Citigate Dewe Rogerson has scooped a prestigious international comms brief with one of the world's largest law firms, following a fiercely contested pitch process.
Clifford Chance has handed the City agency a strategic corporate comms account, having previously retained incumbent Edelman for five years.
Citigate emerged from a final shortlist of three agencies, thought to have included fellow City shops Brunswick and Capital MS&L. It is understood that Edelman repitched for the business but was eliminated at an earlier stage.
The brief will see Citigate support the global law firm's corporate reputation and business-to-business PR, focused primarily on the UK but including international work where it arises.
Clifford Chance global head of comms Claire Gosnell confirmed the appointment and explained that the nature of the brief had changed since Edelman had initially been brought in to support its entire comms function and media relations. She said: 'Over the past few years, we have built a good hands-on team and are now looking for an agency to provide us with a good external sounding board, strategic advice and a high level of creativity.'
She added that the nature of Clifford Chance's business, which is largely based on capital markets transactions, meant the firm was looking for an agency with a deep understanding of the financial markets. A senior Citigate team consisting of Michael Berkeley and Simon Rigby, both executive directors, financial practice, and Deborah Saw, corporate MD, will lead the account.
Clifford Chance is one of the five 'magic circle' law firms. Fellow magic circle firm Linklaters used FD for corporate and financial PR, but few others have wide-ranging retained PR briefs.
The account is thought to be worth a low-end six-figure sum annually, but it is understood that Citigate views the account as a potentially hugely important win in strategic terms.
Citigate Dewe Rogerson hopes Clifford Chance's industry-leading position in M&A and other capital markets deals will help the agency increase its deal-flows and cement relationships in this space.
The news brings to an end a lengthy pitch process, first reported in PRWeek in July.
Clifford Chance has offices across the US, Asia and Europe, and focuses on capital markets, corporate and M&A, finnance and banking, and litigation and dispute resolution.