What’s behind the name ‘Trenches Law’?

Trenches Law News   •   February 11th 2021

Clonfert Cathedral - credit Jim Dempsey 2

While we might be only a few years old in a business sense, our brand dates back much further than that – in fact it goes all the way to the 1930s… and even before then!

That’s because our name is not only synonymous with the work that we do within the telecoms law industry, but it’s built on heritage and family – both of which are vital in our core values.

When speaking about the history, it’s perhaps better to hand over the metaphorical floor to our managing director and co-founder, Sharon McDermott, who is perfectly placed to tell the story about our business origins. So, without further ado, here’s some of the background behind the Trenches Law name…

Although I’m based in the south of England and grew up in Liverpool, many people might not know that my roots hail from Ireland. My dad – Bernard Joseph McDermott – was born in Clonfert in 1933.

My father passed away six years ago, and I’ve always been proud of where he came from – he definitely didn’t have it easy in his early life. His family was very poor and they didn’t have a penny to their name, but they were resilient and stuck together in times of need. All these characteristics have played a vital part in how the name ‘Trenches Law’ came to fruition.

When he was aged four – and his younger brother was two – their father died from pleurisy after being thrown from a horse into the River Shannon and so they had to move to a one or two-room lodge house, called Lisbeg Lodge, in Coolcarty (not far from Clonfert), with their mum and grandad. It was based at the bottom of the driveway of a place they referred to as ‘The Big House’ which was owned and lived in by the Trench family.

I’ve since done some research and discovered that John E Trench owned thousands of acres of land in Ireland. My dad always used to talk about the Trench family and how my great grandfather would shut the gate – at the bottom of the driveway – every night, without fail, at 10pm – when the carriage and horses had returned home.

He also used to tell us tales about the lodge and one I always remember (and I’ve no doubt it was true) was a ghost story about a phantom carriage crashing through those gates every night after they had been closed by my great grandfather.

I’ve since been to the lodge and we also took my dad before he died. He’s now buried in Clonfert Cathedral and we go to visit his grave as often as we can. Every time I return to Ireland, there’s always something about the place that brings back memories of how my father was when he was younger, what his family went through and how they stuck together.

Clonfert Cathedral - credit Jim Dempsey

So, when the opportunity came to set up my own business in 2017, all those stories of the Trench’s lodge came flooding back to me one night when I was trying to think of a company name. My dad must’ve been looking out for me because the ‘Trenches Law’ brand seemed to fit, and it was the perfect way to honour him and instil a piece of Ireland into the organisation.

Although there is a definite Irish theme running through our business – for example, our brand colours are green like the flag – I also feel it’s a name that’s synonymous with telecoms operators digging in the trenches and putting cables in.

Having worked with Terry Daniell (Trenches Law co-founder) previously at Virgin Media, he joined me when I was about a year into setting up. We then brought in George (Rudak, head of wayleave) and the rest is history… quite literally!

Overall, our organisation represents being part of a family that goes through thick and thin. We’re proud of our roots and I hope our core values underline how – regardless of the circumstances – you battle on to deliver the best possible experience. Trenches Law stands for ‘resilience’ to me and I can’t wait to see how we evolve.

Thank you to Jim Dempsey for sharing his photos of Clonfert Cathedral. See his original images here