Years of government, industry, and law firm service have shaped Michele Farquhar into an influential advisor, advocate, and thought leader for the technology, media, and telecoms industry.
Michele serves as the Managing Partner of our Washington, D.C. office. She helps clients with a range of global and U.S. communications policy initiatives, spectrum auctions, licensing and compliance matters, and regulatory strategy involving M&A transactions as well as litigation.
Michele obtains regulatory approvals, waivers, and other licenses for many new and cutting-edge technologies. And she leads teams advising major global companies on regulatory strategy issues involving a range of international jurisdictions. As a legal authority in her industry, she also speaks and writes extensively on a range of communications issues.
Michele joined the firm in 1997, after serving as Chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. While at the FCC, she led the agency’s new spectrum auction initiative and held primary responsibility over several major auctions and spectrum policy initiatives, as well as the bureau’s implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Previously, Michele served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She played a lead role in developing the administration’s positions on telecommunications reform as well as spectrum, international, electronic commerce, and other policy issues.
As Vice President for Law and Regulatory Policy at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, she gained industry knowledge and regulatory advocacy experience while representing cellular carriers on regulatory, policy, and legal issues before the FCC. Michele also served as senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and as the mass media advisor to two FCC general counsels.
Successfully led a coalition of wireless carriers and public interest groups in achieving interoperability for the 700 MHz spectrum band.
Obtained many pivotal FCC licenses, waivers, and Team Telecom approvals for new technologies, such as air-to- ground and positive train control.
Assisted wireless carriers and new entrants, including a major coalition of cable companies, in acquiring licenses in FCC spectrum auctions.
Successfully assisted clients in policy rulemaking proceedings, including drafting comments and meeting w/ FCC, FTC, NTIA, and Capitol Hill officials.
Assisted clients with the regulatory approval process for mergers and license transfers, including strategy, applications, and FCC and DOJ meetings.
Advise large global clients on telecom/tech licensing requirements in a range of international jurisdictions, and secured Team Telecom approvals.
Advised major clients and coalitions on litigation and regulatory strategy for key telecom and technology initiatives, including U.S. expansion.
Assisted clients with major compliance reviews and initiatives, as well as enforcement matters.
Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (District of Columbia), Rank 1, Chambers USA, 2006-2022
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Technology Transactions, Legal 500 US, 2016-2020
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional, Legal 500 US, 2010-2011, 2014-2020
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, Hall of Fame, Legal 500 US, 2020
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, Leading Lawyer, Legal 500 US, 2015-2019
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, Recommended, Legal 500 US, 2007-2014
Communications, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, 2008-2016
Washington, D.C. Administrative / Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America, 2018
Administrative/Regulatory Law, The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2018
Administrative Law, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
Top 50 Women, Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, 2015
ICFM 100 Leading Female Lawyers, InterContinental Finance Magazine, 2014
Regulatory Communications, Who’s Who Legal 100, 2013
Washington’s Top Lawyers: Telecoms, Washingtonian, 2009, 2011
Top Attorneys in Intellectual Property, Franchise and Dealership, Information Technology, Communications, and Civil Litigation Defense, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008
Communications and IT Section, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, 2006-2008
International Who’s Who of Regulatory Communications Lawyers, 2008
Distinguished Service Award, Federal Communications Bar Association, 1991, 2000
Duke University Alumni Service Award, 1992
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