Gallagher has been secretly working on the new venture since leaving his role as ITV corporate affairs director at the end of last year.
The new agency will be called Pagefield, after the name of an engineering company founded by Gallagher’s grandfather. It will specialise in corporate PR and public affairs.
Gallagher will take the role of senior partner in the agency. He will be supported by five partners including Sara Price, former group head of public affairs at Transport for London and board director at Hill & Knowlton; Ben Rosier, former Camelot controller of corporate and media relations; and Oliver Foster, former head of public affairs at the UK Film Council.
Associate partners include Sue Robertson, until recently corporate affairs director at Channel Five; Peter Ibbotson, former assistant head of current affairs and one-time editor of Panorama at the BBC; and Rob Butler, former BBC TV news reporter and ITN News anchor for the launch of Channel Five.
Gallagher has also assembled a four-strong advisory board comprising Mark Bolland, former press secretary to the Prince of Wales; Dame Sue Tinson, the longstanding former editor of ITV’s News at Ten; Viscountess Cobham, chairman of VisitEngland; and Teresa Graham, deputy chair of the Government’s Better Regulation Commission.
Gallagher told PRWeek that he was in final talks with a number of launch clients. Before joining ITV, Gallagher worked as corporate affairs director at Camelot and as public affairs director at ITN.
He said of his time in-house: ‘The big agencies often made me feel as though my account was just part of a PR "factory".
‘And while the smaller, independent agencies were more enthusiastic and client-focused, they often lacked the breadth and depth of experience to deal with emerging crises for high-profile clients.’
Gallagher added: ‘Pagefield is the consultancy that I always wanted when I was a client.’