WASHINGTON, DC – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – 10/13/2005 — W. Kenneth Ferree has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a member of the Entertainment and Media group to lead the firm’s new communications practice in Washington, D.C. Ferree previously served as Chief of the Media Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.
At the FCC, Ferree developed and administered the policy and licensing programs relating to electronic media, including cable television, broadcast television and radio, and broadband services. He also steered four major FCC merger reviews: EchoStar/DirectTV, Comcast/AT&T, HBC/Univision, and NewsCorp./DirecTV, and was credited with adding rigor to the review process while resolving each matter in the timely fashion required by Congress and the markets.
Ferree is noted for having played a key role in advancing the DTV transition, developing a watershed plan to end the transition. Ferree also managed the FCC’s entry into anti-piracy and copy protection matters, helped create the FCC’s Media Security and Reliability Council, directed the first comprehensive overhaul of media ownership rules in decades, and oversaw the creation of a regulatory framework for terrestrial digital radio.
“Ken’s prominence at the FCC and reputation in the entertainment and media industry is exceptional,” said Guy Halgren, managing partner of the firm. “We will be looking to Ken to build on our existing strengths in entertainment law by creating a top-notch FCC team.”
“I look forward to building a communications practice at Sheppard Mullin,” Ferree said. “The firm already has the premier entertainment and media group in the country, but stay tuned … together we will build a team over the next few months that will have a broad range of communications law experience and expertise. It will dovetail perfectly with the firm’s existing corporate and litigation practices so that our clients will be able to enjoy seamless representation with respect to any and all communications matters.”
Bob Darwell and Marty Katz, co-chairs of the firm’s Entertainment & Media practice, are delighted by Ferree’s decision to join the firm. “We have a far reaching vision for the Entertainment & Media group, and Ken brings a prominent FCC practice to the mix,” said Darwell. Katz agreed, “We are looking for opportunities to expand our practice, but only with A players. Ken is an FCC star — exactly what we needed, and exactly what our clients want.”
“This is a real coup for the D.C. office,” said Edward Schiff, managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. “Ken’s specialization is a natural fit for us, as the office has a strong regulatory focus in areas such as the Government Contracts, Antitrust and Labor & Employment practice areas.”
Ferree previously practiced at Goldberg, Godles, Weiner & Wright in Washington, D.C., specializing in communications-related litigation, including FCC complaint and rulemaking proceedings. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Ferree earned his law degree, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1992, graduated from San Jose State University with an MBA in 1988 and Dartmouth College with a BA in 1983.
Sheppard Mullin’s national Entertainment & Media practice now includes over fifty attorneys. In addition to Ferree, Kevin Goering joined the firm’s New York office in August as a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group. Goering, most recently head of Coudert Brothers Litigation Group in New York, specializes in media law.
About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 450 attorneys in nine offices located throughout California and in New York and Washington, D.C. The firm’s California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego. Sheppard Mullin provides legal expertise and counsel to U.S. and international clients in a wide range of practice areas, including Antitrust, Corporate and Securities; Entertainment and Media; Finance and Bankruptcy; Government Contracts; Intellectual Property; Labor and Employment; Litigation; Real Estate/Land Use; Tax/Employee Benefits/Trusts & Estates; and White Collar Defense. The firm was founded in 1927. For more information, please visit www.sheppardmullin.com.