Stephen Sawley – an experienced wayleave professional with more than 20 years’ telecoms sector knowledge – has joined Hampshire-headquartered Trenches Law.
He has taken on the role of senior wayleave manager, as the company prepares to double in size by the end of 2020.
Having begun his career with BT, Yorkshireman Stephen went on to work as a project coordinator for a specialist manufacturing firm, where he oversaw the entire lifecycle of the production environment. He moved back into telecoms in 2010, when he became a wayleave officer for Virgin Media, before progressing to management level and looking after an outsourced team plus 12 internal colleagues.
His new position with Trenches Law – a specialist provider of legal expertise for the telecoms sector – coincides with unprecedented demand for full fibre connectivity throughout the whole of the UK.
Based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Stephen will combine remote working with a visiting role to the firm’s three offices in the South of England.
“Stephen came into the world of wayleave when the whole process was incredibly costly and, quite frankly, archaic,” said Trenches Law’s managing director Sharon McDermott. “However, his innovative approach to managing this often complex area of telecoms, mirrors what we’re striving to achieve as a business.
“Whether we’re delivering a fully-outsourced wayleave service or supporting a network operator with a specific matter, our goal is to ensure the most efficient way to install, maintain, repair or replace telecoms infrastructure on private land. Like Stephen, we’re challenging how things ‘have always been done’ in industry, and are experiencing significant business growth as a result.
“His appointment will ensure we maintain our standards as we continue to expand, which will benefit customers and colleagues alike.”
Stephen added: “Typically between 20% to 30% of properties in a network roll out project require wayleave consents, and the process has gathered a reputation for being time consuming and laborious to manage – not to mention extremely costly.
“We’re therefore pushing back on what has become an industry norm. It’s our priority to keep customers’ design and build plans on track, whatever the pace.”
When commenting on the value he hopes to bring to Trenches Law, he elaborated: “I look forward to developing the skill-set of our wayleave team, contributing to the wellbeing and engagement of my colleagues, and introducing new reporting regimes that will further enhance our service provision.”
Celebrating its third anniversary this month, Trenches Law has three offices near Farnborough, Basingstoke and on the Isle of Wight. Clients include Virtual1, WightFibre, Luminet and toob.