Paul J. Phillips

Paul J. Phillips

Shareholder
Manchester NH

Posts by Paul J. Phillips

Vermont Supreme Court Upholds Burlington Telecom Sale

Friday, January 17, 2020, the Vermont Supreme…

Burlington Telecom Appeal

On Tuesday, Paul Phillips represented the…

Our firm was in attendance at the 2016 Local Energy Solutions Conference (LES)

Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC is a…

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Paul Phillips represents highly regulated entities in the financial and utility sectors. A skilled navigator, Paul guides clients through complex jurisdictional and regulatory thickets to reach efficient and satisfactory results. Paul has achieved solutions for his clients in a wide range of agency adjudications and rulemaking proceedings, as well as in state legislatures. Paul has given particular focus to the ever-changing communications industry, whose regulatory needs have experienced major swings in recent years as issues of “net neutrality” and broadband regulation have been debated. Paul has represented providers of voice, data and video services since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

In addition, Paul advises Vermont and New Hampshire businesses in all aspects of their commercial operations. Paul has extensive experience with licensing, compliance and enforcement issues, as well as with business formations and dissolutions, mergers and acquisitions, consumer protection and customer service issues, and public and private financing transactions. He has negotiated dozens of business-to-business contracts and has successfully litigated a variety of utility and insurance cases before state agencies and courts. Paul has also drafted and negotiated legislative solutions for his clients involving alternative regulation and deregulation, the establishment and implementation of state broadband and universal service funding programs, and reform of state regulatory agencies.

Paul is committed to public service. He served as Chair of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights from November 2015 to January 2018. He previously chaired the Town of Plymouth (NH) Energy Commission and served on the New Hampshire Better Buildings Task Force.

Education

  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Williams College, B.A., cum laude

Professional Affiliations

Admitted to Practice

  • New Hampshire Bar
  • New Hampshire Supreme Court
  • Vermont Bar
  • Vermont Supreme Court

Pro Bono & Volunteer Work

  • Chair, New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights (2015-2018)
  • Commissioner, New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights (2014-2018)
  • Chair, Town of Plymouth (NH) Energy Commission (2010-13)
  • Chair, Permit Review Committee, City of Montpelier (Vt.) (2003-04)
  • Chair, Advisory Committee on Civic Education to the Vermont Commissioner of Education (1998-2006)

Notables

  • In re Champlain Broadband, LLC, et al., ___ Vt. ___, 227 A.3d 496 (Vt. 2020) Paul represented the City of Burlington, Vermont, in the sale of Burlington Telecom to Champlain Broadband, LLC. In a unanimous decision, the Vermont Supreme Court ended more than 10 years of regulatory turmoil and agreed that the sale of the once-troubled utility would promote the public good of the State of Vermont.
  • Petition of Dixville Telephone Company to Discontinue Operations, Docket No. DT 18-175, Order No. 26,235 Conditionally Granting Petition (N.H. Pub. Utils. Comm’n, Apr. 22, 2019) In a case of first impression nationally, Paul represented an incumbent local exchange carrier in gaining regulatory approval to discontinue its operations. The case represented the first-ever application of the FCC’s new discontinuance rule, 47 C.F.R. § 63.71(g) (eff. July 9, 2018)
  • Petition of Waitsfield-Fayston Telephone Company, Inc., Docket No. 7798, Final Order (Vt. Public Service Board, Apr. 27, 2012) In a case of first impression nationally, Paul successfully demonstrated that the changes in federal revenue required by the FCC’s Transformation Order (FCC 11-161) created sufficient adverse economic impact on a rural telecommunication company that a suspension of local-interconnection obligations was warranted under 47 U.S.C. § 251(f)(2).

Publications / Presentations

  • “NESCOE: Making Regional Energy Project Decisions Behind Closed Doors?” New Hampshire Bar News; Sept. 17, 2014
  • “Tough Times for Landlines: Sweeping Changes Leave Rural Carriers at Crossroads“; New Hampshire Bar News; Sept. 20, 2013
  • Law Clerk, Vermont Supreme Court, Hon. Ernest W. Gibson, III

Clerkships

  • Vermont Supreme Court, Hon. Ernest W. Gibson, III