Michael Athay

Michael Athay specializes in telecommunications and information technology law.  He joined Bradley Berkland Hagen & Herbst, LLC in February, 2018 after more than 20 years practice in the City of Philadelphia Law Department, where he was Chief Deputy City Solicitor leading the Department’s 17 attorney Commercial Law Unit.  Michael established and supervised the Law Department’s telecommunications and information technology practices.  He is experienced in drafting and negotiating cable franchise agreements, representing the City of Philadelphia in 2015 and earlier renewal negotiations with Comcast, and negotiations for Verizon’s FiOS cable franchise negotiations.  He negotiated and drafted City contracts for complex, mission critical software and hardware/software systems, with major technology companies including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Motorola, Accenture, and other tier one providers.  As part of this practice, he developed standards and model contracts for software as a service (SaaS), managed services, and software hosting contracts, and has considerable experience in structuring and negotiating these high risk transactions.  He is experienced in municipal procurement law, and he created request for proposal (RFP) templates and protocols for technology contracts.

Michael’s telecommunications practice includes experience in developing and negotiating contracts for network services, including the agreement for managed network services under the Comcast franchise, contracts with Verizon for network services, and contracts with Motorola for the 800 MHz public safety radio system, all of which he handled.  He is also experienced in structuring and negotiating agreements and licenses with wireless providers to construct and operate wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way and on municipally-owned property and street furniture.  He has represented the City of Philadelphia in multiple FCC rulemaking proceedings, including the recent wireless and wireline infrastructure proceedings, and has expertise in federal and FCC law governing wireless deployments.  He counselled the development and passage of the City’s first right-of-way management ordinance, and is experienced in ROW management issues, ordinance drafting, and the egislative effort necessary for approval by the local city council.


  • Cable Franchising and Franchise Regulation
  • Telecommunications
  • Technology Contracting
  • Internet Law
  • Municipal Procurement Law and Procedures
  • Public Rights-Of-Way Management
  • Copyright and Trademark Law

J.D., New York University School of Law
M.A., Princeton University
B.A., Reed College

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