Top 3 Legal Concerns for Agents at Recent Partner Conference

Telecom Lawyer Newsletter - October 2010

By Ben Bronston, Telecom Lawyer, 713-778-1000

I had the honor last month of being selected as the telecom legal subject matter expert (SME) for the Channel Partners show in Washington D.C.  I moderated a roundtable discussion about telecom contracts at the Peer-to-Peer Networking Mixer.  Most of the participants wanted to discuss the typical concerns (evergreen, termination, non-solicitation, etc.).  However, there were 3 other interesting issues which stick out in my mind:

  1. One participant was a master agent who warned about the dangers of signing an agreement without the assistance of an experienced telecom lawyer.  He said his company had been burned by a CLEC who took advantage of the one-sided language in their agreement.  

    He highly recommended using an experienced telecom lawyer in the contract negotiation process and called it "money well spent".  As you might expect, I completely agree with his position!

  2. An independent agent was concerned about the possibility of being labeled an employee of a carrier he represented for income tax/withholding and payroll tax purposes.  He said the state where he lives is cracking down on independent sales agents from different industries - the state is claiming they are really employees rather than independent contractors.  

    I don't think this is a very big issue in our industry, particularly because most independent agents seem to represent more than one carrier or master agent, but it's certainly something about which independent agents should be careful.

  3. A small agent who is new to the business expressed frustration about the affordability of obtaining legal assistance from an experienced telecom lawyer.  He wondered if there was an association of small agents who pooled their resources together to assist each other with contracts.

    I understand this agent's concern, but the good news is that I can help any agent (large or small) in an affordable manner.  In addition, I can help small agents work with master agents who may have more clout and financial resources to negotiate favorable contract terms with carriers.

Need to keep current on legal issues affecting telecom agents, channel partners and their carrier suppliers?  Stay in touch by connecting with me on LinkedIn.

Also, my "Telecom Lawyer LinkedIn Group" has over 125 members and is growing rapidly as channel partners want to learn more about telecom agent agreements, master agent agreements, carrier agreements and other telecom contracts and issues".

If you have a telecom contract that you need an experienced telecom lawyer to review or need help with any other telecom legal issue, call Ben Bronston - Telecom Lawyer at 713-778-1000. 

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Ben Bronston
6300 West Loop South, Suite 395
Houston, TX  77401

713-778-1000 direct
713-885-6210 cell
713-583-9720 fax
email: click here

Newsletter Archive:

October 2010:
Top 3 Legal Concerns for Agents at Channel Partners Conference

September 2010:
The Telecom Lawyer You Can Afford

Ben Bronston - Telecom Lawyer - Copyright 2010
6300 West Loop South, Suite 395
Houston, TX  77401