John Flynn is co-chair of the firm’s Communications, Internet and Technology Practice and a partner in its Washington, DC office. He represents telecom, media and technology companies in a wide variety of matters, including complex proceedings before regulatory agencies, technology-related litigation, intellectual property and privacy issues, and corporate legal matters. Mr. Flynn draws on more than 20 years of communications and technology experience spanning government, private practice and the private sector. He is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and the Legal 500, which calls him a “tough, fair problem-solver.”
Government: Mr. Flynn most recently served as Senior Counsel for Transactions to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Recruited from the private sector for this specially created role, he led the FCC’s review of the joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal, a $30 billion transaction identified as one of the most significant media transactions ever. Mr. Flynn was involved in all aspects of the process, from the substantive analysis to the political approval process, including Department of Justice, Congressional and media coordination. He was also a key architect of rules dealing with many leading communications issues, including those for online video, the Internet and cable and broadcast programming. The transaction review was widely credited as a success. For example, USA Today said: “The Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department did something remarkable on Tuesday: They came up with a set of conditions on a major business deal—Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal—that leading consumer advocates and company executives both like.”
Private Practice: Mr. Flynn also has an extensive track record of wins as a litigator of communications, technology and IP cases in private practice. For example, he obtained complete dismissal of two cases — one after a week-long arbitration — claiming millions of dollars in compensation for Internet-bound traffic. He persuaded a state regulator to terminate an industry-wide proceeding in a case involving novel questions about the scope of federal preemption of state power, prevailed in a case of first impression concerning the legal relationship between interconnection agreements and tariffs in the wake of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and won key jurisdictional motions in two Internet-related cases that led to favorable settlements. Mr. Flynn has also drafted appellate briefs on a wide range of issues and successfully litigated patent, copyright and trademark cases―as well as those involving new media and privacy issues, including Section 230 immunity, the DMCA, ECPA and FISA.
Public Company General Counsel: In addition to his government and private practice experience, Mr. Flynn has served in the private sector as a General Counsel/Deputy General Counsel of three publicly traded technology companies, two of which he helped take public. In these positions, which included serving in Chief Privacy, Compliance and Ethics Officer roles, he advised boards of directors on bet-the-company issues, and ensured compliance with securities, privacy, communications and other laws. Mr. Flynn led the trial team that secured the largest jury verdict of 2008, a judgment of $631 million. He also spearheaded a number of major regulatory efforts, including securing 20 MHz of wireless spectrum subsequently sold for more than $1 billion. He has advised on a host of IP issues, including those involving standards organizations, and executed strategies to enhance patent and other IP portfolios and mitigate exposure to IP claims. On the transactional side, Mr. Flynn has run M&A, licensing and other technology transactions worth billions of dollars.
Mr. Flynn received his JD, magna cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, where he served as the Senior Notes and Comments Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. He received his MA in International Policy Studies and AB in Political Science, with distinction, from Stanford University. Mr. Flynn clerked for the Hon. Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1995. He then clerked for the Hon. Byron R. White and the Hon. John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court in 1996 and 1997. He is a member of the Bars of California and District of Columbia.