Telecoms

The firm's ‘very committed’ team demonstrates ‘strong commercial acumen’.

The Legal 500

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Since the introduction of the Electronic Communications Code, there has been a sea-change in the field of telecoms, with landowners having to deal with often confusing reforms to law and procedure. Penningtons Manches Cooper has dedicated expertise in all property-related telecoms matters and a strong track record in advising landowners in relation to their dealings with operators.

The new code, which came into force in December 2017, introduced a revised regime for the regulation of telecoms. It contains sweeping powers for telecos, or operators, as they are known, including ‘compulsory purchase’ style powers to obtain rights.

Difficulties may arise in keeping operators off sites earmarked for development, negotiating consensual agreements for new rights, and terminating existing rights, including those caught by transitional provisions. Our specialist team is recognised for its ability to help landowners navigate these issues.

We routinely provide both advice and representation in relation to agreements under the new code, licences and wayleaves. Clients include property developers, commercial landlords, student and social housing providers as well as agricultural landowners, retailers and charities. Our lawyers’ highly regarded technical skills mean that agreements can be executed quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

We offer a complete service, from tactical guidance around service of notices through to dealing with the issues arising in relation to the costs of removal and reinstatement. This builds on our strong capabilities in facilitating the development of real estate assets.

We have an extensive understanding of the jurisdictional issues which can occur where mast sites remain protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 but new rights are sought by the operator. Because we are deeply embedded in the sector, we are familiar with the way operators work and know how to exert maximum pressure on behalf of clients. This means disputes are resolved promptly and without unnecessary expenditure.

Dispute avoidance, as well as dispute resolution, is another key strength. We have detailed knowledge of mediation and other forms of ADR. Our specialists regularly work as part of a multi-disciplinary team of professional advisors to secure clients’ objectives.

We offer expert advice on:

  • new code agreements
  • subsisting agreements under the new code
  • terminating agreements, whether caught by transitional provisions or within the ambit of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
  • removing equipment after termination of the agreement
  • resisting applications by operators for temporary and interim rights
  • access and multi-skilled visits
  • sharing of sites

Recent work highlights

REDEVELOPMENT ACTION PLAN FOR INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

Advising a commercial landlord on obtaining vacant possession in relation to a mast side let under lease, which allowed the complete redevelopment of the site generating approximately £700 million.


SUCCESSFUL ACQUISITION OF SITE FOR STUDENT HOUSING

Acting for an investor on the purchase of a site in London for the development of a large student accommodation block, including providing guidance on the termination and removal of on-site operators.


MAST DISPUTE INVOLVING HOTEL GROUP

Representing a London hotelier in a dispute with telecoms mast operators. Challenges to the alleged termination of agreements led to the recovery of £100,000 in back rent and the preservation of an ongoing income stream.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP