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Name and title: Bradley Shingleton, general counsel Age: 50 Telecommunications titan: The mission of Washington-based Deutsche Telekom Inc., which itself lacks direct sales and has neither operational nor technical capabilities, is to serve its parent company, Bonn, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom A.G., whose 256,000 employees and 2002 revenues of 53.7 billion euros make it Europe’s largest telecommunications firm. Deutsche Telekom A.G. is an integrated provider, “equivalent to the AT&T of the pre-breakup era,” said Shingleton, meaning that it is involved both in ownership and operation of communications infrastructure as well as the marketing and sale of its services. Shingleton, whose responsibilities include assessing American technological, commercial and regulatory trends, also coordinates and provides legal support to Deutsche Telekom A.G.’s other U.S. affiliates, primarily T-Mobile (in the wireless realm) and T-Systems Inc. (in the information technology and telecommunications sector). Technology v. Law: Shingleton and his legal colleagues in telecommunications devote a significant amount of time trying to grasp and digest fast-moving technological developments, which, he said, “very much affect the day-to-day legal work we do.” Innovative courts and legislative bodies are trying to anticipate these trends, “but the law is huffing and puffing, always trying to keep up, particularly with regard to regulation.” Voice communication over the Internet is one area that especially challenges traditional, long-standing legal frameworks that “belong in some cases to a different technological era. It’s fascinating to watch legislation and judicial decisions engage these technical trends,” he said. Legal team: Bradley Shingleton solos as Deutsche Telekom Inc.’s in-house counsel. Although there have been phases when he has focused on a particular area, he considers himself a “generalist with a richly diverse practice concentrating in corporate matters.” He oversees his company’s venture capital work, receiving support from Fish & Richardson in New York. Attorneys from the Washington offices of Chicago’s Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw and Richmond, Va.’s McGuireWoods assist Shingleton in litigation matters, primarily commercial or corporate-related issues. He is not immersed in employment litigation, and there are no intellectual property matters that have been brought to suit, although Shingleton points out that some have figured in prelitigation disputes. The general counsel occasionally deals with acquisitions, but headquarters attorneys are responsible for the larger U.S. transactions. These attorneys also do the bulk of the contract work with celebrity advertising personalities such as T-Mobile’s Catherine Zeta-Jones. He does not directly interact with the Federal Communications Commission or other regulators, although regulatory work is conducted out of his Washington office with the help of outside counsel, so “I am aware of what is going on and, as necessary, become involved.” His mantra is “remain sensitive to the business objectives and always try to find legally compliant ways to optimize these objectives.” U.S. GC, foreign firm: Being an American general counsel for a foreign company, said Shingleton, brings with it the need for cross-cultural sensitivity. Being adaptable, flexible and attentive to, and mindful of, cultural differences are crucial traits. His clients, including divisional corporate counsel and the parent company’s central legal team, are mostly German-trained attorneys. Shingleton travels to Germany several times a year and interfaces regularly with the president of Deutsche Telekom Inc., along with his counterpart at the Bonn-based parent company, so fluency in the native tongue is essential. He emphasizes that “there is no substitute in the legal business for personal relationships and contacts.” He also recommends familiarity with the country’s history, politics and current events, asserting that, given the political context in which international business operates, such knowledge allows him to detect and analyze trends that are of potential importance to Deutsche Telekom. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which calls for more corporate compliance and transparency, and homeland security issues have provided Shingleton with two new areas of responsibility. He said that, given some differences in corporate law and structure for foreign companies compared to domestic ones, implementing the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley has been a particular challenge. He occasionally works with American law enforcement agencies and their German equivalents on security matters, but admitted that there are legal constraints, particularly regarding data protection, that have to be considered. Route to the top: Shingleton, Durham, N.C.-born and a graduate of Dickinson College and Duke University Law School, has had a Teutonic-flavored law career. Following four years specializing in civil litigation with the Raleigh, N.C., firm of Young, Moore, Henderson & Alvis, he was awarded a 1986 fellowship by the Robert Bosch Foundation for a year of legal work in Stuttgart, Germany. He spent the next two years with a firm, since merged with Atlanta-based Alston & Bird, that had a German-oriented practice. McGuireWoods’ Washington location was Shingleton’s next port of call, and there he worked closely with an intern with connections to Deutsche Telekom, then part of the German federal post office. (Prior to 1996, the company was 100% government owned and, although market conditions have not favored large dispositions of stock, particularly in the telecommunications sector, the German government’s stake has been whittled down to around 40%.) In 1994, the telecommunications company made its first major international foray-a joint venture with Sprint and France Telecom in which Shingleton was a key player-and it opened a D.C. office for regulatory and legal affairs. Shingleton, who had got to know several people involved in the company’s internationalization and eventual privatization, was then offered the general counsel position. Personal: Shingleton, “very much a full-time husband and father,” is married to Sherburne Laughlin. They are the parents of Bill, 13, and Matt, 2. He is an avid hiker and biker. Last book and movie: This Wheel’s On Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band, by Stephen Davis, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

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