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How we continue to support Virtual1’s international growth through telecoms legal expertise

Establishing long-term relationships with some of the UK’s largest telecoms operators is something we pride ourselves on here at Trenches Law. So, when a progressive organisation such as Virtual1 approached us to help support them on various projects, we’ve enjoyed building a trusted partnership with the team ever since.

That’s why we’ve gathered the thoughts of the team’s Business Development Director, Simon Durrant, to delve into the detail of our partnership – including a project that involved us finalising a Master Services Agreement (to undertake services in France) in under 24 hours…

About Virtual1

Award-winning, tech-first telco challenger brand, Virtual1, has been built from the ground up to become the biggest, most advanced wholesale-only network in the UK.

Existing to accelerate business through innovations in cloud, connectivity and security, the London-headquartered firm is the chosen partner of six of the top 10 global network carriers, as well as resellers and system integrators.

The challenge

Historically, Virtual1 had a legal function, however, when that exited the organisation in 2018, the team required astute telecoms law expertise – and fast.

There was an important gap to fill if Virtual1 was to continue onboarding clients – many of which are international carriers – at the rapid rate it was. The organisation needed a telecoms Master Services Agreement (MSA) in place for each new client. And, it also had a large, and growing, partner and supplier base, so required further support to ensure everything was legally robust during each negotiation phase.

Having experienced 20%+ year-on-year growth since 2016, the team recognised an immediate need for a legal partner that could move at the same pace, as well as understand the different requirements for carriers, suppliers and partners. Additionally, negotiations had to progress swiftly – sometimes within 24 hours.

Following a recommendation from an industry contact, Virtual1 approached Trenches Law having been impressed with the organisation’s telecoms experience and also the pedigree of Co-founder and Managing Director, Sharon McDermott, as a subject matter expert.

The solution

As Trenches Law demonstrated its ability to provide a balanced telecommunications legal view and granular understanding of the nuances presented by suppliers, partners and UK and overseas carriers, Virtual1 enlisted the award-winning telecoms law specialist to handle all its MSA negotiations.

“From the very first moment of engaging with Trenches Law, we knew this team was the right fit for us,” said Simon Durrant, Business Development Director at Virtual1. “It’s rare you find such a commercially astute legal entity, and especially with such valuable telco experience.”

As well as enabling – often complex – contract negotiations to run as smoothly as possible under Sharon’s legal guidance, Trenches Law has facilitated Virtual1 negotiate terms with some of the world’s top carriers. The work is both collaborative and consistent and provides true peace of mind because no stone is left unturned throughout each project.

“Trenches Law is very much part of the Virtual1 family. It takes the pain away during what can typically be a lengthy and often challenging part of the negotiation process. We sign-up more whole network providers as a result because we’re seen as an organisation that does things quickly and of a high calibre,” Simon added.

The results

Responsiveness and turnaround time have been pivotal in this partnership’s success. A notable collaboration project involved Virtual1 finalising a MSA to undertake services in France. The contract process was handled entirely by Trenches Law within 24 hours and meant Virtual1 moved far quicker than anyone else in the market.

In future, the team wants to explore Trenches Law’s other services – in particular wayleave expertise – and see how the two businesses can work together to not only share knowledge but also add value to their clients.

If your organisation requires legal, wayleave or compliance advice, please call: 01256 856 888, email: or fill out our short form here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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