Practice/Industry Group Overview
With the rapid development of the competitive telecommunications industry, opportunities for telecommunications providers and affiliated businesses have never been greater. Husch Blackwell can assist firms and individuals engaged in the telecommunications industry in a broad array of services, such as providing strategic corporate and regulatory representation, developing and executing legislative strategies, and providing transactional and litigation services. This group also includes the former Director of External Tax Policy for Sprint Nextel Corporation who works with our attorneys on tax and governmental affair concerns.
Our wide range of experience provides a variety of services to telecom companies, including:
- Participation in Federal Communications Commission or state utility Commission dockets dealing with issues of universal service, Section 271 entry (RBOC long distance service), number portability, calling plans, internet access and consumer complaints such as slamming or substandard service.
- Arbitration of interconnection agreements, as well as applications for approval of negotiated interconnection and resale agreements before state regulatory commissions.
- Certificate of service applications by interexchange or competitive local exchange companies (IXC’s or CLEC’s) to state commissions.
- Applications for the approval of competitive tariff filings for local, interexchange or other services.
- Develop and execute legislative strategies at the federal, state and local level on issues ranging from regulation to taxation.
- Coordinate and collaborate with key industry players on federal, state and local legislation
- Draft proposed legislation on issues affecting the industry or specific carriers
- Lobby in favor of or against proposed legislation affecting the industry or specific carriers.
- Develop and execute legislative strategies to resolve regulatory, tax and business issues facing the telecommunications industry, including drafting of legislation, lobbying, and testifying before House and Senate committees.
- Provide strategic advice on legislation.
- Work with industry coalitions to promote the industry’s legislative priorities.
- Complex mergers and other transactions for large multi-national companies, or acquisitions or sales for small or medium-sized businesses. Since 1995, we have handled over $6.9 billion in transactions where our clients bought or sold businesses of all sizes.
- Advice on strategic joint ventures and other transactions.
- Hostile takeover acquisitions, as well as the defense of hostile takeover attempts.
- Creative transaction structuring.
- Strategic advice in entity formation and structure, corporate reorganizations, and management of the entire spectrum of legal issues, from real estate, taxation, and human resources matters to commercial contracts and creditors’ rights.
Litigation and Conflict Resolution
- Currently lead counsel for a national telecommunications company in over 100 state and local tax lawsuits involving whether monopoly-era land line telephone tax ordinances can constitutionally be expanded to tax wireless telecommunications services. The cases include a class action and numerous tax refund lawsuits.
- Representation of parties in small and large commercial disputes, with an emphasis in utilizing mediation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution where appropriate.
- Extensive experience in civil litigation with favorable results before juries as well as bench trials. In both state and federal forums the firm has tried cases in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, California, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Florida, and other states.
- Recent representations include an arbitration proceeding between a major long distance carrier and a telemarketing firm, resulting in a $30.45 million award in favor of the firm’s client, and the mediation of several disputes regarding toll clearinghouse agreements.