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Latham & Watkins LLP excels in telecoms, broadcast and satellite transactions, and is ‘highly knowledgeable’, ‘good at giving practical business advice’, and ‘knows how the FCC thinks’. The team is led by spectrum auctions specialist James Barker, telecoms transaction expert James Gorton and Matthew Brill, who represents satellite, telecoms and broadcasting companies in transactions. Barker recently advised Charter Communications on the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction and assisted Verizon with its 24.5% equity purchase of Dreamwork’s Awesomeness TV. Brill advised LogMeIn on its $1.8bn merger with Citrix’s GoTo business. John Janka is also a key figure, with notable expertise in transactional matters on behalf of broadband providers, satellite operators, media companies and broadcasters. He assisted Entercom with its tax-free merger with CBS Radio, advised Beasley Broadcast Group on its acquisition of Greater Media, and assisted ViaSat with its public offering of $6.5m-worth of shares of common stock as well as with the closing of a joint venture with Eutelsat involving satellite-based broadband services. Matthew Murchison, who was made partner in 2017, is also highly experienced transactions in this space. Netflix and MGM are also key clients. The team is based in Washington DC.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s ‘excellent’ New York-based transactions team focuses on telecoms-related M&A and capital markets deals, and is highlighted for its ‘business acumen’, ‘industry knowledge’ and ‘strength of team’. M&A specialist Robert Townsend leads the practice and assisted Cincinnati Bell with its $650m merger with Hawaiian Telcom. George Schoen is ‘the complete lawyer for M&A’ and is highly experienced in technology transactions. Capital markets transactions are typically handled by William Fogg, Scott Bennett and Johnny Skumpija. Notable work highlights included Fogg advising CyrusOne on two notes offerings which together amounted to $1.2bn, Bennett assisting Qualcomm with its $11bn debt offering, Skumpija working with Cox Communications on a $2.6bn notes offering, and Cooper advising Level 3 Communications on $4.6bn-worth of loans from Merrill Lynch and Bank of America to finance its existing indebtedness. The team also assisted Crown Castle International with its $7.1bn purchase of LTS Group Holdings from a number of investors, advised Time Warner on its proposed $108.7bn merger with AT&T, advised Cable ONE on its $735m acquisition of NewWave Communications from GTCR, and assisted the Strategic Review Committee of the Board of Directors of Yahoo! with the $4.48bn sale of its operating business to Verizon.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based technology, media and telecoms group works on big-ticket transactions in this space. Jonathan Levitsky advised Discovery on its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive and assisted Tribune Media with its $6.6bn sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group. M&A partners Michael Diz and Jeffrey Rosen advised Verizon on its $3.1bn acquisition of Straight Path Communications and separate $1.8bn acquisition of XO Communications. Alongside William Regner, Rosen also advised the special committee of the board of directors of Viacom on a proposed merger with CBS. Diz also advised Morgan Stanley as financial adviser to Consolidated Communications Holdings regarding the latter’s $1.5bn acquisition of FairPoint Communications. Fellow M&A expert Michael Gillespie is also a key figure. Of counsel Richard Bohm advised Greater Media on its acquisition of outstanding stock from Beasley Broadcast Group. Globo, Time and The Dolan Family are also key clients.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s team is spread across a number of its US offices. In Northern Virginia, Steven Kaufman jointly heads the space and satellite practice, and has notable expertise in M&A, contracts and financings. Co-head Randy Segal has extensive experience in satellite, drone and wireless transactions. Of counsel Jeffrey Epstein joined this team in 2017, having previously worked as general counsel for TerreStar Networks. In Washington DC, Michele Farquhar is head of communications and is experienced in obtaining regulatory approvals for transactions, as well as spectrum auctions and licensing matters. Other key team members include Trey Hanbury, a regulatory specialists with particular strengths in spectrum, satellite and wireless issues; Alexander Maltas, who is known for regulatory issues and licensing agreements; spectrum policy specialist Ari Fitzgerald; and privacy expert Mark Brennan. Hanbury recently conducted due diligence for HC2 on its portfolio of broadcast television licenses. In Denver, broadcast specialist Niki Tuttle recently advised CBS on its agreements with Hulu surrounding its new live television streaming services. Transactions specialists Mark Kurtenbach and David Toy are also key names from the Denver office; Kurtenbach recently assisted The Anschutz Corporation, the majority shareholder in Regal Entertainment Group, with Cineworld’s $3.6bn purchase of Regal, while Toy advised the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition on its satellite distribution of feature film content directly from studios to theatres. The firm recently bolstered its Silicon Valley office with numerous additions to its M&A team, including Richard Climan, Keith Flaum, Jane Ross, John Brockland and Christopher Moore, who all joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Mike Frank from Sidley Austin LLP is also a new arrival.

Jenner & Block LLP’s Washington DC-based practice is a popular choice for clients seeking regulatory approvals on transactions. The team is led by Samuel Feder, who previously served as the FCC’s general counsel for transactions, and former senior counsel to the FCC Chairman John Flynn; it typically works on high-profile transactions in the telecoms, media and technology sphere, and its clients include the likes of Charter Communications, Altice and Comcast. Feder recently assisted Francisco Partners with its acquisition of a 16.7% stake in Ericsson’s subsidiary iconectiv, and both he and Flynn advised SoftBank on its investment in OneWeb, which involved obtaining regulatory rights across multiple international jurisdictions.

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Paul Hastings LLP provides ‘thoughtful, comprehensive and excellent client service’ to a client roster that includes the likes of 21st Century Fox, Cox Media and the National Association of Broadcasters. Eric Greenberg leads the team and is known for his work in broadcast media M&A transactions. He recently assisted Raycom Media on its sale of broadcast spectrum and its acquisition of a television station, and advised ION Media on the acquisition of television licenses that were due to expire as part of the FCC’s spectrum auction. He also assisted Univision Communications with its equity investment in Justice Network and advised Bank of America on its $3bn lending facility to Nexstar. Regulatory expert Sherrese Smith is singled out for her ‘thorough knowledge of the legal landscape’, ‘practical approach’ and ‘flexibility in accommodating business needs’. She recently advised TEGNA on future acquisition strategies. Associate Andrew Erber is experienced in media and telecoms transactions. All lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s New York-based practice handles transactions in the broadcast, satellite and telecoms sectors, with expertise in both M&A and private equity transactions. Team co-head Bruce Gutenplan is noted for his work on tower transactions and is ‘level headed’, ‘reasonable’ and ‘gets transactions done’. He recently advised American Tower Company on its €607m acquisition of FPS Towers from Antin Infrastructure Partners in France. Co-head Patrick Campbell has extensive experience in satellite matters. Campbell advised Wave Broadband on its $2.36bn sale to RCN Telecom Services and assisted Mitel Networks with its $530m purchase of ShoreTel. He also advised Oak Hill Capital Partners on the separate acquisitions of fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services providers Sovernet Communications and Oxford Networks, and assisted the client’s portfolio company, FirstLight Fiber, with its purchases of Finger Lakes Technologies and 186 Communications.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’ New York-based M&A team is ‘knowledgeable about both public company deals and the industry’. Howard Chatzinoff jointly heads the practice and has worked on transactions on behalf of broadcasting, cable, programming, and telecoms companies. Fellow practice head Michael Lubowitz is experienced in M&A and private equity transactions in this space, and recently advised Starz on its $4.4bn sale to Lions Gate Entertainment. M&A partner Frederick Green is co-chair of the transactions practice and worked with Straight Path Communications on its proposed $3.1bn sale to Verizon. Private equity specialist Harvey Eisenberg assisted SoftBank with its $3.3bn acquisition of Fortress Investment Group. Michael Aiello is also a key figure, with a strong skill-set in M&A and divestitures; notable work highlights of his included advising JP Morgan Securities and Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisers to AT&T in relation to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, assisting Scripps Networks with its $14.6bn merger with Discovery, and advising Media General on its $4.6bn sale to Nexstar Broadcasting.

Based in Washington DC, the team at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is highly active in communications deals and has a particular emphasis on advising financial institutions as underwriters and arrangers for transactions in this space. Managing partner Chérie Kiser heads the team and is particularly active in the fields of voice, video, internet and data communications. She recently advised Birch Communications on regulatory issues pertaining to its merger with Fusion Telecommunications International, and assisted Cable One with its $735m acquisition of NewWave Communications. She also worked with Polycom on its $2bn sale to Siris Capital Group and advised Deutsche Bank on its offering of $3bn-worth of notes to Dish Network. Angela Collins is also a key figure and has a particular strength in interconnection agreements for wireless, cable and VoIP clients.

Cooley LLP’s Washington DC-based practice is led by transactions specialist Michael Basile and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell and is a popular choice for transactions that require FCC approval. Kevin Mills is experienced handling M&A deals and buyouts in the media and communications space and, alongside Basile, advised Meredith on a proposed $2.4bn merger with Media General. Copyright and licensing expert David Wittenstein assisted Cox Communications with its acquisition of a majority interest in Unite Private Networks. Transactions specialist John Feore is also a key individual and recently advised Gray Television on in its acquisition of regional television stations.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice has a strong focus on cross-border transactions and its clients include the likes of T-Mobile and AT&T. Michael Senkowski jointly heads the practice and is an expert in telecoms mergers as well as regulatory counseling, spectrum allocation and wireless policy issues. He recently worked with OneWeb on its deployment of low orbit satellites across the globe. Nancy Victory also leads the practice and is highly skilled in transactional matters, especially involving telephony and wireless providers, satellite operators and submarine cable operators. She recently assisted Globecomm Systems with its sale to an investor group led by HPS Investment Partners and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, and she advised Verizon on its multi-step reorganization. Eric DeSilva is also a key figure, with a strong skill-set in wireless policy issues and spectrum auctions. John Beahn, who joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has extensive experience working with media companies and wireline and wireless service providers. Other additions included wireless and satellite specialist Edward Smith, principal Ira Keltz and associates Sean Robinson, Dana Zelman and Ian Forbes, all of whom joined from the FCC. All lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s team’s work is primarily composed of telecoms, satellite and space financings and transactions. Dara Panahy heads the DC practice and is an expert in satellite-related financing, M&A and restructuring. He recently advised OneWeb on its $1.2bn Series B equity financing and Space Norway on the development of its Arctic satellite system. He also assisted NetLink NBN Trust with its IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange and advised a consortium of banks as lead arrangers on the $3.5bn issuance of notes by Sprint which are backed by spectrum licenses. Another key highlight was assisting Asia Broadcast Satellite alongside its majority private equity shareholder, Permira, with the restructuring of its $471m debt facility to Export-Import Bank of the United States. Fellow satellite finance specialist Peter Nesgos is also a key figure, as is of counsel Philip Spector, who is also experienced in satellite- and communications-related matters.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provides a ‘very high-quality service’ and the team is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘very well informed about industry players and trends’. The practice is based in Washington DC, where practice head Andrew Lipman is known for his ‘business acumen’; he assisted Securus Technologies with its $1.7bn acquisition by Platinum Equity, and advised Cincinnati Bell on its $650m acquisition of Hawaiian Telcom. Russell Blau has strong transactional expertise, with a client roster that includes telecoms carriers, ISPs, equipment vendors and media companies. He recently advised Consolidated Communications on the regulatory aspects of the client’s $1.3 billion all-stock acquisition of FairPoint Communications, and assisted EQT AB with its acquisitions of fiber telecoms network operators Lumos and Spirit Communications. Catherine Wang has expertise in complex transactional regulatory matters, as well as wireless and spectrum issues. She recently assisted Zayo Group with its acquisitions of Electric Lightwave, AboveNet and 360 Networks. Other key figures include satellite specialist Timothy Bransford, William Wilhelm, who typically advises on online media and VoIP issues, and cross-border regulatory specialist Ulises Pin. Wang and Pin are ‘excellent’ and ‘work seamlessly together as a team and with their other colleagues’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles transactions and financings in this space, with work flowing from both the firm’s communications team and its corporate practice. Ivan Schlager leads the Washington DC team and recently assisted a major content company with its potential acquisition of a major television broadcast and content provider. Boston-based M&A partner Laura Knoll worked on the proposed purchase of Straight Path Communications. John Beahn joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Washington DC-based Wiley Rein LLP is known for its ‘in-depth knowledge of communications issues’ and ‘accuracy and expediency in the filing of documents’. Kathleen Kirby jointly heads the practice and is a popular choice for complex telecoms and media transactions. Kirby advised Alpha Media on its $264m acquisition of 116 radio stations from Digity Broadcasting, and assisted Emmis Communications with the $82.5m sale of its Los Angeles radio station and several Indiana-based stations for $5.2m. Ambassador David Gross also leads the practice and is an expert in international and domestic regulations. Jennifer Hindin is chair of the firm’s space and satellite group and is highly active in transactional matters. She assisted SoftBank with its acquisition of OneWeb/WorldVu satellites. Thomas Navin formerly worked as chief of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau and is particularly strong as FCC counsel on transactions. He recently worked with Neustar on its acquisition by Golden Gate Capital and GIC Private. John Burgett has a strong focus on regulatory issues surrounding investments and financings in this sector. Eve Reed is experienced in transactional and regulatory matters, and advised Nexstar Broadcasting Group on its merger with Media General. Richard Bodorff is also a key figure and is highly knowledgeable of the FCC regulations facing broadcasting companies. Senior counsel David Hilliard regularly advises on spectrum allocation issues and FCC enforcement issues. Transactional attorney Jerita Salley has strong expertise in broadcasting and telecoms matters. All attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Arent Fox LLP’s Washington DC-based practice is experienced in transactional agreements involving telecoms carriers, wireless service providers, cable companies and mobile content providers. Alan Fishel heads the communications, technology and mobile practice and is a transactional specialist. Stephanie Joyce acted as transactional counsel to DecisionQ, advising on a number of transactions and licensing agreements. Regulatory expert Jeffrey Rummel is also a key figure.

Dentons has expertise in transactions relating to telecoms, ISPs, software and application developers and broadcasters. The bulk of the team is based in its Washington DC office, although additional support comes from New Jersey and Atlanta. Former engineer Todd Daubert leads the communications and technology practice. He recently advised XO Communications on its asset purchase agreement with Verizon, as well as its spectrum lease agreement with NextLink Wireless. New Jersey-based Victor Boyajian and Ilan Katz, who both specialize in venture technology, assisted Operative Media with its $200m sale to SintecMedia. John Cleary, who is also based in New Jersey, advised Zype on its financing from Runa Capital.

Proskauer Rose LLP works on transactions involving traditional and digital broadcasting platforms, and its clients include broadcasting companies, private equity houses and sports associations. Practice co-head Robert Freeman has extensive experience in media and entertainment-related transactions, and recently assisted Hulu with the launch of its live television service as well as assisted Discovery Communications with its $100m minority investment in Group Nine Media. He also handled fuboTV’s contentment distribution agreement with the New England Sports Network. Fellow practice head Jeffrey Neuberger focuses on transactions in the technology, media and advertising sectors. Corporate partner Gary Creem advised Bain Capital Credit on its portfolio company Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette’s acquisition of the stations KADN-TV and KLAF-LD from Nexstar Broadcasting. Fellow corporate partner Ori Solomon assisted Adams Street Partners with its co-investment in DB US Data Center Holdings. Senior counsel Paresh Trivedi is also a key figure and has notable expertise in broadcasting and communications transactions.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s practice is based in Washington DC and has worked on transactions in the fields of cable, fiber optic infrastructure, satellite, technology and social media. Practice head Brian Weimer is an expert in satellite matters; he recently advised OneWeb on commercial and launch agreements, assisted Global Eagle Entertainment with acquiring an inclined-orbit satellite from a satellite operator, and advised Astra Capital Management on its purchase Alpheus Communications. The firm advised Charter Communications on the compliance aspects of its merger with Time Warner and on the purchase of cable systems from Bright House Networks.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is ‘excellent across the board’ with ‘deep expertise’ in M&A and possesses ‘outstanding industry knowledge of telecoms and satellite’. Practice head Markham Erickson is noted for advising market participants on the implications of proposed mergers within the industry; he has recently advised Netflix on the proposed mergers of AT&T and DirecTV as well as AT&T and Time Warner, and advised INCOMPAS on the proposed merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. Pantelis Michalopoulos is experienced in both wireless and satellite matters, and recently advised Dish Network on opposing the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger.

Washington DC-based Telecommunications Law Professionals has expertise in M&A, contracts and financings and a client roster that includes General Communications and the American Tower Corporation. Carl Northrop heads the practice and is skilled in M&A, equipment contracts as well as debt and equity placements. He recently advised PRWireless on a joint venture arrangement with Sprint. Other key figures include Michael Lazarus, who has expertise in the regulatory and antitrust aspects of transactions, spectrum auctions specialist Ash Johnston, and broadcasting specialist Dennis Corbett.

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