Managing Partner: Mark A Grannis
Number of partners: 21
Number of lawyers: 29
Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (“HWG”) is one of the premier communications, information technology, and litigation law firms in North America. The firm’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, investors, individuals, and other organizations. As former senior government officials, federal prosecutors, Congressional staff, and experienced litigators, HWG lawyers advise their clients on how decision makers think, how legal and political institutions work in the real world, and how those institutions can affect a transaction or business plan.
Main Areas of Practice:
Communications & Internet: Regulation & Licensing: HWG’s communications, Internet, and technology practice—ranked in Band One by Chambers USA—is home to legal, policy, and engineering experts in virtually every area of communications and technology law, and has played a major role in shaping US regulation in these areas. HWG represents carriers, equipment providers, software companies, ISPs, telecommunications users, undersea cable operators, satellite providers, media companies, and investors. The firm assists its clients in regulatory, licensing, and enforcement proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), State Department, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and other US and foreign government agencies on the full range of communications and technology regulatory issues, including wireline, wireless, roaming, satellite, and spectrum regulation; media (including satellite and cable); Internet and VoIP regulation; and accessibility rules.
Communications & Internet: Mergers, Acquisitions & Financing: Transactions are central to HWG’s communications practice. The firm assists large and small entities seeking FCC approval of transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions; transfers of wireline, wireless, broadcast, or satellite licenses; and spectrum leasing. It also supports client financing activities. Recent representations include: General Communication, Inc. in the establishment of its wireless joint venture with Alaska Communications Systems Group; DIRECTV in its offering of senior notes and the establishment of a revolving credit facility; Tyco International in its spin-off of ADT Corporation and the reorganization of its security business; NEATT Wireless in its sale of spectrum to AT&T; and ABRY Partners in its sale of Atlantic Broadband.
International Trade, Investment, & National Security: HWG’s renowned international trade, investment, and national security practice assists telecommunications, technology, and defense businesses with legal and policy issues arising from foreign direct investment, cross-border infrastructure, and export and cross-border services transactions. HWG counsels and represents clients to: obtain investment clearances from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); negotiate network security agreements with the “Team Telecom” agencies; comply with US wiretapping and surveillance laws; comply with and obtain licenses under US economic sanctions and export controls (including those of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls); and comply with Defense Security Service industrial security rules. HWG represents companies before the US Trade Representative and Department of State in WTO matters, market access and investor-state disputes, and bilateral and regional trade negotiations. HWG represents companies in public international law matters, particularly those involving jurisdictional disputes among sovereign states and the law of the sea, particularly as it relates to undersea cables and satellite services.
Litigation: Supreme Court & Appellate: HWG attorneys brief and argue a wide variety of cases in the Supreme Court, including cases involving antitrust, communications law, employee benefits, torts, and criminal law. In the federal courts of appeals, HWG attorneys are involved in many of the most consequential cases in communications law each year, as well as a broad array of appeals in other substantive areas. This breadth of experience permits HW&G to preserve victories at administrative agencies and trial courts, and to challenge adverse decisions. Cases argued by HWG attorneys in 2013 include a landmark victory in a complex abstention case in the Supreme Court, a victory on behalf of a foreign sovereign in the DC Circuit in a Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act case, and a victory on behalf of cable subscribers in a Fourth Circuit case involving the validity of an exclusive service contract that also presented a plethora of administrative law issues including standing, mootness, and ripeness.
Litigation: White Collar, Civil, Criminal, & Government Investigations: HWG represents companies and individuals in civil litigation and government investigations before federal courts, state courts, arbitrators, and administrative tribunals. Led by Thomas Connolly, a former federal prosecutor, and widely recognized as one of the leading trial lawyers in Washington, DC, the firm’s trial litigation practice handles all stages of litigation, administrative investigations, and internal investigations—from formal discovery, to administrative investigations, through trial. Recent matters include representing Freddie Mac in relation to Justice Department investigations; defending foreign executives accused of tax, antitrust, and bribery crimes by the United States; defending a foreign government sued in federal court; asserting, defending, and protecting privacy rights; and, representing a wide range of communications companies in FCC enforcement actions and in investigations related to procurement, the Federal Universal Service Fund, E-Rate, and consumer billing practices.
Areas of Practice
Communications & Internet: Mergers, Acquisitions & Financing
Communications & Internet: Regulation & Licensing
International Trade, Investment, & National Security
Litigation: Supreme Court & Appellate
Litigation:White Collar, Civil, Criminal, & Government Investigations