The consultancy – until recently known as Mandate Communications -– plans to have up to 10 Brussels-based staff before the year’s end, and is currently in talks to sign up healthcare and financial services lobbyists about joining.
Gray is a former top EU lobbyist at the British Retail Consortium, which he left to become director of European affairs at the European DIY-Retail.
He will retain his current job title with the European DIY Retail Association while also running MHP Brussels.
Sacha Deshmukh, MHP chief executive, said: ‘The opening of our Brussels office is the first step in an aggressive expansion by MHP in the EU.
'We are already talking to a number of recruits and expect MHP’s team in Brussels to be 10-strong by the end of 2011.
'We have also built our own MHP network across Europe and are positioned to leapfrog the old-model PR companies whose different country offices act like warring factions.’
About 40 per cent of MHP’s 2010 revenues of £16.74m came from public affairs work.
Major current PA clients include Kraft, London 2012 (Locog), Roche, JP Morgan, Avis Europe and American Express.
The agency expects between €500,000 and €1m turnover from Brussels business this year and is targeting ‘€3m to €5m’ by the end of 2012.