Bakaly to lead Edelman's DC litigation practice

WASHINGTON: Edelman has hired Charles Bakaly as a senior counselor and the lead of its litigation communications practice in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON: Edelman has hired Charles Bakaly as a senior counselor and the lead of its litigation communications practice in Washington, DC.

In this capacity, Bakaly will provide strategic counsel to clients in the courts of law and public opinion. He will develop and manage communications strategies around litigation to protect brand reputations.

Bakaly joins Edelman from a litigation strategy consulting firm. He served as counselor and spokesman for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation.

"Edelman provides me with a national platform at a large independent and entrepreneurial firm," Bakaly said. "It's a great opportunity to bring the litigation communications practice to another level."

Bakaly expects to work with many of Edelman's offices to service both political and corporate clients.

Bakaly said that the litigation environment has become more complex since his time with Starr, due to the explosion of internet communications, the public's obsession with legal matters, and the absence of any real deadlines.

"Most companies and lawyers understand the need for a proactive public strategy," Bakaly said. "It's not just about litigation; any situation where there's potential legal liability needs a communication strategy."

Bakaly, who is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, said his lawyer experience helps him bridge the gap between communications and legal professionals.

"There has been an inherent conflict between the two disciplines," Bakaly said, while adding that both sides realize the role of the other. "You can win in the court of law, but still lose in the court of public opinion."

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