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Michele C. Farquhar

Washington, D.C.

Michele C. Farquhar

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.

As leader of the firm's Communications Practice, and co-chair of the global industry sector team, 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.

"She is praised for skill in regulatory matters and dealing with the FCC, with one source noting that she knows 'who the key decision makers are.'"

Chambers, District of Columbia Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite 2015

Representative experience

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.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1984
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Duke University, 1979


  • Board Member, Visitors of St. John's College
  • Former President, Land Mobile Communications Council
  • Member, Board of Trustees of Duke University, 1997-1999
  • Member, D.C. Bar Steering Committee on Administrative Law and Agency Practice, 2014-present
  • President, Duke University Alumni Association, 1997-1998
  • President, Federal Communications Bar Association, 2005-2006

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • California (inactive)


Washington, D.C. Administrative / Regulatory Law "Lawyer of the Year"

The Best Lawyers in America


Administrative/Regulatory Law

The Best Lawyers in America


Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (District of Columbia)

Chambers USA

2010-2011, 2014-2017

Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional

Legal 500 US


Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US



Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Administrative Law

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Top 50 Women

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory, Recommended

Legal 500 US


ICFM 100 Leading Female Lawyers

InterContinental Finance Magazine


Regulatory Communications

Who's Who Legal 100

2009, 2011

Washington's Top Lawyers: Telecoms



Top Attorneys in Intellectual Property, Franchise and Dealership, Information Technology, Communications, and Civil Litigation Defense

Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition


Communications and IT Section

PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook


International Who's Who of Regulatory Communications Lawyers

1991, 2000

Distinguished Service Award

Federal Communications Bar Association


Duke University Alumni Service Award

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