Communications

United Kingdom

The communications sector is undergoing a fundamental and rapid evolution, with new digital companies accompanied by challenging long-standing business models, runaway technological development, convergence, disruption and significant change to the regulatory landscape. Deregulation in certain areas is going arm in arm with greater regulatory control in others, such as data breach, consumer privacy and merger.

In face of these challenges, communications businesses need to adapt, diversify into new business lines, and often to grow, whether organically or through acquisition. Additionally they need to understand and comply with the new regulatory requirements.

You need lawyers who understand your sector to tackle these challenges head-on, often on an international basis in this most international of businesses. This is where our international team of sector specialists come into play. We have over 200 experts, many with in-depth experience in the industry, across our 65 offices.

We support communications companies within all aspects of their operations, including acquisitions, data protection network sharing, pricing sales, operations, product development, regulatory compliance, licensing and distribution arrangements, and issues relating to cyber breaches and intellectual property protection.

Their geographic spread globally and in the UK is really useful and makes them quite unique.
Chambers UK, 2015

Our team frequently advises on complex or ground-breaking transactions or issues. In the past year alone, CMS has advised on M&A transactions in the sector with an aggregate value of over EUR 10bn.

Additionally, we advise mobile and fixed line operators on the complex issues around network sharing agreements, helping our clients to realise huge cost saving potential, as well as preparing their business and infrastructure for future technologies and investments.

We have advised on network sharing deals for clients in the UK, Belgium, Germany and several CEE countries, and have also advised on their feasibility in other European countries. This makes us one of the market leaders in that field.

Our dedication to achieving a commercial solution coupled with our understanding of your industry sector, means you can remain focused on your business.

Our Global Head of TMC, Chris Watson, is ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK 2015 for Telecommunications.

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Law-Now: Com­mu­nic­a­tions
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Dóra Petrányi
Jan 2018
Net­work Shar­ing 3.0
In­fra­struc­ture shar­ing and in­vest­ment 2017
13/06/2019
No pic­tures, please: Scot­land v Eng­land as a for­um for de­fam­a­tion...
The Court of Ap­peal in Eng­land & Wales has handed down its judg­ment in the mat­ter of Howard Kennedy v The Na­tion­al Trust for Scot­land [2019] EW­CA Civ 648, on ap­peal from the de­cision of Sir Dav­id Eady, sit­ting as a judge of the High Court on the Queen's Bench.
06/06/2019
GDPR: 12 months on, 12 Takeaways
Some com­ment­at­ors were ex­pect­ing the GDPR to be the new Y2K, and oth­ers the dawn­ing of the data apo­ca­lypse. The real­ity has been less dra­mat­ic, but has non­ethe­less brought a range of chal­lenges and les­sons learned.
17/04/2019
Tele­coms: cla­ri­fic­a­tion on neigh­bour­ing landown­ers’ rights to re­quire...
The Up­per Tribunal has con­firmed that landown­ers can­not pro­cure the re­mov­al of elec­tron­ic com­mu­nic­a­tions ap­par­at­us in­stalled on neigh­bour­ing land where this did not in­ter­fere with a means of ac­cess to their prop­erty at the date of in­stall­a­tion.
09/04/2019
Fur­ther prac­tic­al cla­ri­fic­a­tion on the Tele­coms Code
The Up­per Tribunal has handed down an­oth­er judg­ment in the on­go­ing pur­suit for clar­ity un­der the new Tele­coms Code between op­er­at­ors and site pro­viders.   In the case of CTIL v Richard Gregory Keast the Up­per Tribunal was asked to deal with vari­ous pre­lim­in­ary.
08/04/2019
Tele­coms: Op­er­at­or re­fused or­der con­fer­ring rights over land
A landown­er has suc­cess­fully res­ist­ing an op­er­at­or seek­ing the con­fer­ral of Code rights on its land as the landown­er was not in oc­cu­pa­tion of the land so could not grant the re­ques­ted rights. The Up­per Tribunal held that it does not have jur­is­dic­tion to or­der.
02/04/2019
Say what? The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment con­sults on re­form to the Scots...
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently con­sult­ing on re­forms to the Scots law of de­fam­a­tion, the area of law which aims to pro­tect in­di­vidu­al and busi­ness repu­ta­tions from false state­ments. In an era of on­line re­views and vir­al shar­ing of opin­ion, pro­tect­ing.
25/03/2019
Pav­ing on open land can be enough for ad­verse pos­ses­sion
In a re­cent judg­ment, the Court of Ap­peal (the “CA”) cla­ri­fied the law about what it means to es­tab­lish fac­tu­al pos­ses­sion of an­oth­er’s land in the con­text of ad­verse pos­ses­sion claims (Shir­ley Ann Thorpe v.