Hank Kelly is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office. He concentrates in communications, energy, and public utility law and regulation.
Representing a broad range of public and private companies, Hank works closely with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. He regularly counsels clients on how to comply with state and federal regulations, and how to structure commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and business organizations to conform with legal and regulatory requirements. In litigation, he relies on his deep knowledge of telecommunications and energy regulations in intellectual property, class action defense, state and federal preemption cases, and actions to enforce state and federal telecommunications and energy laws. He has trial experience before more than 10 state public service commissions, and separately has litigated enforcement actions in over 13 federal court jurisdictions.
In 2013, Hank was named Chicago Communications “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers Magazine. In the same year, he co-founded the PowerUP – Energy Thought Leaders Quarterly Forum with other partners at Kelley Drye and Navigant’s Energy Group leadership. The forum creates on-going dialogue on the most pressing energy topics of interest to the Midwest’s energy thought leadership.
Mr. Kelly served as general counsel to the Illinois Power Agency, the state agency that oversees competitive electricity procurement by Illinois’ largest electricity distributors, and monitors renewable energy portfolio procurement and demand response measures by the state’s electricity utilities.
Represented an electricity reseller in an action before a state public service commission alleging excessive charge to consumers.
Represented several municipalities in aggregating their residents’ electricity buying power to obtain favorable terms and conditions for electricity purchases.
Represented the Illinois Power Agency in the first state-agency competitive procurement of electricity under the Illinois Power Agency Act, which purchased approximately 44% of the total electricity consumed in the State of Illinois, while saving consumers approximately 9% in the electricity bills from the previous year.
Represented the Illinois Power Agency in rulemaking proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission concerning Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers.
Represented the Illinois Power Agency in Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Rate Proceedings regarding Demand Response and energy efficiency programs.
Represented a national wireless carrier in a multi-jurisdiction class action case alleging consumer fraud.
Represented a national communications provider in a patent infringement case involving a patent related to communications traffic exchange.
Represented a national communications provider in numerous multi-jurisdiction state public service proceedings seeking interconnection terms and conditions between competitive carriers.
Represented a national communications provider in arbitrations seeking interconnection under Section 252 of the Federal Communications Act with local exchange carriers in 13 state public service commissions.
Represented a venture capital fund in the due diligence related to its $1 billion acquisition of a wireless communications service provider.
Represented an international communications provider in due diligence related to an off-shore communications company.
Represented entities accused of assisting and facilitating other company’s telemarketing efforts in providing autodialing services, claimed to be in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rules and TCPA.
Represented telecommunications carriers responding to several complaints in Pennsylvania, California and Texas federal courts alleging violations of the TCPA.
Represented a nationwide service provider in a class action in Illinois federal court, alleging violations of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (“SHVERA”), which requires certain companies to destroy personally identifiable information.
Representing a telephone company in a consumer class action in Connecticut federal court. The suit alleged that the company placed telemarketing calls using an autodialer to a number registered on the national Do Not Call Registry, in violation of the TCPA.
Represented a company before the Federal Communications Commission in its investigation that addresses how the FCC would interpret and apply the TCPA.
Represented a broadcast satellite service provider in litigation initiated by the FTC and the states of North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and California in the Central District of Illinois, seeking civil penalties for violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule for alleged calls placed to telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry and the provider’s internal Do Not Call list, and for calls made by independent third-party retailers.
Provided advice and counsel on TCPA regulations to a producer of digital communication products.
Represented companies in successfully resolving several class action lawsuits alleging unauthorized charges for premium services to wireless telephone subscribers.
Represented a nationwide association of communications providers in a federal action seeking collection of compensation required under Section 276 of the Federal Communications Commission.
Represented a state association in actions seeking to enforce state and federal communications policies related to the pricing of local exchange services. The actions were pending at the Federal Communications Commission, several state public service commissions, and several state courts of appeals.
Represented a national communications provider in four simultaneous federal court proceedings seeking enforcement of interconnection agreements and Federal Communications Commission decisions.
Represented several communications providers in negotiations with municipalities regarding emergency telephone service surcharges.
Represented a coalition of communications providers in multi-state jurisdictions arbitrating the rates, terms and conditions for interconnection under the FCC’s Triennial Review Order and Triennial Review Remand Order, i.e., Petition for Arbitration Pursuant to Section 252(b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 with Illinois Bell Telephone Company to Amend Existing Interconnection Agreements to Incorporate the Triennial Review Order and the Triennial Review Remand Order, On behalf of Cbeyond Communications, LLC; USXchange of Illinois, LLC, d/b/a ChoiceOne Communications; First Communications, LLC; ICG Telecom Group, Inc.; New Edge Network, Inc.; nii Communications, Ltd.; OnFiber Carrier Services, Inc.; Talk America, Inc.; and Trinsic Communications, Inc.
Represented a coalition of communications providers in state public service commission proceedings establishing the cost-based rates for unbundled network elements.
Memberships & Associations
Federal Communications Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Honors & Awards
Ranked as a leading practitioner in the Communications area by Chambers USA from 2002-2014. Ranked as a Tier 1 attorney in Communications.
Named 2013 Chicago Communications “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America.
Selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the Communications Law area, 2012-2015.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the Telecoms & Broadcast – Regulatory area, 2012-2014.
Designated as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Listed in Illinois "Super Lawyers,” 2007-2010, 2012-2014.