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Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

Washington, DC

Wiltshire & Grannis LLP - Washington, DC
  • 1200 Eighteenth Street, NW
  • 12th Floor
  • Washington, DC
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20036-2560
  • Managing Partner: Mark A Grannis
  • Number of partners: 20
  • Number of lawyers: 29
  • Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish

Firm Overview: Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (“W&G”) 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,W&G 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:
W&G’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. W&G represents carriers, equipment providers, software companies, ISPs, telecommunications users, undersea cable operators, satellite providers,media companies, and investors. The firmassists 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, 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 W&G’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 establishment of its wireless joint venture with Alaska Communications Systems Group; DIRECTV in its offering of senior notes and establishment of a revolving credit facility; Tyco International in its spinoff of ADT Corporation and 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: W&G’s renowned international trade and investment practice assists clients in obtaining investment and national security-related approvals from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the “Team Telecom” agencies, the Defence Security Service, and in complying with US wiretapping and surveillance laws. Recent representations include: TE Connectivity in its acquisition of Deutsch Group, and Level 3 in its acquisition of Global Crossing. W&G counsels clients and assists them in obtaining transaction approvals under US and multilateral economic sanctions and export controls, and has recently assisted clients in obtaining licenses for transactions with Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria. W&G represents companies before the US Trade Representative and foreign governments in WTOmatters, market access disputes, and bilateral and regional trade negotiations, with a particular focus on China, India, Indonesia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Litigation: Supreme Court & Appellate: W&G 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, W&G 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 W&G to preserve victories at administrative agencies and trial courts, and to challenge adverse decisions. Recent matters include representing webcasters in a constitutional challenge to the Copyright Royalty Board in the DC Circuit and the Supreme Court; a foreign government in a Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act case in the DC Circuit and Supreme Court; and major telecommunications companies in the Supreme Court and various courts of appeals. W&G also filed amicus briefs on behalf of the leaders of the Democratic Party in health care cases decided by the Supreme Court in 2012, and more recently has filed amicus briefs in the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court in bankruptcy cases.
Litigation: White Collar, Civil, Criminal, & Government Investigations: W&G represents large 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 sovereign 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


Telecommunications - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This practice receives widespread praise for its technical understanding and acts for some of the world's biggest technology brands, including Google, which the team advises on a variety of FCC and international regulatory issues. Other clients include local and international telecom names such as Sorenson Communications, Level 3 Communications and Sprint Nextel. Of late, the team advised General Communications on the overhaul of two FCC subsidy programs, negotiating a more favorable treatment for its client and its fellow Alaska-based carriers.

Sources say: "Top-flight service - I rate the firm very highly." "A very strong knowledge of the telecommunication rules and laws in the US." "One of the best firms - they are thoughtful and strategic, and produce high-quality work product."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are highly impressed by John Nakahata, lauding his understanding not only of telecom regulation but also of the systems and technologies used by telecom clients.

Christopher Wright achieved a major victory in a dispute over the FCC's Phoenix Forbearance Order, which established a more stringent test for dominance in the telecom sector. When the order was challenged by Qwest, AT&T and Verizon, Wiltshire & Grannis acted for the 16 entities who intervened on behalf of the FCC, and the FCC's decision was ultimately upheld by a Tenth Circuit ruling.

Clients value Paul Margie's dedication to their interests, commending him as "a very intelligent attorney with good political instincts, who works hard to press his client’s case." Further praise alludes to his combination of the "practical and scholarly," and to his ability to pick up and master complex technical concepts.

William Wiltshire's long experience in this field includes roles at the FCC, as well as private practice work as an adviser and as an advocate. He advised DIRECTV on the FCC's sunset review of legislation prohibiting cable operators from being granted exclusive carriage rights.