Sharon McDermott, co-founder and managing director, Trenches Law
As managing director and co-founder of legal firm Trenches Law, which specialises in telecoms and technology, Sharon McDermott’s day is fairly relentless.
“Begrudgingly, I start off with a personal training session at 7am… and I am glad when I have finished it. I then get my son ready for school. Once I’m back at my desk, I log on and hold calls, attend meetings, and video conferences before switching off around 6.30pm.”
Along with her son, her two dogs – Luka and Wilf – also ensure McDermott has a much-needed screen break to take them for a walk during the day.
Balance in all things is key, McDermott says. When not working, she is a full-on soccer mum, supporting her son. “I go and watch him play regularly to cheer him along… much to his embarrassment.” This, combined with walking the dogs, going to the gym, and enjoying a pub lunch at the weekend, keeps McDermott pretty busy.
On a more philanthropic note, she says, at Trenches Law “we are big on giving back, too, so we are always on the lookout for ways to help”. The firm recently, donated technology devices to some worthy causes and provided food vouchers for a school during half-term.
Reflecting on the past 18 months, like many business owners McDermott was initially worried about the future of the firm “because you are responsible for so many livelihoods”. But at Trenches Law they managed to maintain ‘business as usual’ and held regular touch points, including ‘Friday Fizz’ social events and regular check-ins for its employees that continue to this day.
In addition, McDermott has been keen to help others throughout the crisis by providing pro bono employment law advice to a local taxi service and commercial guidance for small companies.
An advocate for women in tech, McDermott comments that “women are vastly under-represented in the industry, but it’s getting better”.
At Trenches Law the emphasis is on celebrating fantastic employees and offering them opportunities to flourish. For her part, McDermott is mentoring the company’s head of wayleave, Georgina Rudak, to complete her training contract and become a solicitor.”
Looking ahead, Trenches Law is adding more expertise to the legal side of the business, “especially as we are noticing more client demand for Code Power applications support, legal advice and drafting and/or negotiating contracts, alongside wayleave guidance”.
In addition, the firm is organising Trenches Fest 2022 (food, drink and entertainment for the firm’s employees and their families) as well as launching products and increasing its service offering for next year.