James Barker, Chair of the firm’s Communications Industry Group, delivers business-oriented solutions backed by more than 30 years’ experience guiding telecommunications market leaders across all stages of their life cycles and advising global clients on complex CFIUS matters.

Mr. Barker leverages his sophisticated understanding of clients’ cutting-edge technologies, including AI, and trusted industry relationships, to help clients navigate the regulatory and legal issues involving:

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “Team Telecom,” the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and other executive branch agencies, particularly for strategic company, prominent venture capital and private equity firms, and blue chip investment banks and funding sources
  • Current and emerging wireless communications technologies, including those that enable the Internet of Things (IOT) and connected vehicles and homes
  • Cable, direct broadcast satellite, and other multichannel video programming distributors
  • Telephone companies and other common carriers
  • Communications controversy and litigation matters before state and federal courts, public utility commissions, and the US Courts of Appeal

Mr. Barker’s experience with spectrum auctions includes all aspects of their implementation for telecommunications clients since the FCC was first granted auction authority in 1993. 

Mr. Barker also advises clients on complex telecommunications, content, and technology transactions and negotiates related commercial agreements. He also supports high-profile US and international finance and M&A engagements, including structuring advice related to ownership attribution and foreign investment, intracompany services agreements, licensing and security interest issues, regulatory characterization, US and international regulatory consents, and competition analysis. 

A recognized leader at the firm, Mr. Barker is Chair of the firm’s Retirement Committee and served as Deputy Office Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office.

Mr. Barker served as a law clerk to Judge Peter T. Fay of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia


  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1990
    Notes Editor, Virginia Law Review
  • BA, Washington & Lee University, 1987
    Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, Omicron Delta Kappa