In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed the Telecommunications Act. Around this time, development of the wireless communications industry was also intensifying. At Phillips Lytle, we realized that the deregulation of old monopolies, coupled with the dawn of new technologies, would create a flood of new competitors, investors, suppliers and regulatory issues. We decided to mobilize our attorneys, pooling from a cross section of practice areas. In doing so, we created one of today’s most comprehensive telecommunications practice.
Today, Phillips Lytle’s Telecommunications attorneys represent some of the world’s largest companies, regional providers, large and small site owners and managers, as well as lenders and investors across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Our clients include wireless carriers, tower owners, developers, property owners and lenders. We are also positioned to represent investors and operators of emerging broadband and WiMax technologies.
By assembling a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys, we are able to offer clients a full menu of services that can take ventures from inception to profitability. Our representation includes:
- Transactional and litigation matters
- Zoning and land use issues for wireless telecommunications carriers, tower owners and developers
- Local and national site leasing work for carriers, property owners and property managers including development of alternative network infrastructures, e.g., Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)
- Interconnection contracts for local exchange carriers
- Custom network service agreements for business customers
- Negotiation of private and municipal cable television franchises
- Access and service agreements
- Cable piracy and franchise disputes for cable operators
- Pole attachment matters
Phillips Lytle has extensive experience with respect to telecommunications real estate matters, including:
- Negotiation of scores of master agreements
- Negotiation of thousands of single-site lease agreements
- Negotiation of numerous build-to-suit agreements
- Easements and rights-of-way
- Commercial real estate property sales and acquisitions
- Eminent domain
- Environmental matters
- In rem tax and mortgage foreclosures
- Mechanics’ liens
- Real property tax assessment challenges
Phillips Lytle has one of the leading Land Use & Zoning practices in New York. Our attorneys have appeared before hundreds of agencies across the state for important land use approval and litigation matters. Our attorneys have also successfully obtained land use approvals in nearly two-thirds of the municipalities across New York State.
With clients that range from local business owners and developers to Fortune 50 companies, we expedite complex and controversial development matters involving permits and approvals from various regulatory agencies. We do it by emphasizing:
- An integrated team approach that coordinates the roles and responsibilities of clients, consultants, contractors and other professionals
- Simultaneous review and processing of applications by various regulatory authorities
- Open lines of communication with the community in order to minimize local opposition
We assist our clients with:
- Site plan reviews; special, restricted and conditional use permits; area and use variances; rezonings; and subdivisions
- Coordination of zoning reviews with Environmental Impact Reviews pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
- Cultural resource reviews in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office
- Wetland permitting in consultation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The attorneys in our Banking & Financial Services Group are experienced in structuring, negotiating and closing complex transactions on behalf of borrowers and lenders. Our Venture Capital Team is comprised of multi-disciplinary attorneys who provide expertise in intellectual property, licensing, sales, distribution and other commercial arrangements, employment and executive compensation, credit arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions.
Our Tax attorneys possess a commanding knowledge of federal, state and local tax laws including those involving sales tax issues and assessments. They advise our clients on mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, limited-liability companies, real property tax issues, executive compensation and employee benefits. They also have substantial tax litigation experience representing domestic and international clients in federal, state and local tax disputes before the IRS, U.S. Tax Court, and the various New York State tax departments and agencies. We cover corporate franchise taxes, net income taxes, sales taxes, audits and administrative appeals proceedings on all types of federal taxes, in addition to representing clients in U.S. Tax Court and other federal trial and appellate courts.
Our seasoned litigators have firsthand experience tackling the tough disputes that arise in the highly competitive telecommunications industry. These disputes often flare over vaguely written provisions in the Telecommunications Act itself. We pride ourselves on the speed with which we prosecute or aggressively defend these proceedings and on the excellent results we achieve for our clients.
When early dismissals are not achieved, our understanding of the telecommunications industry allows us to anticipate and intelligently counter the opposition’s stance. Our cross-disciplinary teams enable us to address the core areas of the dispute, be they environmental, commercial, regulatory or tort in nature. Moreover, our long history of courtroom success leverages our negotiation strengths, often resulting in favorable outcomes.