It is understood that Paterson resigned last week as head of public affairs, leaving director Ralph Jackson to run the division on a temporary basis while the agency hunts for a successor.
Paterson could not be reached for comment and it is believed that he does not have another job lined up. Sources said he was still considering his next move.
Paterson joined Lansons from Citigate Public Affairs in 2005 to launch its lobbying practice. His resignation comes 15 months after Lansons substantially strengthened its public affairs business with the acquisition of the Jackson Consultancy (PRWeek, 6 April 2006).
That deal took Lansons fee income in public affairs up to £700,000. It also brought in four staff from the Jackson Consultancy, including founder Jackson, who was given a seat on the board.
However, Paterson was never offered a place on the board. ‘It left Dirk in a strange position,’ one agency source told PRWeek.
Lansons CEO Tony Langham said that Paterson had left by ‘mutual consent’ and praised his record. ‘He successfully helped us to set up Lansons Public Affairs,’ he said.
Following Paterson’s departure, Lansons is left with six consultants in its public affairs division. The agency is a member of the Association of Professional Political Consultants and its public affairs clients include Standards Life, Royal London and PayPal.