James Barker is the Global Co-Chair of the Connectivity Industry Group at Latham & Watkins. Mr. Barker provides clients a solutions-oriented approach backed by nearly 30 years of experience guiding companies in their most complex communications law and administrative law matters.
Mr. Barker’s experience includes the administrative regulation of:
- Current and emerging wireless communications technologies, including those that enable the Internet-of-Things (IOT), connected vehicles, and connected homes
- Cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS), and other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs)
- Telephone companies and other common carriers
Mr. Barker has particular experience in the area of spectrum auctions, and has been involved in all aspects of their implementation for a variety of telecommunications clients since the Federal Communications Commission was first granted auction authority in 1993. In addition, he has significant experience with the regulatory and legal issues affecting MVPDs, including cable, DBS, telephone companies, and Internet video providers.
Mr. Barker has advised clients on a variety of telecommunications, content, and technology transactions and negotiated related complex commercial agreements. He also has supported a number of high-profile domestic and international finance and M&A engagements, including providing structuring advice with respect to ownership attribution and foreign investment issues, intracompany services agreements, licensing and security interest issues, regulatory characterization, domestic and international regulatory consents, and competition analysis. He has guided clients in interfacing with “Team Telecom,” the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and other executive branch agencies. Here, his clients have included the largest strategic company clients in the Communications sector, prominent venture capital and private equity firms, and blue chip investment banks and funding sources.
Mr. Barker also is experienced in communications controversy and litigation matters, including practice before state and federal courts, public utility commissions, and the United States Courts of Appeal.
Mr. Barker has held a number of leadership positions at the firm, including most recently, Deputy Office Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office. He currently serves as a Vice Chair of Latham's Recruiting Committee.
Prior to entering the practice of law, Mr. Barker served as a law clerk to Judge Peter T. Fay, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, from 1990 to 1991.
Mr. Barker currently serves as an editorial board member of the University of Michigan Law School and Mcity Journal of Law and Mobility. He also is a firm team lead for Autonomous and Urban Mobility working with the World Economic Forum’s Centre For The Fourth Industrial Revolution.