Bell faces allegations of huge RFU payment

Sir Tim Bell has allegedly been charging client the Rugby Football Union pounds 750 an hour for his time - more than three times the average for agency heads involved in crisis management work.

Sir Tim Bell has allegedly been charging client the Rugby Football

Union pounds 750 an hour for his time - more than three times the

average for agency heads involved in crisis management work.



The figure was highlighted in a document - purportedly a Lowe Bell

Communications executive time summary - that was leaked to the Mail on

Sunday as a strike in an increasingly acrimonious internal power

struggle at the RFU.



The document showed that Bell worked a total of 342 hours on the crisis

- his cumulative time billed out at the princely sum of pounds

256,500.



’I am not required to confirm or deny anything to do with a document

purportedly leaked,’ said Bell. ’I’ll tell you to mind your own

business.’



Bell’s hourly rate, if true, far surpasses the average charge out cost

for top crisis PR advisers.



According to PRCA director Christopher McDowall, last year’s inter-firm

comparisons showed the average per hour charge out rate for agency heads

advising on crisis communications was just under pounds 200.



However, Manning Selvage and Lee chief executive and PRCA chairman

Jackie Elliot believes that rates of between pounds 350-500 per hour are

’not unusual’ for the top practitioners.



’Tim’s rate is obviously at the upper end and it reflects his status,’

added Elliot. ’But if paying him that can save your corporate life, it’s

money well spent.



’In the scale of things I suppose it’s not a lot. Let’s assume Tim is as

good as a lot of people say he is. If that’s so it’s not too much.



After all, what do top QCs earn?’



A Shandwick director confirmed that Shandwick founder and group chairman

Lord Chadlington would command a similar rate to Bell’s for his personal

participation in crisis work.



’The calls on Tim Bell’s time and Lord Chadlington’s time are many and

varied,’ said the Shandwick director.



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