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U.S. Net Neutrality Developments and Comparisons with Europe

Speaker(s): Michele C. Farquhar, Winston Maxwell
Recorded on: Mar. 26, 2015
PLI Program #: 140882

Winston Maxwell
Partner, Paris

Winston Maxwell is one of the leading media, communications and data protection lawyers in France. His practice covers three principal areas :

Data protection and privacy : Winston advises clients on developing global data privacy governance schemes, on cross-border discovery, implementation of compliance and whistleblowing programs across multiple jurisdictions, handling data breaches, fraud and employee theft of data. He has advised on the regulation of connected health devices, connected vehicles, smart meters and home security devices. Winston advises on innovative social media and cloud solutions. Winston has testified before the CNIL and several parliamentary committees in France on reform of data protection legislation, and represented clients in lobbying efforts before the European Commission in connection with reform of EU data protection rules. Winston teaches comparative privacy law at a leading French business and engineering school.

Telecommunications and Internet : Winston advises public and private sector clients in the telecommunications and internet industry on corporate, commercial, regulatory and litigation matters. Winston recently co-authored a report for the European Commission on the adoption bill & keep charging mechanisms for the exchange of IP traffic, and a report for the French regulatory authority ARCEP on the regulatory treatment of over-the-top services, cloud computing services and content delivery networks (CDNs). Winston advises mobile and fixed operators, Internet service and applications providers, directory providers, paging operators, and regulators.

Media and entertainment : French and international motion picture producers, distributors and channel providers seek Winston’s advice on commercial contracts, M&A, production and co-production agreements, agreements with talent, IFTA arbitrations, and regulatory questions linked to channel licenses, new technologies, connected TV and VOD.

In 2014, Winston was named to the Digital Rights Commission of the French National Assembly.


  • Advice to multinationals in the creation of comprehensive data privacy governance programs, including advice on BCRs
  • Implementing specific data privacy governance frameworks for cross-border discovery, and data transfers in corporate transactions
  • Winston co-authored a study for the French CNIL on the regulation of connected health ("quantified self") devices
  • Winston has represented a number of companies in their relations with the French CNIL, including in contentious proceedings
  • Advising French and non-French mobile and fixed operators on regulation of fixed and mobile termination rates, spectrum policy, and privacy regulations, including dispute resolution before the ARCEP
  • Advising international telecommunications providers and customers on cloud computing contracts and regulations
  • Advice to regulatory authorities in Europe and Africa on the implementation of new regulations relating to broadband communications (3G, 4G, fiber, DSL, cable)
  • Representation of motion picture producers and distributors in disputes including IFTA arbitrations 
  • Negotiation and drafting of motion picture development, production and distribution agreements 
  • Acquisitions and joint ventures involving film & television production companies and TV channels; regulatory advice on channels and VOD platforms



Technology, Media and Telecoms


Technology, Media and Telecoms


French and European Communications Law
Media and Entertainment Law
Transactions and Policy
Privacy Law 
Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Chronicle of Data Protection
International Spectrum Review
Global Media and Communications Watch


J.D., Cornell University Law School, 1985
B.A., with highest honors, Oregon State University, 1982


Co-Chair, American Chamber of Commerce in France's New Media, IT and Privacy Committee
Member, Digital Rights Commission of the French National Assembly
Member IAPP
Member of International Association of Entertainment Lawyers


Chambers Europe, Band 1, Media - France 2014
Chambers Europe, Band 1, Telecommunications - France 2014
The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East and Africa, Media and Entertainment - Full service: Leading Individual - France 2014
Telecommunications Lawyer of the Year 2014 by Best Lawyers in France
Who's Who Legal specialist 2014: Information Technology
Who's Who Legal specialist 2014: Telecommunications

New York


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.

Michele serves as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 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.