Wagland quits Clifford Chance in comms cuts

Clifford Chance head of PR Jeff Wagland has quit following the global law giant’s decision to downgrade his job in a bid to cut back on comms costs.

Clifford Chance head of global PR Anne Groves confirmed that Wagland had handed in his notice and would be leaving the firm at the end of this month.

Wagland told PRWeek he had planned to leave the firm in the autumn anyway and would be ‘taking some time out’ before looking for another job in the PR industry.

Groves said Wagland would be replaced by a more junior PRO with the title of London PR head or PR manager. She added that the firm’s three-strong PR team would be maintained.

‘Jeff is an extremely senior PRO. We will continue to run the PR function but we will do it with someone less senior. You have to look at what resources you have and how best to use them effectively within your budget,’ Groves said.

Clifford Chance hired Wagland in 2002 from water and construction firm AWG, where he was head of corporate affairs (PRWeek, 8 February).

Wagland’s two-year tenure saw the firm caught up in the Paddingate scandal of October 2002, when Clifford Chance was forced to deny it overcharged clients after allegations that tough targets had put the firm’s New York-based associates under pressure to overestimate the hours they spent on client work.

He also oversaw last month’s appointment of Edelman as the law firm’s first-ever UK retained PR agency (PRWeek, 9 July).

Wagland introduced Groves to the firm in 2002 and she joined as head of global PR in 2003 from the now-defunct accounting giant Arthur Andersen, where she was joint global head of PR with Patrick Dorton.

Groves is also looking for a replacement for PR manager Will Salomone, who left Clifford Chance last month to take on the position of

European communications manager at the London office of US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

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