Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has developed a reputation, both domestically and internationally, for its skill in advising clients in the telecommunications industry. We have represented a range of telecommunications providers (e.g., local exchange, interexchange, wireless), submarine cable system developers and operators, satellite operators, power line communications providers, telecommunications equipment providers and manufacturing companies, international foreign governmental entities, and users of telecommunications equipment and services. Our work for these clients has been broad-based and includes representation in mergers and acquisitions; financings; equity and debt offerings; general corporate and contractual matters; trademark, copyright, trade secrets and other intellectual property matters; antitrust; general litigation; rate, licensing and other regulatory proceedings; legislative work and international trade matters.
As highlighted below, the firm’s lawyers have experience with the telecommunications industry that extends to almost every legal discipline.
The firm has extensive experience in transactions involving the acquisition or sale of telecommunications and local exchange companies, telephone assets, earth stations, satellites, transmission facilities, software licenses, lasers, fiber-optic cables and systems, switches, and other types of equipment and telecommunications assets. We have completed the sale-lease back financing for significant telecommunications facilities. In addition, we have represented telecommunications clients in a variety of transactions — both domestically and internationally — including those involving significant corporate mergers and reorganizations, significant acquisitions, public and private equity and debt offerings, bankruptcy issues, sales and acquisitions of dealer and distribution assets including proprietary customer base, asset-based bank financings, a variety of dealer financing packages, and equipment lease financings.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has developed a worldwide reputation for its skill in advising clients in the telecommunications industry.
Subsea and terrestrial fiber optic cable systems are the backbone of digital communications, enabling the Internet to connect across continents and transporting the vast majority of the world’s data traffic. Particularly in recent years, the demand for bandwidth has grown exponentially with the increasing dependence of individuals, businesses, and governments on global connectivity. Never has the need for fast and reliable bandwidth been more evident than now, especially with the changing landscape resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic; even the most traditional of industries have moved their services online and directed employees to work remotely. The proliferation of virtual events, meetings, and celebrations, and a basic human desire to feel connected while being apart, has made this work more essential than ever.
We help our clients help make this connectivity possible. Our attorneys have been representing all types of telecommunications clients—and specifically in the submarine cable market—for over 30 years, including cable system developers and operators, telecommunications equipment and manufacturing companies, satellite operators, international foreign governmental entities, and users of telecom equipment and services. We have developed relationships with the key players in the industry, including the principal system suppliers. Many of our telecom attorneys work exclusively in this space, and have advised on the builds and development of some of the most significant and recognizable subsea systems around the world. We have assisted the leading companies in the industry with cable systems that land or originate in virtually every continent.
Our depth of knowledge in this cutting edge subject matter set us apart. Our clients have been on both the purchaser side and provider side, and are among the world’s largest subsea and terrestrial cable system developers and operators. We have decades of experience managing submarine cable systems matters, ranging from capacity purchase and lease transactions to the actual construction and licensing of fiber optic networks. Our work is broad-based and includes all aspects of the system build, development, and implementation, including system supply contracts, consortium joint build agreements, marine and terrestrial maintenance agreements, and a myriad of other project documents; fiber purchase (IRU and non-IRU) arrangements; all types of landing party arrangements; access and security agreements; and permitting and regulatory issues. We also often represent clients in money raises and project financing associated with the system build, as well in connection with ancillary matters, such as commercialization of the system, related real estate issues, tax structuring and analysis, and issues associated with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Our experience, solid teamwork, talent, and geographic reach enable us to provide tailored, actionable advice for each client in each matter. We have assembled a close-knit team that is completely devoted to working on the most state-of-the art, groundbreaking systems. This team is well rounded; we understand not just the development phase of these projects, but also the commercial side of the business, and we provide corresponding financial, investment, and M&A services. This team is also well respected; members have been recognized in publications including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 Latin America, The Best Lawyers in America, and Latin Lawyer magazine, to name a few. Clients benefit from the strength of our firm as a whole and the practices that tangentially relate to, yet complement, our core work, including real estate, tax, renewable energy, intellectual property, privacy and cybersecurity, and litigation.
The firm represents a broad array of clients on corporate and technology issues relevant to the telecommunications industry. This representation ranges from large providers of telecommunications services to technology users and developers. The firm has acted as outside general counsel and advisor and has provided issue- or deal-specific assistance.
Specifically, the firm has helped its clients with the following:
The firm has represented long distance providers and local exchange carriers in commercial disputes and bankruptcy cases involving major telecommunications providers, including representation of carriers in connection with adequate assurance issues, billing disputes, assumption and rejection issues, proofs of claim, claim objections and plan confirmation issues.
The firm’s lawyers have participated in proceedings arising under the national Telecommunications Act of 1996 in 30 states and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), litigating a set of unique substantive, procedural and legal issues. Specifically, the firm’s lawyers arbitrated numerous interconnection agreements and disputes arising pursuant to interconnection agreements, including disputes over intercarrier compensation. Moreover, the firm’s lawyers represented telecommunications providers in federal court appeals under the Act as well as proceedings designed to set wholesale rates and to define the terms and conditions related to collocation of equipment, provision of advanced services, service quality and performance assurance plans, and universal service.