Railtrack reviews lobbying activity with Lowe Bell

Railtrack is to review its lobbying account with Lowe Bell Political, as it fights a possible windfall tax levy and increasing pressure from the rail regulator.

Railtrack is to review its lobbying account with Lowe Bell

Political, as it fights a possible windfall tax levy and increasing

pressure from the rail regulator.



Recent Lowe Bell breakaway agency Lawson Lucas Mendelson is thought to

be a strong contender for the business.



Lowe Bell won the account from GJW in August 1996, on a one year

contract for undisclosed fees.



’Our intention was to have them advise us during the election period and

that has run its course,’ said Railtrack’s corporate affairs director

Philip Dewhurst.



He is due to meet Lowe Bell in the next month to discuss the

account.



The agency is considering whether to re-pitch.



LLM was formed at the end of May when two key Labour figures left Lowe

Bell Political (PR Week, 30 May). Neal Lawson and Ben Lucas left to set

up with Jon Mendelson, a former aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair.



Both Lawson and Lucas had worked on the Railtrack account. ’Their

biggest strength is the quality of advice they give,’ said Dewhurst.



Railtrack could be one of the first utilities to be taxed under the

windfall levy, and is fighting off efforts to make it more accountable

to the Office of Rail Regulation.



In March Railtrack split its European lobbying account between three

firms, led by Brussels lobbying agency Cabinet Stewart. The track

authority’s law firm Simmons and Simmons handles monitoring, and

London-based agency Spada is working on submissions for EU funds from

Railtrack’s regional offices.



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