Charles D. Ferris

Member vCard


  • Boston College (JD)
  • Boston College (BA)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

Charlie is Chair of the firm’s Federal Law Practice. He focuses primarily on communications and federal relations law.

He was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from October 1977 until April 1981. Under his administration, the FCC established many of the policies followed today in telecommunications services, cable, and broadcasting. It also opened new competitive markets for common carrier firms and ended monopoly offerings of many telecommunications services, replacing traditional regulatory restraints with structural remedies to further competition in communications markets.

As FCC chairman, he worked closely with his counterparts in other countries on international telecommunications matters, and many of the policies adopted during his tenure at the FCC served as models for later developments in Europe and the Far East.

Before serving on the FCC, Charlie worked initially as a trial lawyer at the Department of Justice, and from 1963 to 1977 as chief counsel to the US Senate Majority and chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. He also served as general counsel to House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. in 1977.

Charlie co-authored Cable Television Law: A Video Communications Practice Guide, a three-volume legal treatise dealing with new communications technologies.

During law school, he was a member of the Boston College Law Review. He received an honorary doctorate from Boston College in 1978.

Recognitions & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Communications Law (2006 – 2017)
  • Chambers USA: District of Columbia – Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (2004 – 2007) 
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association