Public affairs outfit Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn is creating a
Communications Strategy division and rebranding itself as LLM
Communications, in a move away from being a dedicated lobbying firm.
The new division will be headed by Olly Grender, formerly communications
director at the Liberal Democrats and housing charity Shelter. Grender
joined LLM last October as a senior consultant specialising in media
relations and, alongside fellow staff member Craig Leviton, has been
promoted to associate director. In the new division, she will head teams
of variable size according to client needs.
Neal Lawson, LLM cofounder and now managing director of the consultancy,
said: ’Media and stakeholder relations are increasingly important to our
clients’ public affairs delivery. We have expanded our capacity to
reflect demand from clients.’
The move into media relations is significant, since while most public
affairs consultants recognise the need to integrate media relations into
their service offering, LLM was set up purely as a public affairs
Lawson’s co-founders were Ben Lucas, like Lawson of Lowe Bell Political,
and John Mendelsohn, who worked in Tony Blair’s office in
All three had backgrounds in politics rather than PR, and Grender
stresses that the agency is only offering media relations and
communications advice ’in the context of wide-ranging public affairs
Meanwhile, the agency is also taking on four new employees, bringing its
staff total to 21, with six part-time associates. Hugh Simpson joins
this week as head of research and information, having previously served
as deputy secretary to the parliamentary Liberal Democrats. Henneke
Sharif joins in April as account manager and is serving notice as public
affairs manager at examination board Edexcel.
Saskia Fane-Hervey and Sally Hepton both join LLM as account executives
next week. Fane-Hervey joins from Consolidated Communications, while
Hepton currently works at The House magazine.
- LLM was this week involved in the launch of the People’s Lottery, the
not-for-profit bid for the next national lottery franchise to be decided
in June. Fronted by Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, the bid is run by a
consortium including computer giant Compaq, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and
advertising agency J Walter Thompson.