ClientEarth public affairs chief joins global law firm

Simon Alcock has left environmental law charity ClientEarth, where he was head of public affairs and campaigns, to take up the newly created role of director of public affairs at campaigning law firm PGMBM, PRWeek has learned.

Simon Alcock, director of public affairs, PGMBM (Pic credit: City of London Corporation)
Simon Alcock, director of public affairs, PGMBM (Pic credit: City of London Corporation)

In his new job, which started this month, he reports to Alison Jackson-Carter, who joined PGMBM as its first head of corporate comms in June this year. The two are working together to establish a comms team at the company.

PGMBM describes itself as “a unique partnership between British, Brazilian and American lawyers, passionate about championing justice for the victims of wrongdoing by big corporations".

The firm recently brought a legal challenge against the UK Government’s hotel quarantine policy on the grounds it is unlawful and amounts to false imprisonment. It is also working on a series of other cases, such as claims arising from the collapse of the Fundão Dam, the largest environmental disaster in the history of Brazil.

Alcock “brings together political strategy, external relations and communications expertise along with a passion for holding the powerful to account and getting justice for people,” according to his profile on the PGMBM website.

It adds that he has almost 20 years of experience in politics, public affairs and campaigning and is “a specialist in running campaigns that resonate with the public and impact on policy”.

Prior to joining PGMBM, Alcock spent five years at ClientEarth, where he led the environmental law charity’s campaign against air pollution.

Alcock told PRWeek: “I am delighted to join PGMBM. I look forward to helping the firm hold powerful organisations to account and getting justice for people across the range of cases we are taking. My focus will be developing a political strategy and building relationships across a range of sectors.”

Credentials 

Alcock, who has a masters in international relations from the London School of Economics, started out out as a policy and economy officer at The Quinn Centre, a social enterprise in Southampton. He then spent almost two years as a parliamentary researcher for Labour MP Valerie Davey, running the secretariat for the all-party Parliamentary Group on Dignity at Work and doing cross-party research for the Education Select Committee.

In 2005, Alcock left to become a political advisor to Labour MP Ed Miliband and spent five years in the role. When Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2010 he kept Alcock on - giving him the role of head of policy for energy, environment and climate change. In 2012 Alcock was promoted to become Miliband’s senior advisor and private secretary.

After Milband stepped down as Labour leader, following defeat in the 2015 general election, Alcock spent six months as senior political adviser to Rosie Winterton, opposition chief whip, during the transition to the new leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He moved to ClientEarth as comms and public affairs manager in 2016 - rising to become head of public affairs and campaigns during his time at the environmental charity.

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