Carl W. Northrop

Carl W. Northrop

Founding Member

Carl Northrop is the Founding Member of TLP. He consistently is recognized in client and peer reviews as one of the top communications attorneys in the country. Chambers USA identifies Carl as a “Notable Practitioner” in the Telecom, Media and Satellite specialty. He also was one of a small group of attorneys inducted in 2017 into the inaugural Legal 500 US Hall of Fame which highlights individuals at the pinnacle of the profession who have received constant praise for continued legal excellence.

Carl represents communications service providers and advises suppliers of goods and services to the telecommunications industry including financiers, tower and site owners, manufacturers, billing and support service providers, and developers of advanced technologies. He also counsels purchasers in major contracts for communications services, and has acted both as an arbitrator and as an expert witness in various disputes arising out of communications contracts.

Carl is an experienced litigator who handles high stakes telecommunications disputes before courts, administrative agencies, arbitrators and mediators. He also is a skillful negotiator with a sophisticated understanding of the communications business which enables him to craft creative contractual arrangements to the benefit of TLP clients.


Georgetown University, J.D. 1976; Editor, Georgetown Law Journal (1975-76); Best Brief and Best Oral Advocate Awards in the Beaudry Cup Moot Court Competition (1974)

University of Michigan, B.B.A., High Distinction, 1972

Prior Experience

Partner, Paul Hastings LLP 1997-2011; Co-Leader Global Media and Telecommunications Practice Group.

Partner, Bryan Cave LLP 1987-1997; Communications Group Leader; Executive Committee Member

Fun Fact

Carl was the lead singer and rhythm guitar player of a high school band called The Foreshadows. He now sings with an adult chorus called Encore Rocks.

Practice Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Recent, Representative Matters

  • Representation of successful applicants in FCC auctions of broadband wireless spectrum including counseling on business structures that qualify for bidding credits under the FCC program for designated entities.
  • Litigation counsel in multiple contract disputes against major carriers which resulted in successful outcomes for the clients.
  • Drafting model master antenna site agreements and negotiating turnkey small cell deployment and management agreements for a multi-billion dollar infrastructure company.
  • Negotiation of all network infrastructure equipment, handset, antenna site and customer service contracts for a nationwide wireless system licensee in Africa.
  • Corporate and communications counsel for multiple clients in the purchase, sale or leasing of spectrum including advice relating to securing the approval of Team Telecom and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for transactions involving foreign owners.
  • Representation of FCC licensees in the identification and abatement of harmful interference being experienced to ongoing operations.
  • Successful advocate for an incumbent licensee seeking to restructure its license holdings to reflect technological changes.

Awards & Distinctions