Tara is Chair of the Communications Section and a member of the firm's Policy Committee. In her over 20 years in private practice, she has developed extensive experience in cable and broadband regulation. Her practice includes counseling and representation in connection with federal and state governmental matters, as well as communications-related transactions and litigation. She counsels communications industry clients on matters such as network access, net neutrality, OVD competition issues, and compliance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and the related FCC rules for accessibility of advanced communications services and equipment. She assists clients with transfer of control issues in the purchase and sale of systems, and advises them in retransmission consent and program carriage disputes before the Federal Communications Commission and the courts. Her clients include Cablevision Systems Corporation, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Discovery Communications, AMC Networks, MSG Networks, and others.
Tara received her B.A. in Government and Modern European Studies from Cornell University (1990). She earned her J.D., with high honors, from Duke University School of Law (1993). She serves as the Washington office’s coordinator for community service activities, as well as the firm's Co-chair for Professional Development.
Cornell University (BA, Government and Modern European Studies, 1990)
District of Columbia
Howard J. Symons is a partner in the Communications, Internet & Technology Practice. He has nearly 40 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy, including senior positions in government and the private sector. Before joining the firm in 2017, he served in two high-profile roles at the Federal Communications Commission: as general counsel from 2016 to 2017 and as vice-chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force from 2014 to 2016. He was appointed to both posts by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
Highly regarded throughout the industry, Mr. Symons has represented companies in the cable, wireless and telecommunications industries as well as their trade associations before the FCC, Congress and State legislatures, and the courts. Mr. Symons advised these companies on a wide range of matters, including video, broadband and telephony.
As general counsel of the FCC, Mr. Symons oversaw more than 60 lawyers that provide legal support for the Commission’s policy and rulemaking activities and recommend decisions in adjudicatory matters. He also served as one of Chairman Wheeler’s four senior advisors. As vice chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force, he was one of the primary architects of the first incentive auction: a two-sided auction in which broadcasters bid to give up their spectrum and wireless providers bid to buy it.
From 1985 to 2014, Mr. Symons was a partner at another AmLaw 100 firm, chairing that firm’s communications practice and serving as a member of the Policy (Executive) Committee. From 1981 to 1985, he served as senior counsel to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications in the US House of Representatives; in that role, he was responsible for developing legislation on matters ranging from domestic telephone policy to cable franchising and international telecommunications.
Mr. Symons also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s National Law Center, where he taught courses in telecommunications law and regulation for 10 years. He has authored several articles on the telecommunications policy process, testified before Congress and state legislatures, and spoken at numerous industry conferences and continuing legal education seminars on topics relating to regulatory trends, the FCC and more.