Mike is one of the lead telecoms partners at global law firm DLA Piper LLP. His interest in the sector dates back to 1998-9 when he was placed on secondment to OFTEL, as it then-was, advising on international telecoms regulation. The legal guide Chambers and Partners says of him that “[he] produces punchy and straightforward answers - he’s direct and commercial, and gets to the point quickly.”
Mike has a particular interest in submarine cable systems - having worked on the legal aspects of more than 40 different systems during the course of his career. He has delivered a legal "masterclass" to every "SubOptic" event since 2004 and was the only private practice lawyer on the SubOptic industry legal standards working group.
Mike is the editor of the Communications Law Handbook, published by Bloomsbury Professional, and was a guest lecturer on UK telecoms law to the telecoms law LLM programme at University College, London. He is listed as one of the world's leading telecoms lawyers at www.expertguides.com.
His recent submarine cable experience includes advising:
• the ACE consortium in West Africa on establishment of a new sales channel ("ACE Connect") through which consortium members can sell spare capacity on the cable. This is an unprecedented model for consortium systems which, if commercially successful, could be used elsewhere.
• on the acquisition of the Globenet submarine cable system by BTG Pactual for US$750m - perhaps the world's largest ever pure submarine cable acquisition - Mike's role included work on the central "take or pay" contract - using a model that has never before been applied to this sector.
• on the new Hibernia "Express" low-latency trans-Atlantic system (US$200m) where Mike worked on the system supply negotiations - these had some very unique features because of the overriding need to achieve the latency target;
• on a new cable planned between Myanmar and Malaysia
• on a new Caribbean cable system connecting more than 20 landings in the region
• a client operating a northern Atlantic submarine cable system on a new "spectrum" IRU sale and maintenance agreement.
• on a large pre-sale IRU of spectrum on the Hawaiki system (Australia-US) acting for a multi-national enterprise that has never previously bought subsea capacity