Ann LaFrance coordinates our EMEA Communications Law Practice and co-chairs our global Data Privacy & Cybersecurity group. Drawing on more than 30 years of industry experience, Ann advises clients on telecommunications regulation and new media policy, competition law, dispute resolution and European Union (EU) data protection and e-privacy matters.
Ann has considerable experience advising on the evolving EU regulatory framework for electronic communications including interconnection, Next Generation Access, SMP/market reviews, Net Neutrality/Network Management, margin squeeze tests, price regulation of mixed bundles, net neutrality, spectrum refarming and award processes (including auctions), international roaming arrangements, data protection, e-privacy and data retention. She also has experience negotiating commercial arrangements between operators, service providers and customers. Ann has developed particular expertise in the drafting of legislative and regulatory frameworks to facilitate sector restructuring, liberalisation and privatisation in emerging markets.
From 1996-2003, Ann served as Chief International Counsel of MCI Communications Corp. (now Verizon), based in Brussels and London. She played an integral role in formulating company policy on sector regulation, competition law and data protection and advocated the company’s position before the European Commission and national authorities. In that capacity, she instructed external competition counsel acting for the company in the investigation of several watershed mergers and joint ventures requiring review of multiple telecommunications and internet markets. She also managed the company’s compliance initiatives with regard to implementation of the EU data protection rules.
Prior to 1996, Ann was a US-based partner with our firm, where she had an active practice before the US Federal Communications Commission and other US agencies with jurisdiction over the telecommunications and postal sectors. She provided transactional advice and regulatory counsel to US- and non-US-based clients in both the public and private sectors on a broad range of communications and data privacy-related matters. She also served as an adviser to governments and regulatory authorities in connection with privatisation and liberalisation initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.