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Wiley Rein's Telecom Litigation Practice Rated the Nation's Best by The US Legal 500

June 22, 2009

The 2009 edition of The US Legal 500 has ranked Wiley Rein's Telecom Litigation Practice atop the nation's leading practices, singling out group chair Andrew G. McBride, Richard E. Wiley and Helgi C. Walker for "having starred in some of the group's most well recognized work over recent years."

In placing the firm alone in the top tier of practices, The Legal 500 writes:

Still the one to beat in terms of its hugely effective appellate practice, clients praise Wiley Rein LLP as 'impressive in their depth and consistent in bringing success when we've called on them, both in and out of court.'

With a rich seam of litigation experience running through the 48-partner communications practice, the firm has a mine of trial expertise at its disposal and, crucially, is able to pair that with market-leading FCC expertise. This disposition has ensured not only that the firm acts on its prominent share of standalone dispute resolution mandates, but is also able to provide this top quality service as an adjunct to its wider work with key clients.

The team is representing Verizon, Hargray CATV and AT&T in an appellate challenge to FCC order in the US Court of Appeals after representing Hargray before the FCC in proceedings in which the commission considered the anti-competitive effect of exclusive access provisions in existing contracts for cable services. Here the group provides value with what clients refer to as 'excellent drafting skills' and 'thorough understanding of FCC procedures', winning mandates for clients who also use the firm for pure regulatory work.

A key recent case involved representing Comcast in its appeal of the FCC's decision concerning broadband access in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. This example sits among a host of appellate engagements for industry leaders, showing that when they need litigation on complex work at the vanguard of the field, Wiley Rein LLP are frequently at top of the list.

One client affirms this, suggesting that 'their lawyers are well known for their abilities - I'd recommend them without hesitation because they get the job done'. This points towards another core factor in the makeup of the practice; the balance of erstwhile 'giants of the market', and up-and-coming talent.

From the firm's "incomparably deep bench," The Legal 500 commends Mr. Wiley, described as "arguably the pre-eminent advisor in the field, still" as "a huge draw to the practice over the years." Mr. McBride, who -- according to clients -- is "the leading telecommunications lawyer in the country, without a doubt," "leads many of the firm's high stakes representations in trial, appellate and Supreme Court cases." Ms. Walker, who is recognized by clients as "first rate and a delight to work with," is recognized for being "always on top of the case" and "genuinely impressive in appellate assignments."

The Legal 500 directories aim to provide independent, unbiased commentary on the leading law firms -- and lawyers -- in the most important legal marketplace in the world. The research for the editorial sections is based on the combined opinions of the many lawyers interviewed in each practice area, commentary from corporate clients and analysis of deals or contentious issues reported.