Wayleave and telecoms law specialist Trenches has opened its third office in Odiham, north Hampshire, as the firm marks the end of its second year in business.
Founded by ex-senior counsel for Virgin and head of wayleave, statutory and partner compliance, SRA-accredited Trenches is headed up by Sharon McDermott – a lawyer with almost 20 years’ industry experience.
The new office now marks a trio of spaces for the team, with established offices already up and running in east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
With clients including notable brand names such as TalkTalk, WightFibre, toob and Virtual1 – to name just a few – the company has grown by 300% in the past 12 months, with a 500% turnover uplift projected for the next financial year.
To support this growth phase, Trenches has also appointed newly-hired operations director Terry Daniell to oversee the strategic acquisition of wayleaves. With a career spanning the management of major account customers – having spent 25 years working for Virgin and BT – he too shares a wealth of telecoms-specific insight, which enables the efficient completion of freehold agreements and the swift progress of time-sensitive electronic communications projects.
Commenting on the journey to date, McDermott explained: “Our growth over the past two years marks the degree of change within the telecoms sector at present. The UK still lags behind many of our European neighbours when it comes to full fibre coverage, but with Government targets for the majority of the population to be covered by 5G by 2027, we are seeing the country’s FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) infrastructure now evolving faster than ever before.
“This is not only a world we know a lot about, but one I am extremely passionate about, not least because I was involved in Virgin’s Project Lightning – the single biggest private investment in the UK and Ireland’s digital infrastructure in more than a decade. I saw first-hand the challenges that operators face in both urban and rural areas, and this was actually the reason for setting up Trenches.”
“I want to share our experience and legal acumen, so that Trenches can help operators build as many premises as possible, whether they need to rely on the Electronic Communications Code or not. Our price-per-premise business model – rather than traditional exorbitant hourly rates – just adds to service effectiveness for clients as we don’t erode their margins on already tightly priced jobs.”
In addition to providing fully-outsourced wayleave services to brands such as WightFibre, Trenches also acts as preferred telecoms legal specialist for firms like Luminet.
“The world of tech is complex and multi-layered,” McDermott continued. “Sometimes, it’s important to know when to push boundaries. Whether we’re managing disputes, reviewing tenders or negotiating contract terms, our focus is always maximising revenue while minimising risk. Clients need legal counsel that helps them approach every problem or opportunity strategically, so they can keep moving in this fast-paced environment.
“The opening of our new office – almost to the day that we mark our second anniversary – is hopefully testament to the fact that we’ve a lot more support to give this exciting industry.”