Tech and Telecoms

Swish Fibre announces partnership with Trenches Law

Ambitious altnet (alternative network) provider Swish Fibre has partnered with telecoms specialist Trenches Law, as it readies itself for further growth in 2021.

The collaboration signifies the new company’s commitment to addressing the industry’s challenges and stereotypes head on, and delivering gigabit-capable connectivity to households and businesses, at pace – as the name suggests.

Swish Fibre initially unveiled its build plans in the summer of 2020, outlining the vision to bring its 10Gbps full fibre broadband network to over 250,000 properties across the Home Counties, over the next five years. Marlow was the first town to benefit from the roll-out, with plans for Swish to be active in at least nine additional locations within a commutable distance to London, by June 2021.

And having grown from a team of only 15 people to 60 at the close of the year – with plans to grow the company ten-fold over the next 18 months – Swish identified the need to augment its wayleave knowledge as quickly as possible. And 12 months into the business, 4,000 wayleaves have already been encountered.

Renowned for causing costly delays to network builds, the notoriously complex wayleave process is one of Trenches Law’s specialisms – not least because the business is co-founded by Sharon McDermott, former Head of Legal, and Head of Wayleave, Statutory and Partner Compliance at Virgin Media, and Terry Daniell, who also held senior roles at Virgin Media following 25 years’ experience in the sector.

Commenting on the partnership, Swish Fibre’s Nick Bratt said: “We’re an entirely new company with big plans. We knew we needed some real expert advice on how to structure our processes, the likely issues we’d face and where to go when we get stuck. For such expertise, there really was no question that we’d go anywhere other than Trenches Law, as their knowledge within this niche arena, is vast.

“They’re a fluid, progressive and responsive business too, which challenges the norm of a traditional law firm – this was particularly important for Swish given the pace we’re moving at.”

Elaborating on the relationship, Sharon added: “We’re big on collaboration at Trenches Law, which means the dynamic differs from one client to the next. Our work with Swish Fibre is all about intense knowledge transfer, so we can empower the team to manage the wayleave process effectively, compliantly and with a keen eye on the commercials too. We don’t want anything to slow them down.”

Trenches Law hit the headlines in October 2020 by revealing its new wayleave automation technology – a game-changer in the market.

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