Sophie Huntbach, training and compliance officer, Trenches Law

Quintet joins Trenches Law as team bolsters its wayleave expertise

Trenches Law, a legal firm specialising in telecoms and technology, has appointed five new recruits to help towards its goal of more than doubling its workforce – and becoming a 50-strong organisation – by the end of 2021.

With vast expertise in handling complex wayleaves, the Hampshire-headquartered business has strengthened this division by welcoming Katie Fosten and Louise Ford, as wayleave manager and wayleave officer, respectively.

Sophie Huntbach has joined as the firm’s training and compliance manager, with project manager Leigh Collins, and Hannah Ali-Harmes as finance manager. The new-look team will further support Trenches Law’s provision of legal counsel – including contract negotiations, drafting agreements, and applying for Code powers – as well as managed wayleave services for the UK’s largest telecoms operators, such as WightFibre, toob and ITS, alongside alt-nets, wholesalers and resellers.

As the Government plans for a gigabit-capable UK by 2025, former property manager Katie believes this is a pivotal time for the telecoms industry to help organisations better understand how to make the wayleave process more streamlined and cost-effective.

“It’s an extremely exciting and busy sector and there’s a lot of work to be carried out. We must continue to educate and assist businesses so they can stay connected and utilise faster broadband speeds to remain competitive,” said Katie, who is supporting large clients to obtain signed wayleave agreements from freeholders, managing agents, local authorities and housing associations of private lands and apartment blocks.

Louise Ford is currently working with a high-profile client, helping the company negotiate wayleaves to upgrade its existing mobile cell sites to support the 5G network – and she’s looking forward to collaborating with the team throughout this complex process.

Fellow new starter Sophie will be focused on helping the Trenches Law team to build on its existing skillset and soon be rolling out both foundational and advanced wayleave training for organisations. She added: “As a progressive business – with huge clients on the books – it’s vital we keep up the high levels of learning we pride ourselves on, so we can equip customers with the necessary telecoms law knowledge they need to prosper.”

Alongside these five new recruits, Trenches Law has also welcomed five further additions to bolster its marketing and operations teams.

Speaking about the appointments – which brings the team to 19 – the organisation’s co-founder Sharon McDermott said: “This is a key moment for our business in terms of where we want to be, and the role we want to play in offering quality telecoms legal support.

“Following an increase in demand for broadband connectivity throughout the pandemic, it’s vital for us to respond swiftly and bring in talented employees who can support our clients, make each project as streamlined as possible, and enhance their overall experience. We’re already seeing the fantastic impact our new starters are making.”