Telecoms and broadcast: transactions in United States

DLA Piper LLP (US)

In Washington DC, DLA Piper LLP (US) covers the traditional telecoms and broadcast industry as well as emerging, tech-driven entities such as drones, connected cars, and IoT. Co-head Michael Senkowski is a renowned industry veteran and has acted as lead counsel on the industry-shaping merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Fellow co-head Nancy Victory acted alongside Senkowski in this matter. She is an eminent authority in the sector in her own right, with particular expertise in communications policy, FCC enforcement, and foreign ownership issues. The firm is known for its international expertise, with practitioners such as Michael Hazzard, who focuses on global communications, infrastructure, and software companies and recently led the team alongside Victory in a cross-border submarine cable transaction covering several jurisdictions, for HCL Limited Partnership. Associate Peter Shroyer was actively involved in the T-Mobile/Sprint transaction and regularly handles matters requiring FCC approval including spectrum auctions. The firm is expanding its satellite practice through experts such as Tony Lin, a February 2021 arrival from Hogan Lovells US LLP, who focuses on NewSpace companies and smallsat entrepreneurs. Other key members of the team include of counsel Andrew Sacks.

Other key lawyers:

Tony Lin; Michael Hazzard; Peter Shroyer; Andrew Sacks

Testimonials

‘There are few, if any, telecom practices that can match DLA Piper in terms of transactional experience. Michael Senkowski and Nancy Victory have handled most of the major telecom transactions of the last three decades, including T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint – which many critics said couldn’t be done.’

‘The DLA team combines extensive substantive knowledge, in-depth technical expertise, and astute political savvy. They are creative, clever and tireless. Plus, they are the most responsive attorneys I have ever encountered.’

‘Nancy Victory is a lawyer’s lawyer. You can rest assured that every element of the deal will be flyspecked and every potential question from regulators anticipated. She is highly organized, meticulous, and able to manage multiple teams and workstreams for prompt delivery of work product that is both outstanding and responsive.’

‘I have long-standing relationship with Michael Hazzard. He’s been my legal advisor in telecom matters for several years. I deeply trust him and the firm that backs him up. Mike, and the DLA team, distill the complexities of telecom law and policy to provide the counsel I need to make decisions and help me execute on agreements to move my business forward.’

‘The US telecom market and governing laws are complex. Experience is important. Michael Senkowski, and the team at DLA, have a long history in this market that they draw upon to help resolve problems. They know their subject matter and the people in the industry that shape future policy. I have found the team to be extremely knowledgeable and efficient in helping me get to resolutions.’

‘They have extensive experience with navigating federal and state regulatory approvals for the most complicated transactions in the industry’s history. The quality of their advice and written work is unsurpassed, and they know how to communicate effectively with all constituencies, from business clients, to in-house lawyers, to co-counsel, and to government regulators.’

‘The team is hands down outstanding – they have such a robust platform that enables us to have access to the BEST person to solve our need or challenge usually within 24-48 hours. These are not just experts but the top folks in the world – I have been blown away at how quickly I can have something solved and how succinctly.’

‘Michael Senkowski is the nations best telecom expert and someone who has a wealth of knowledge re our industry and how to most properly execute our core strategies to maximum efficacy. It is rare to count an attorney as a partner but I can honestly say I consider them both a part of our firm to the point where I included them on executive communications.’

Key clients

Deutsche Telekom AG

T-Mobile US, Inc.

Polhem Infra KB

Globalstar

Twilio Inc.

WorldVu dba OneWeb

InstarAFG Asset Management Inc.

Peerless Network, Inc.

LS Network

Harrison Street Real Estate

Kaleyra, Inc.

Planet Labs Inc.

Momentus, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing T-Mobile in its merger with Sprint.
  • Advised Polhem Infra KB, a Scandinavian investment firm founded by the Swedish National Pension Funds, in its acquisition of Telia Carriers.
  • Advising Peerless Network, Inc. in a proposed sale to Infobip, a Croatian IT and Telecommunications company.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

With a dedicated telecoms transactions team closely supported by the firm’s regulatory practice, Hogan Lovells US LLP handles key mandates both on the domestic and foreign level, with Washington DC leading all operations. Based in Northern Virginia and offering extensive multi-jurisdictional experience, Randy Segal co-heads the space & satellite practice and advises companies on transactions involving innovative technologies. In the past year, she has led the team in advising Columbia Capital and its portfolio companies in their dealings with FCC spectrum auctions, development of 3D GPS communications systems, and global hybrid satellite-terrestrial networks. Back in Washington DC Steven Kaufman co-heads the space & satellite practice together with Segal, advising clients on joint ventures, financings, and M&A. Head of the firm’s global technology and telecoms industry sector group Mark Brennan is an expert on international telecoms and internet law, counselling clients such as Advance Publications on cutting-edge issues on the intersection of telecoms and technology. The firm’s communications, internet, and media practice is lead by Ari Fitzgerald , a regulatory powerhouse who advises communications network operators, manufacturers, industry associations, and investors on communications and spectrum policy matters and strategy. Counsel Arpan Sura is active in relation to spectrum policy proceedings and advises on the intersection of consumer protection and telecoms. They welcome senior counsel Gerry Oberst back to the Washington DC office, a seasoned advisor on issues pertaining to satellite, broadcast, and technology issues. Tony Lin has departed. 

Practice head(s):

Randy Segal; Steven Kaufman; Ari Fitzgerald; Mark Brennan

Other key lawyers:

Arpan Sura; Michele Farquhar; George Hanbury; Keith Flaum Gabrielle Witt; George John; Tony Brown; Gerry Oberst

Key clients

Columbia Capital

T-Mobile

GE

Vodafone

CBS

Spotify

Sprint

ABC

CNN

Lockheed Martin

Daimler/Mercedes-Benz

SNR Wireless

KBR, Inc.

Dell

MSD Capital

Fox Corporation

Honeywell

Airbus

Orbit Fab, Inc.

BeamTrail

Firefly Aerospace

General Atomics

Advance Publishing

HawkEye 360

Barings LLC

Mynaric

Inspiration 4

Isotropic

Space Flight

Google

NextNav

OVH Group

SES

Gogo

Omnispace

Melody Investment Advisers

Melody Capital

Bell Canada

PTC 220

Aireon

TerraPact

Dun & Bradstreet

CTIA – The Wireless Association

The Walt Disney Company

ACA International

Navient

LiveVox

United Healthcare

TCN

Cisco

RFD-TV

Union Pacific/Norfolk Southern consortium

AAR

Southern Linc

MAXIMUS

Spirit Aerosystems

Spire

ISAR Aerospace

Hedron/Analytical Space

Kleos

Beca Group

Work highlights

  • Represented NextNav in its business combination with SPAC Spartacus Acquisition Corporation.
  • Advised American Robotics, Inc. on its $70m acquisition by Ondas Holdings Inc.
  • Assisted Melody Capital on its sale to Diamond Communications.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

With a team covering transactions pertaining to wireless, semiconductors, and cable both on the surface as well as submarine, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP covers the whole of the traditional telecoms and broadcast industry, both in the US and cross-border transactions. Robert Townsend III leads the practice from New York, focusing his expertise on M&A and corporate governance. He is representing Hawaiian Telecom Holdco Inc. in the $50m acquisition of inter-island submarine and middle-mile terrestrial fiber infrastructure assets owned by the bankruptcy estate of Paniolo Cable Company, LLC. A highly active part of Townsend’s team and involved in the firm’s recent most outstanding matters is Andrew Elken , another specialist in M&A and corporate governance as well as general corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Townsend III

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Elken

Key clients

Bharti

Cable One

CommScope

Crown Castle

CyrusOne

Deutsche Telekom

Hawaiian Telcom

QUALCOMM

Rogers Communications

The Walt Disney Company

Univision

Work highlights

  • Represented Cable One in its $2.2 billion acquisition of Hargray Communications.
  • Representing Deutsche Telekom in the pending $4.894 billion agreement with SoftBank to increase DT’s ownership stake in T-Mobile US.
  • Representing Rogers Communications in its pending C$26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP covers M&A and investments in the telecoms and broadcast space with a particular focus on the satellite and broadcast sectors. Clients additionally benefit from the firm’s dedicated technology and IP transactions practice that works as an integral part of the broader team. Michael Aiello leads the team, an experienced corporate practitioner- he recently led the team out of New York in representation of SiriusXM in the acquisition of Stitcher and 99% Invisible Inc. Co-head of the transactions practice Frederick Green , also based in New York, worked alongside Aiello in this matter, and focuses his practice on corporate and securities law.  Another such expert is Brian Gingold who heads the real assets practice. Gingold is based in New York and in a recent highlight advised AMP Capital Investors in its acquisition of ITS ConGlobal. Howard Chatzinoff has retired from the firm.

Practice head(s):

Michael Aiello

Other key lawyers:

Frederick Green; Brian Gingold

Key clients

AMP Capital

Antin Infrastructure

Apollo Infrastructure

Berkshire Partners

Blackstone

Fiera Infrastructure

Genstar Capital

GI Partners

Infinite Electronics, Inc.

Lee Equity Partners

Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Providence Equity Partners

PSG

PSP Investments

SiriusXM

Speedcast International Limited

TCV

Thryv Holdings, Inc.

TPG Tech Adjacencies

Trive Capital

Vonage Holdings

AMP Capital

Antin Infrastructure

Apollo Infrastructure

Berkshire Partners

Blackstone

Fiera Infrastructure

Genstar Capital

GI Partners

Infinite Electronics, Inc.

Lee Equity Partners

Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Providence Equity Partners

PSG

PSP Investments

SiriusXM

Speedcast International Limited

TCV

Thryv Holdings, Inc.

TPG Tech Adjacencies

Trive Capital

Vonage Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Apollo Infrastructure in its acquisition of Lendlease (US) Telecom Holdings LLC (n/k/a Parallel Infrastructure).
  • Advising Vonage Holdings Corp., a provider of cloud-based unified communications and other IP services in the business market, in its pending $6.2 billion sale to Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) (Sweden), a developer and manufacturer of network equipment and software and provider of services for network and business operations.
  • Advised Fiera Infrastructure, together with APG Group, in the acquisition of the equity interests not already owned by Fiera in Conterra Networks.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in Washington DC is a powerhouse in financing transactions in the telecoms sector, evidenced by a large list of banks relying on the firm for complex transactions in the industry. Practice head Chérie Kiser  has additionally represented several key players in the sector  including Cable One. Kiser works closely with counsel Angela Collins who represents companies operating in the space in negotiations, regulatory compliance, and litigation. Recently the two have handled several complex transactions for Consolidated Communications Inc. 

Practice head(s):

Chérie Kiser

Other key lawyers:

Angela Collins

Testimonials

‘Cherie Kiser’s depth of knowledge and experience in telecom and broadcast surpasses the competitors. This coupled with her exceptional communication and negotiation skills brings a tremendous amount of value to her clients. Whether she is communicating with governmental agencies, negotiating contracts, or conveying complex information to her clients, she does so in a clear concise manner. I have the utmost confidence in Ms. Kiser.’

Key clients

Cable One, Inc.

Morgan Stanley

BofA Securities

JPMorgan Securities

Deutsche Bank Securities

Citigroup Global Markets

Credit Suisse Securities

Mizuho Securities USA

Wells Fargo Securities

BNP Paribas

SMBC Nikko Securities America

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Clients come to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for matters of high strategic significance, evidenced by the firm’s leading role in the acquisition of WarnerMedia by Discovery. Based in New York, practice co-head Michael Gillespie has an international reach, he advises company boards and investors on their activities around the globe. Alongside Gillespie in New York, co-head Jonathan Levitsky is a specialist in public and private mergers and joint ventures who led the team in their representation of Discovery. In San Francisco, co-head Michael Diz has a broad transactional practice, complemented by his additional expertise in advising on corporate governance and fiduciary duties.

Practice head(s):

Michael Diz; Michael Gillespie; Jonathan Levitsky

Key clients

Discovery, Inc.

Liberty Broadband

Verizon Communications

Syniverse

Brigade Capital Management, LP

Elliott Management

Gogo, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Discovery, Incmin its acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T Inc.
  • Advised the special committee of Liberty Broadband Corporation in connection with Liberty Broadband’s acquisition of GCI Liberty, Inc.
  • Advising Verizon Communications Inc. in its $6.25 billion acquisition of Tracfone.

Paul Hastings LLP

With the support of a strong regulatory practice, the Washington DC-based team at Paul Hastings LLP handles complex transactions such as the representation of Cox Communications Inc. before the FCC during 5G spectrum auctions. Former chief counsel to the chairman of the FCC and practice head Sherrese Smith additionally represents large players in the industry, such as Walt Disney Company and Fox Corporation. Her team also benefits from the expertise of John Gasparini, a specialist in M&A and foreign investment review who also counsels clients on regulatory matters pertaining to satellites, spectrum management, wireline broadband, and wireless infrastructure matters.

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.’

‘Ability to blend FCC regulatory expertise with an understanding of how deals are crafted and completed.’

‘Sherrese Smith combines deep insight into the FCC and a real-world understanding of inhouse needs and business thinking.’

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

  • Advised Aspect Software on regulatory aspects of its merger with Noble Systems, Inc. and subsequent merger to become Alvaria.
  • Represented Euclid Transactional in its role as representations and warranties insurance underwriter for the acquisition of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group by Gray Television, Inc.
  • Advised 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.

Wiley Rein LLP

As experts in regulatory-driven transactions, the Washington DC-based team at Wiley Rein LLP situated in Washington DC counsels both companies and financial investors operating in telecoms and broadcast, as well as ‘new media’ clients on all aspects of the practice area. Co-head Kathleen Kirby has extensive experience in complex M&A transactions and the structuring of domestic and foreign funds. Kirby leads together with co-head David Gross, an expert on international telecoms issues. Their team’s strength has recently been bolstered with the  May arrivals of Charles McKee from Sprint and former general counsel of the FCC, Thomas M. Johnson, Jr. while Scott Wilkens has departed the firm.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Kirby; David Gross

Other key lawyers:

Eve Reed; Jerita Salley; Jessica Rosenthal; Ari Meltzer; Joan Stewart; Charles McKee; Thomas M. Johnson Jr.

Testimonials

‘The Wiley team is simply the best broadcast radio and television practice in the United States, combining core broadcast expertise with the breadth to provide a full scope of services for their clients.’

‘Wiley has a uniquely high level of expertise in federal regulatory issues. They offer a combination of highly skilled generalists who can tackle unique and novel legal issues and highly experienced specialists who can answer questions and get to the root of issues in their areas of expertise without a lot of expensive legwork.’

‘Wiley is widely recognized as the best communications and media law practice group in D.C. They have a strong lineup of senior partners and attract the best up-and-coming new additions.’

‘Ari Meltzer has been my “go to” person on communications and media matters for almost 20 years. He is smart, well connected and has an incredible work ethic.’

‘Always leaders in the FCC field for cutting edge knowledge and effectiveness.’

‘Kathy Kirby — Doyenne of the FCC bar. Thoughtful, experienced, insightful and unflappable. Ari Meltzer — a rising star of the bar, deep experience, cutting edge and innovative in his approach.’

‘Customized service to my organization’s specific needs.’

‘Kathleen Kirby has deep knowledge of our organization and all of the pertinent laws and regulations relevant to our industry. I particularly appreciate her extensive personal, and personalized attention, to our needs and concerns.’

Key clients

Alpha Media

ViacomCBS

Estrella Media

Gray Television

iHeartMedia

National Association of Broadcasters

New York Public Radio

Nexstar Media Group

Radio Television Digital News Association

Salem Media Group

Work highlights

  • Advised iHeartMedia on new regulatory approvals after it attracted new foreign investment in its emergence from bankruptcy.
  • Advised both parties on the merger of CBS and Viacom, valued at $30bn.
  • Advising the National Association of Broadcasters on various regulatory matters.

Arnold & Porter

A go-to firm for major clients such as AT&T in Washington DC, Arnold & Porter guides its clients through the regulatory maze which accompanies their most complex transactions. Maureen Jeffreys chairs the practice and is a specialist in regulatory compliance who represents companies before the FCC and NTIA. Alongside Jeffreys, Peter Schildkraut co-leads the team, a specialist in rulemaking and administrative litigation he counsels clients on spectrum use and broadband matters.

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

  • Represented AT&T and WarnerMedia as regulatory counsel in WarnerMedia and Discovery’s combination to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company, Warner Bros. Discovery.
  • Advised AT&T on FCC, state and local regulatory matters related to its spinoff of its DirecTV business to form a new company, co-owned with TPG Capital.
  • Represented AT&T as regulatory counsel in the sale of digital entertainment services company Vrio Corp. to Latin American holding company Grupo Werthein.

Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie LLPComparative Guides promotional icon has carved out its niche in Washington DC within the broader telecoms and broadcast market by focusing its expertise on representing hi-tech companies operating in this space. The practice is led by Marc Martin, who structures agreements around technology like mobile applications and distribution platforms and recently headed the team in representation of Google in a matter pertaining to city cable and franchise fees. Stephanie Roy provides counsel both on the domestic and global level, advising clients like Facebook on issues of satellite, fiber, and terrestrial wireless. Eric Greenberg departed the firm in August 2021 for an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

Marc Martin

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Roy

Key clients

Microsoft

Facebook

Facebook Technologies

Fox Corporation

Amazon

Breville

Deerfield Media

Alliant Energy

Sprint Corporation/T-Mobile

CenturyLink

Work highlights

  • Advised Sprint Corporation and T-Mobile on the implementation and interpretation of a regulated services contract.
  • Acting as regulatory counsel to Facebook, Inc. on global connectivity and telecoms partnership programs.
  • Advising Alliant Energy on several transactions regarding FCC spectrum proceedings and initiatives.

Proskauer Rose LLP

The telecoms & broadcast team of Proskauer Rose LLP position themselves at the forefront of digital distribution, handling matters pertaining to traditional internet platforms and emerging OTT services such as Hulu, AMC Networks, and fuboTV and recently advised on industry-shaping M&A  for Discovery and ForgeLight. Headquartered in New York, the practice is led by Lauren Boglivi, Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks, Robert Freeman, and Jeffrey Neuburger. Will Chuchawat is an active dealmaker within the team, while Vishnu Shankar joined from Sidley Austin LLP in April 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Wai Choy

Key clients

Altice USA

AMC Networks

Bain Capital

Castlelake

Comtech Telecommunications

Cox Communications

Digicel

Discovery

DISH Network

Fan Controlled Football League

ForgeLight LLC

fuboTV

Hearst Magazines

Hulu

iHeartMedia

Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee (LA 2028)

Minute Media

Major League Soccer

National Basketball Association

National Football League

Rádio e Televisão Bandeirantes

Shamrock Capital Advisors

Spectrum (Charter Communications)

Tegna

The Ivy League

United States Golf Association

Urban One

Work highlights

  • Advised Discovery in its agreement with AT&T to combine Discovery with AT&T’s WarnerMedia assets and in the sale of the Great American Country Network to GAC Media.
  • Represented Hulu in negotiating new distribution agreements with ViacomCBS
  • Represented ForgeLight LLC in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in Univision Holdings, Inc.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

As specialists in cable and satellite matters, the Washington DC-based team of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is a go-to counsel for OneWeb, who alongside the firm’s other clients additionally benefits from the practice’s close relationship and integration of the firm’s litigation practice. Practice head Brian Weimer  is an authority on matters pertaining to the satellite and wireless industries leads the team in representation of OneWeb. His colleague Drew Svor focuses on M&A and matters before the ‘Team Telecom’ government agencies in representing satellite and wireless companies. While Ray Rutngamlug  has left the practice to work in-house, Stephen Chernow has joined the firm as special counsel, having previously worked in senior in-house positions in the telecoms sector.

Practice head(s):

Brian Weimer

Other key lawyers:

Drew Svor; Stephen Chernow

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. with respect to the FCC’s efforts to convert the “C-Band spectrum” from satellite to terrestrial use.
  • Advising OneWeb on FCC and international regulatory matters to OneWeb.
  • 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.

Telecommunications Law Professionals

Experts in all sectors of the telecoms and broadcast industry, the Washington DC-based team at Telecommunications Law Professionals are specialists in advising clients on the regulatory aspects of complex transactions. Carl W. Northrop is a founding member with a longstanding reputation in the field, both in contractual negotiations and litigation. Alongside him works managing member Michael Lazarus who focuses his expertise on roaming agreements with wireless carriers. Their team includes Jessica Gyllstrom, an expert on contracts pertaining to submarine and fiber optic cable systems. Dennis Corbett further bolsters the firm’s expertise with his extensive experience in litigating telecoms matters. Additionally, Gregg Skall advises real estate developers on acquisitions of broadband and local exchange telecoms services. 

Practice head(s):

Michael Lazarus; Carl W. Northrop

Other key lawyers:

Dennis Corbett; Gregg Skall; Jessica Gyllstrom

Testimonials

The team at Telecommunications Law Professionals PLLC have an exceptional business sense, in addition to the great legal knowledge in the telecommunications law specialty. The service is also excellent, responding promptly to all requests.’

‘Carl Northrop’s work stands out. He is a true leader for his team and a trusted advisor to me.’

 

Key clients

GCI Communications Corp./The Alaska Wireless Network

AST & Science

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

American Tower Corporation

Ramar, Inc.

Heritage Broadcasting of Michigan

Adams Radio Group

Cool Radio, LLC

Northern Lights Broadcasting

Rubin Broadcasting

Work highlights

  • Advising GCI Communications Corp on diverse business issues pertaining to the wireless services and other facilities of the largest telecommunications service provider in Alaska, including the negotiation and documentation of a significant wholesale agreement as well as multiple significant IRU agreements.
  • Advised Ramar Communications, Inc. on the FCC aspects of Ramar’s sale to various Telemundo entities, including NBC Telemundo License LLC, of multiple television stations in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe market.