Charles Russell gets telecoms specialist

Charles Russell has appointed one of the leading lights in telecommunications to boost its telecoms team.

Trevor Smale, secretary general of the Cable Communications Association (CCA), will join the firm as a partner.

The former Davenport Lyons lawyer started working for the CCA – the trade association for cable telecommunications – in 1994.

Initially, he worked as director of legal and regulatory affairs, and taking the role of secretary general in 1998.

However, the CCA’s profile diminished following consolidation in the cable industry when the number of operators fell from more than 100 to just a handful.

The association has been a client of Charles Russell for several years and Smale says his long-standing relationship with the firm’s telecoms team was a factor in bringing him to it.

“I know it is a talented team,” he says. “I’m looking forward to joining and being able to offer its clients first-hand experience of telecoms regulatory and competition-related issues from an industry perspective.”

Mark Moncreiffe, head of Charles Russell’s telecommunications unit, says the sector is “a very important area of growth” for the firm.

The appointment of Smale brings the number of partners in the team up to seven, with nine assistants.

Moncreiffe says Smale will be invaluable in untangling the regulatory framework governing the cable industry in the UK.

“There is an enormous amount of regulation in place, especially now that cable operators have the opportunity to provide telephony and internet services,” he says.

“As competition increases we expect the hand of the regulator to get lighter, but to be able to call on the services of someone like Trevor is invaluable.”