The Ledbury Group brings in advisers for expansion

Recently established consultancy The Ledbury Group has hired two new advisers as it attempts to become a major force in the UK public affairs consultancy scene.

Gooderham: ambitious plans
Gooderham: ambitious plans

Katie Elliott joins this week from Friends of the Earth where she was climate change campaign manager, responsible for briefing stakeholders about the implications of the Climate Change Bill.

Agency boss Malcolm Gooderham has also signed up Fleishman-Hillard consultant Kate Brightwell. She will join the agency next month after two years at F-H, before which she worked for the Liberal Democrat MPs Susan Kramer and Paul Keetch.

The Ledbury Group was set up late last year by Gooderham and Nick Bent. The agency grabbed the attention of rival consultancies last month when it managed to wrestle Asda's public affairs account from Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (PRWeek, 28 March). Other clients include the British Horseracing Authority and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Ledbury is believed to have significant financial backing and is determined to be a regular fixture on pitch lists alongside the likes of Bell Pottinger, Weber Shandwick and FD-LLM.

Ledbury is understood to be one of a number of agencies that has been long-listed by McDonald's after the fast-food chain put its public affairs account out to pitch last month (PRWeek, 14 March).

Gooderham worked as Michael Portillo's press secretary from 2000 to 2001 before moving to Weber Shandwick. Bent recently served as special adviser to Tessa Jowell at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Bent and Gooderham are backed by a ten-strong 'thought leadership' panel of comms experts who help on accounts, including former Peter Mandelson aide Ben Wegg-Prosser and Teenage Cancer Trust director of comms Lucy Jackson. Elliott and Brightwell both join as consultants.

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