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Connecting with… Debra Rowberry

In our latest employee spotlight, we’re putting wayleave officer Debra Rowberry in the hotseat — learning more about her role at Trenches Law, dream client, sector inspiration, and how she switches off when she’s ‘out of office’.

Since entering the market space as a single person’s passion in 2017, Trenches Law has evolved significantly. Blending technological innovation with some of the industry’s finest talent, we’ve grown to become one of the most renowned legal firms in a fast-growth sector. Our ever-expanding trophy cabinet is evidence of our impact!

But it’s the commitment and expertise of our people who make these high standards so achievable. That’s why, in our new-look spotlight, we’re keen to tell you a little bit more about them. Next up, it’s our wayleave officer, Debra Rowberry. Take it away, Debra… 

Tell us a little bit about your role, and the part you play in Trenches Law’s success:

I am a wayleave officer at Trenches Law, and have been part of the Welsh (Ogi) team since joining the company in November 2022. My involvement within the team is to address areas in west Wales that require wayleave agreement from freeholders, in respect of access to private roads, multi dwelling units (MDUs) and places where our client wishes to upgrade the network.

And what attracted you to the job in the first place? 

My background is law, in particular conveyancing. I have previously worked for large solicitors’ firms, within their non-contentious departments, dealing with land and property to include  freehold/leasehold titles and also wills/probate.

I saw the job advertisement with Trenches Law and, after doing my research, I felt this was a great way for me to follow a new career path. While there are crossovers, telecommunications is something that is very different to the work I had done previously. We all need to grow and change, and this was my way of taking on a new challenge. 

What’s been a key highlight for you career-wise, during your time at the business? 

Being recognised by the Trenches Law family and nominated for an award recently was a real career highlight for me. For my team to say “well done” was a great achievement, because it’s not always the case that you get those accolades from an employer or recognition from your work colleagues.

Finish the following sentence: Trenches Law is…

Probably the most forward-thinking company that I have worked with — from embracing the staff as family to utilising the skills of all employees for the benefit of the business and wider industry. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small, one-off commercial law enquiry or a multi-year retainer to support UK connectivity progress, everyone truly cares and we work together as one team to deliver the best possible outcome for all.

Who would be your dream client, and why?

For me, it’s one that believes we do the very best for them. If you can meet a clients’ requirements, and along the way make a friend and have a good working relationship, that is the dream. We are all human, and if we can give something our all and use our hearts and  heads in making good honest decisions, this seems to be a job well done. In turn, clients appreciate our work and will recommend us to other organisations. 

Name another organisation you think is making waves in the sector right now:

I may be slightly biased, but Ogi would be my vote for a company that’s making waves in the sector right now. It’s a Welsh based company, looking to ‘move mountains’ in Wales so that the rural areas are as much able to work and thrive as their better-served counterparts.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges in the telecoms space right now, and how can it be overcome? 

For me, this would be discussions surrounding fibre to the premises (FTTP) as the new way forward. Because many have not heard of FTTP or don’t fully understand what it is and why it’s beneficial, getting them to engage with conversations and sign wayleave consents can be difficult. Open conversations with freeholders and managing agents can be tricky, as you need the good grace of others to be open to discussion. That’s why communication is key.

Tell us something you’d like to achieve over the next twelve months, both individually and as part of the business? 

I enjoy being a wayleave officer, especially the investigation side of that work and the involvement with new people — whether that’s over the phone or face-to-face in a meeting environment. Gaining new clients from recommendations would be a high accolade for me, benefitting both the business and my own career path and fulfilment.

Values play a key role in strengthening Trenches Law’s culture. Can you tell us what being ‘visionary’ means to you? 

Be the best version of yourself that you can be, put your heart and soul into every task, and go the extra mile to make someone else’s day. Above all else, have fun along the way.

Finally, how do you switch off when you’re ‘out of office’? 

I love the area where I live in Pembrokeshire, and the greatest thing is to get into the car and go on a mystery trip, ending up at a destination where there are beautiful views — which is practically everywhere — even better with fish and chips!

Thanks Debra! If you enjoyed learning more about our wayleave officer, you’ll love reading the content we share over on LinkedIn and Twitter. Why not follow us? 

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