory policy for communications and media companies especially regarding M&A approvals. Daniel Alvarez complements the practice with his extensive expertise in related areas such as technology, privacy, and cybersecurity. Another regulatory expert is Melanie Medina who currently leads the team in advocacy of Comcast NBCUniversal before the FCC in high-profile spectrum policy and auction matters. On the litigation side, David Murray represents clients from the telecoms and broadcast industry in civil and appellate courts as well as arbitration. The team has strengthened its expertise in privacy with the hire of Laura Jehl from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Friedman; Michael Hurwitz

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Alvarez; David Murray; Melanie Medina; Laura Jehl

Key clients

Comcast Corporation/NBCUniversal

The Internet & Television Association (NCTA)

América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V.

ForgeLight, LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Comcast in a FCC petition seeking a declaratory ruling that Nexstar is attributed with WPIX and therefore in violation of the FCC’s national ownership cap and conditions of the merger.
  • Representing América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. before the FCC and various state public utilities commissions in seeking regulatory approval for its sale of TracFone Wireless, Inc.
  • Advising NCTA on FCC strategy and advocacy related to spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, 3.7-4.2 GHz C-Band, 6 GHz band, and 3.45-3.55 GHz band.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

With a client list spanning from traditional telecoms companies to hi-tech players entering the space, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is active on the forefront of legal development in the sector. Helgi C. Walker in Washington DC is highly active in the firm, handling administrative and regulatory matters as well as litigation and recently led the team in representation of the National Association of Broadcasters against the FCC before the Supreme Court in an abolishment of ownership restrictions. Also in Washington DC, Miguel Estrada is a seasoned appellate attorney with over twenty cases before the Supreme Court.

Other key lawyers:

Helgi C. Walker; Miguel Estrada

Key clients

National Association of Broadcasters

National Cable & Telecommunications Association

CTIA

SES Americom Inc.

Viasat Inc.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Mayer Brown

Specialists in advising on policy-related matters, the expertise of the Washington DC-based practice at Mayer Brown spans legislation and advocacy between the FCC and Capitol Hill. The team is co-headed by Angela Giancarlo , a former chief of staff and senior legal advisor to an FCC commissioner, who counsels clients on legislative and policy issues arising in the wireless, satellite, broadband, and digital media sectors. Her fellow co-head Howard Waltzman is an expert in representing communications service providers, manufacturers, and trade associations such as USTelecom before the relevant regulatory bodies.

Practice head(s):

Angela Giancarlo; Howard Waltzman

Key clients

CTIA

tyntec, Inc.

tyntec Group, Ltd.

USTELECOM

AT&T

21st Century Privacy Coalition

Work highlights

  • Advising CTIA on a wide range of new and emerging federal legislative, regulatory and public policy issues that impact the industry, ranging from spectrum policy, wireless infrastructure, and privacy and cybersecurity.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Described as ‘absolute experts in the telecommunications space‘, the team at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. advises a wide range of clients including trade associations for wireless, cellular, and Wifi organizations, as well as actors in national defense and security on the international plane, on legislation, transactions, infrastructure deployment, as well as on new technology. The Washington DC-based practice is led  by Tara Corvo, a specialist on the intersection of legislation and regulatory policy who focuses on advising cable operators and content providers. Alongside her, Russell Fox handles matters for wireless operators and is deeply involved in spectrum proceedings before the FCC. Another expert on such issues is associate Christen B’anca GlennT. Scott Thompson brings a strong history of dealing with permits and prohibitions of service to the practice. Angela Y. Kung further bolsters the firm’s strength with her extensive expertise in Universal Service Fund auctions. 

Practice head(s):

Tara Corvo

Other key lawyers:

Russell Fox; Chris Harvie; T. Scott Thompson; Angela Y. Kung; Dan Reing; Christen B’anca Glenn

Testimonials

‘Mintz provides us with a unique combination of regulatory expertise, industry knowledge and practical advice.’

‘Absolute experts in the telecommunications law space.’

‘Professional, friendly, smart and accommodating. Angela Kung is exceptionally smart and a tremendous resource.’

‘This practice consistently provides excellent counsel and service in my company’s field of telecommunications. The partners have extremely broad and deep knowledge of the industry and all of them have lengthy and high-level experience in the field.’

Key clients

Altice USA

AMC Networks Inc.

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

AST&Science

Charter Communications, Inc.

Comcast Corporation

Cox Communications, Inc.

CTIA – The Wireless Association

Discovery Communications, Inc.

DRS Technical Services, Inc.

Entergy Services, Inc.

Everstream Solutions

ExteNet Systems, Inc.

FIF AireBeam

Florida Internet & Television

GuRu Wireless, Inc.

H.I.G. Capital, LLC

IMC Chicago, LLC

Mass General Brigham

MEASAT Communications Systems

MediaCom Communications Corporation

MSG Networks

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association

NfinityLink Communications, Inc.

Philips North America

Satcom Direct Communications

SBA Communications

SES World Skies U.S. Government

Sierra Nevada Corporation

SpinCar

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.

T-Mobile, USA

TPG Capital, L.P.

Trimble Inc.

UnitedHealthcare

Uprise Fiber LLC

ViaSat, Inc.

Wi-Fi Alliance

Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA)

Work highlights

  • Advised TPG Capital on transaction documents and on all FCC, state, and local approvals, related to TPG’s investment in DIRECTV.
  • Represented T-Mobile in challenging a San Francisco ordinance seeking to limit T-Mobile’s ability to deploy wireless broadband facilities.
  • Represented Mediacom in securing a commitment from the FCC for Mediacom to prioritize smaller providers in relation to reimbursements under the ‘Rip and Replace’ directive.

Squire Patton Boggs

The Washington DC-based team at Squire Patton Boggs has established itself as a leading practice for large government project managers such as the 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC and the Relocation Payment Clearinghouse LLC. Mark Dever, who leads the firm in this area, is an expert in FCC auctions and the commission’s competitive bidding regulations. Another specialist in this area is Robert B. Kelly, who focuses on spectrum policy and allocation and has led the team on the 800MHz and Relocation engagements. Eduardo Guzmán is an expert on regulatory and dispute resolution matters, leading several of the team’s matters for Puerto Rico Telephone Company d/b/a Claro. Additionally recommended is Robert Stup, for his expertise in wireless-related matters. The team strengthened its ranks with the arrival of counsel Gardner Foster, who joined from an in-house position in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Mark Dever

Other key lawyers:

Robert B. Kelly; Eduardo Guzmán; Robert Stup; Gardner Foster

Testimonials

‘Bob Kelly – Personalized attention that prioritizes my needs. Great working relationship with someone I can trust.’

Key clients

Relocation Payment Clearinghouse LLC

800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC

Intelligent Transportation Society of America

Northstar Wireless, LLC

Puerto Rico Telephone Company d/b/a Claro

Neptuno Network

Government of Puerto Rico

Work highlights

  • Advising Relocation Payment Clearinghouse as general counsel, administering the $15bn C band realignment program mandated by the FCC.
  • Advising the 800 MHz Transition Administrator on its operations, which oversaw the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s 800 MHz Band Reconfiguration program.
  • Represented Northstar in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s auction of AWS-3 spectrum rights.

Telecommunications Law Professionals

With a team of regulatory experts in wireless, broadband, broadcast TV, and radio, the Washington DC-based boutique firm Telecommunications Law Professionals serves clients from all sectors of the industry as well as emerging technologies. Founding member Carl W. Northrop is a seasoned litigator, renown for his outstanding expertise in regulatory matters. His peer and managing member Michael Lazarus is a specialist in the wireless sector, with particular expertise in representing rural, small, and medium-sized carriers against dominant, larger carriers. Jessica Gyllstrom bolsters the firm’s strength with her experience in M&A in the telecoms sector and extensive knowledge on broadband related matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lazarus; Carl W. Northrop

Other key lawyers:

Dennis P. Corbett; Gregg Skall; Jessica DeSimone Gyllstrom

Testimonials

‘Carl Northrop, is a dean of the telecom bar and has forgotten more FCC law than I know. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge about the formal and informal operations of the FCC and of FCC rules.’

‘Depth of knowledge. Expertise. Institutional history of the area.’

‘The boutique firm has unique experience and specific technical advice regarding telecommunications regulatory legal needs.’

‘Jessica Gyllstrom has been wonderful to work with. Very knowledgeable and willing to think outside the box.’

Key clients

GCI Communication Corp./The Alaska Wireless Network

AST & Science

Radio and Television Broadcasting Associations

Cellular South, Inc. d/b/a C Spire

American Tower Corporation

Pine Telephone and Pine Cellular

Go Long Wireless

Heritage Broadcasting of Michigan

Starry, Inc.

Sennheiser Electronic Corporation

Qurate Retail Group

E-470 Public Highway Authority

Work highlights

  • Represented Pine Telephone and Pine Cellular in dismissing a court complaint.
  • Advising GCI Communications Corp./The Alaska Wireless Network on various issues including negotiation of a wholesale and IRU agreements.
  • Advising various telecoms companies as regulatory counsel on various issues.