Telecommunications Advisory Service

Telecommunications Operators (e.g. EE, Vodafone and Virgin) are seeking to expand their network coverage across the United Kingdom. Consequently, rooftop space on commercial premises and remote rural sites have become prime real estate for telecommunications businesses to house their masts and apparatus.

Whether your property currently houses telecommunications apparatus, or you have been approached by a Telecommunications Operator or served with a notice proposing the installation of new apparatus, it is important that you seek expert advice to secure the best outcome for your commercial objectives.

With the introduction of new legislation (the new Electronic Communications Code) you want to ensure that you understand your legal rights and either enter into an arrangement that does not unduly burden your land or know the right grounds on which to challenge a proposition.

Sharpe Pritchard acts solely for landowners, which allows us to offer our clients a fully dedicated, conflict-free service and have experience working alongside project teams and specialist telecommunications surveyors.

We provide our clients with guidance and strategic insight on key issues such as:

  • Existing Agreements – we can advise and assist landowners with the terms of historic/pre-existing telecommunications agreements and contracts (i.e. those entered into before the introduction of the New Code)
  • New Agreements – we can provide preliminary advice and negotiate new telecommunications agreements, including project specific legal advice for surveyors and property asset management officers
  • Planning Process – we work closely with our planning team who offer professional advice to clients on planning issues relating to development involving telecommunications apparatus. This includes advising clients on options to comment on and/or challenge planning applications by telecommunications firms, and drafting robust representations to local planning authorities
  • Termination – we advise clients on options for termination of telecommunications agreements and the removal of telecommunications apparatus with a view to repossessing the land (a necessity if the landowner plans to develop the land). We can assist with the negotiation of ‘lift and shift’ provisions in new agreements, as well as advising on the exercise of a ‘lift and shift’ in existing agreements
  • Site Agreement Audits – for clients with large landholdings containing multiple telecommunications sites, we can offer a bespoke review and advisory service to assist with site asset management and future planning
  • Redevelopment – we can offer tailored advice for clients acquiring land for commercial and/or residential re-development or regeneration. Specialist legal advice will enable you to weigh up both the benefits and potential impediments that such an agreement may have on the successful outcome of your development project
  • Litigation – for matters which require the proficiency of a litigation expert, we can provide advice to landowners ahead of court hearings (e.g. concerning proceedings to remove site operators and their equipment). Where proceedings are escalated to higher courts, we are able to refer matters to our trusted network of barristers for representation
  • Professional Referrals – we can refer you to specialist telecommunications surveyors on matters concerning valuation. Should matters be escalated to Courts, we can liaise and refer you to our pre-established network of barristers with expertise in the field of property and telecommunications

Case highlights

  • Advising a central government body on whether an Operator had the right under a subsisting telecommunications agreement to upgrade and alter telecommunications apparatus on a government building in Central London.
  • Acting on behalf of a company to provide operational advice on Telecommunications Code provisions owing to site access requests by telecommunications companies.
  • Acting for a local authority to advise on telecommunications lease variations, renewals and the service of notices concerning telecommunications masts and equipment on multiple sites.
  • Acting for a residential management company to advise on representations made to a local planning authority with a view to arguing against an application for permitted development.
  • Acting on behalf of a pension fund to consider and advise on transitionary legislation rights regarding a telecommunications mast and negotiating a code-compliant agreement.

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