Robert B. Kelly leads the global Communications Practice Group. He has more than 35 years of experience in telecommunications, intelligent transportation and technology law and represents a broad clientele of public and private sector interests on a range of issues and transactions before federal and state authorities and courts. Robert advises US and international interests regarding transactional, legislative and regulatory matters and negotiates major transactions involving mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications industry. He has received numerous honors and recognitions for his work in telecommunications, technology and transportation law, has published scholarly works and speaks frequently at academic and industry fora.
Since 2004, Robert has served as lead counsel to the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA), which has been authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to administer the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band in the US. As lead counsel to the TA, Robert has deep experience with state and local government process and with public safety communications systems. He has the primary responsibility of coordinating the Transition Administrator’s relationship with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has extensive experience in working in public/private partnerships and other cooperative relationships with government authorities. Robert has overseen all aspects of the firm's participation in this multi-billion dollar program, including the structuring and implementing of an alternative dispute resolution process in which more than 2,000 negotiations have been mediated, and developing and maintaining program plans and policies to administer the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band in the US, including an Independence Management Plan, Confidentiality Plan, Communications Plan and Record Retention Plan.
Robert is a recognized expert in the field of intelligent transportation, including connected and autonomous vehicles, and has represented public and private sector interests involved in research, development and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies for 25 years. He has served as counsel to the principal public and private association for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) in the US since 1992. On behalf of that client, he successfully petitioned the FCC for a landmark allocation of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band to establish the Dedicated Short Range Communications Service (DSRC) for the provision of vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle to vehicle communications. Robert has assisted many other parties involved in the development of ITS technologies, including location and navigation systems, digital mapmakers, cellphone probe system operators and vehicular radar manufacturers, among others. He has advised on connected and autonomous vehicles, spectrum allocation, public policy, risk management issues, data privacy and cybersecurity, competition, private equity placement and other issues.
Robert has served on the boards of directors of four publicly-traded and privately-held companies involved in the provision of telecommunications services and products, and chaired the Compensation Committee and served on the Audit Committee of publicly-traded companies.