The international practice is part of Hotwire's concerted strategy to expand from its existing areas of expertise.
West, who started as managing director of the corporate practice this week, said the downturn presented an opportunity, particularly in corporate PR. 'Companies are going to be especially protective of their brands,' he said.
West will initially work with existing Hotwire staff, but hopes to bring in experts in branding and broadcast within the next six months.
West is the founder of Friction.tv, a live debate website.