Our Thinking

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose 2560 1707 Michael Evans

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Since the inception of Byfield 15 years ago, a lot has changed within the legal industry. This includes the nature of the crises lawyers and firms face. Conduct and culture for example would have featured on the list of possible crises in 2007 for example, but not to the same…

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Quickfire Conversation: A bitesize overview of the evolution of legal communications 2560 1693 Ben Girdlestone

Quickfire Conversation: A bitesize overview of the evolution of legal communications

As we continue Byfield’s 15th anniversary celebrations, Director Ben Girdlestone and Associate Director Beth Durkin reflect on how corporate communications has evolved in the legal sector over that time. (Two minute read.)   Ben: My first job in the sector was at a silver circle firm and I have a…

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A Big Bang for Byfield as we celebrate 15 years! 2560 1920 Sean Cullen

A Big Bang for Byfield as we celebrate 15 years!

2007 heralded a ‘Big Bang’ for legal services with the advent of the Legal Services Act which promised to revolutionise the profession by opening it up to external investment and competition.  I had my own mini Big Bang in May the same year when I cofounded Byfield Consultancy with Richard…

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What a Twitter World Cup of Law Firms Taught Me About Influence 2560 1707 Tabitha Steemson

What a Twitter World Cup of Law Firms Taught Me About Influence

Let me tell you a story. Cast your mind back to the first lockdown in spring 2020. Everything was a bit grim, weird and scary, with no vaccines yet in sight, most shops and schools closed, and no vaccines yet in sight. I was going slightly mad with three kids…

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Reflection on a Week in New York 1024 768 Tabitha Steemson

Reflection on a Week in New York

Some of you may have noted from my earlier blog that I was in New York last week.  I’ve worked with American clients and colleagues throughout most of my career and I’m also half American myself – but, despite all that, I learnt a lot about the legal sector in…

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A Little Bite of the Big Apple 1024 574 Ben Girdlestone

A Little Bite of the Big Apple

I’m lucky enough to be in New York this week meeting our US clients, PR agencies and some of the other firms we know.  Jet lag is a funny thing but New York feels a bit different somehow.  It’s definitely quieter, with less people around and I’ll be interested to…

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Is Social Media The Changing Face of the Grassroots Protest? 1708 1273 Hattie Lunt

Is Social Media The Changing Face of the Grassroots Protest?

In recent years, we have seen a drastic change in the way social media is used, targeted, and consumed. Users of all ages are becoming involved in online demonstrations and petitions across the globe, elevating grassroots protests into an online format. Previously, political movements relied on tangible materials, such as…

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IWD
International Women’s Day– An Opportunity to Reflect 1200 628 Katherine Walkling

International Women’s Day– An Opportunity to Reflect

International Women’s Day is this week. Here are our tips on how firms can prepare, avoid a PR blunder on the day, and what Byfield does to support gender equality. Internal Comms/Operations: This week, it would be prudent for business development and marketing teams to assess how they are preparing…

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New Money Will Up the Stakes for Law Firm Communications 1707 2560 Ben Girdlestone

New Money Will Up the Stakes for Law Firm Communications

In September last year, the partners at Mishcon de Reya  voted to float  the firm on the London Stock Exchange – one of the most significant pieces of news in the legal sector for many years.  Mishcon is a major legal brand with a profile that will make it the…

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Finding the right line: litigation PR in an evolving ecosystem
Why Litigators Need to Be Talking About Litigation PR 1684 2388 Gus Sellitto

Why Litigators Need to Be Talking About Litigation PR

Our new research on litigation PR launched last week reveals some interesting reasons as to why litigation PR is a useful tool in the overall litigation armoury.  Comments range from “it’s a weapon that can be used both offensively and defensively…” to litigation PR being “a significant element of a…

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Bad Culture Set to Become a Regulatory as Well as a Reputational Issue for Firms in 2022 612 366 Michael Evans

Bad Culture Set to Become a Regulatory as Well as a Reputational Issue for Firms in 2022

Conduct issues have been at the heart of the legal sector’s biggest reputational and regulatory issues in recent years. Everyone is familiar with a handful of #metoo incidents that went beyond the legal press to make national and international headlines. Over the same period another trend emerged, with the Solicitors…

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Why Poverty Needs to Move Closer the Top of Law Firms’ ESG Agendas 1280 720 Ben Girdlestone

Why Poverty Needs to Move Closer the Top of Law Firms’ ESG Agendas

As I did my usual Monday morning trawl of the business pages this morning I was struck by one story in particular.   A hard hitting report by the Social Market Foundation on poverty in London –  and the role of business in helping tackle it  – accused FTSE 100 companies…

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A New Year’s Resolution – Personal PR Perspectives 1600 1067 Katherine Walkling

A New Year’s Resolution – Personal PR Perspectives

As we enter into a new year, many of us are thinking about what we learned last year and how to put it to good use in 2022 – we assess what has happened and what we have accomplished (or not accomplished….) in the past year, and what we want…

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Law Firm PR Challenges in 2022: It’s All About Your People 2560 1707 Liam McCafferty

Law Firm PR Challenges in 2022: It’s All About Your People

The last year has seen no shortage of challenges for law firm leaders – forced to navigate a period of switching rapidly between actual certainty, apparent certainty and no certainty at all without warning. There is, however, one lesson from the previous year that certainly has stuck: namely that the…

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Law Firm Merger Communications: Walking a Tightrope Above a Minefield 2048 2560 Tsuey Shan Halford

Law Firm Merger Communications: Walking a Tightrope Above a Minefield

By Tsuey Shan Halford As merger discussions between Clyde & Co and BLM have kicked off a round of speculation about a new wave of consolidation in the legal sector in 2022, Byfield Associate Director Tsuey Shan Halford sets out the particular challenges of choreographing law firm M&A communications and…

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Why it’s Time to Talk About the Benefits of Neurodiversity in Law 2560 1445 Jonathan Harris

Why it’s Time to Talk About the Benefits of Neurodiversity in Law

By Jonathan Harris Neurodiversity is a collective term for neurological conditions such as Autism, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourette’s, and mental health disorders. Only 3% of lawyers declared that they had a disability, compared to 13% of the general workforce of the UK. Research undertaken by the Law Society published in 2020…

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Judgment coverage: there’s no disputing the challenge
Judgment coverage: there’s no disputing the challenge 2560 1707 Ben Girdlestone

Judgment coverage: there’s no disputing the challenge

Earlier this month, The UK’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of Google in a landmark case. Richard Lloyd, a former director of Which?

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Glasgow Science Centre
COP26: Getting Your Voice Heard 2560 1828 Tabitha Steemson

COP26: Getting Your Voice Heard

by Tabitha Steemson As we reach the twelfth day of Cop26 in Glasgow, this morning saw a major breakthrough with the first draft of a climate change agreement being published.  With opinions on the outcomes of the conference appearing across the press and social media, it allows us to take…

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Byfield accelerates growth plans with appointment of Michael Evans
Byfield accelerates growth plans with appointment of Michael Evans 1600 550 byfield

Byfield accelerates growth plans with appointment of Michael Evans

Byfield, the Legal sector communications specialist, today announces the appointment of Director Michael Evans, former Europe, Middle East & Africa communications head at Baker McKenzie. This senior appointment is the latest development in  a period of sustained growth for the agency and closely follows the arrival of former Slaughter and…

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Legal Tech: time to reshape the narrative
Legal Tech: time to reshape the narrative 2560 1709 Ben Girdlestone

Legal Tech: time to reshape the narrative

Last week’s successful Legal Geek conference drew many people’s focus again to Legal Tech.  It followed the IPOs in the summer of LegalZoom and Intapp, which confirmed that legal tech is coming of age, five years after the initial burst of start ups, which feels like a lifetime ago now.…

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Being the Subject of an Investigation 2560 1709 Gus Sellitto

Being the Subject of an Investigation

https://youtu.be/Q0JzI_BUWTU In a virtual conference jointly hosted by 11KBW Chambers and CM Murray, Byfield’s MD Gus Sellitto joined a group of industry leading panellists (including Elizabeth Prochaska of 11KBW, Merill April of CM Murray, and Dr. Filippo Passetti of Cognacity) to discuss the issues that arise for people who are…

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Why content will be key to winning work and retaining talent in 2022
Why Content Will Be Key to Winning Work and Retaining Talent in 2022 2560 1707 Ben Girdlestone

Why Content Will Be Key to Winning Work and Retaining Talent in 2022

Why content will be key to winning work and retaining talent in 2022 Leading law firms have performed well financially during the pandemic – often with double-digit top and bottom line growth. Home working has been good for productivity, while the pandemic has reduced competitive and pricing pressures. Clients have…

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Surveying the Scene
Surveying the Scene 2560 1709 Ben Girdlestone

Surveying the Scene

Central London certainly felt busier last week, the queues for coffee and sandwiches in Pret and M&S were longer and the tube on my commute was standing room only. However, against that seemingly positive backdrop, last week would have been a challenging one for all those working in communications at…

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When your clients pose a reputational risk
When Your Clients Pose a Reputational Risk 2560 1709 Gus Sellitto

When Your Clients Pose a Reputational Risk

Law firms are under scrutiny for the clients they choose to act for and this pressure is only going to intensify. More scrutiny inevitably leads to greater risk that firms – by acting for clients perceived to be disreputable – will damage their own reputations. This is all set against…

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Moving On Up
Moving On Up 2560 1709 Gus Sellitto

Moving On Up

“The most important step a person [sic: man] can take. It’s not the first one, is it? It’s the next one. Always the next step” Science fiction author Brandon Sanderson isn’t the first name which comes to mind in respect of corporate strategy, but he perfectly articulates an historic moment…

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Following the Party Line
Following the Party line 2560 1709 Ben Girdlestone

Following the Party line

As debate intensifies around mandated vaccines for employees, Byfield Director Ben Girdlestone considers how firms are tackling communication challenges around the return to work, particularly in respect to following government guidance. Early September certainly has the feel of Back to School about it, as it does every year.  This year…

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Oatly Vs Glebe Farm Food – Picking your Battles
Oatly Vs Glebe Farm Food – Picking your Battles 2560 1709 Michael Evans

Oatly Vs Glebe Farm Food – Picking your Battles

This morning, the news broke that a family-run farm has won its legal battle against Oatly, the multimillion-pound producers of plant-based milk, after they were accused of trademark infringement. Oatly brought legal action against Glebe Farm Foods, saying their product PureOaty took “unfair advantage” of their own product. However, a…

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Green Practise
Green and Pleasant Law; How UK Law Firms Can Embrace Green Practise 1600 550 Michael Evans

Green and Pleasant Law; How UK Law Firms Can Embrace Green Practise

As floods devastate Asia and Europe, and the US suffers oppressive heatwaves, Byfield’s Senior Content Executive Tobias Sansome asks the question: what can legal firms do in the fight against climate change?   “The more things change, the more they stay the same” In the last decade the climate ‘debate’…

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Think Before You Post
Knowing is Half the Battle; Why it’s Important to #ThinkBeforeYouPost 2560 1440 Tobias Sansome

Knowing is Half the Battle; Why it’s Important to #ThinkBeforeYouPost

The Office of the Attorney General has this week launched a campaign to educate the public on the risks of social media posts about ongoing trials. To find out why this is needed, Senior Content Executive Tobias Sansome investigates the risks to our judicial system, and the AG’s plans to…

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Thinking About Thought Leadership
Thinking about Thought Leadership  2560 1707 Jessica Hancock

Thinking about Thought Leadership 

As thought leadership content becomes increasingly commonplace within communications strategies, Byfield’s Account Executive Jess Hancock considers what questions PRs must ask themselves to ensure their piece is effective. In the last decade, the extent to which firms have become invested in thought leadership as a demonstration of the depth of their expertise has become increasingly apparent. We have…

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Byfield Appoints New Director – Ben Girdlestone Joins From Slaughter and May 800 418 byfield

Byfield Appoints New Director – Ben Girdlestone Joins From Slaughter and May

Legal sector communications specialist, Byfield, today announces the appointment of Ben Girdlestone who joins the consultancy as a director from Slaughter and May. This is a key senior appointment, as Ben will help to further enhance Byfield’s profile for providing reputation counsel to support the brand building and business development…

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Chambers Litigation Ranking
Byfield Ranked by Chambers For Litigation Support 1417 1077 byfield

Byfield Ranked by Chambers For Litigation Support

We are pleased to announce that Byfield has been recognised by Chambers and Partners for Litigation Support in its 2021 ranking. Byfield has been recognised in Band 3 of the guide for its “unique ability to sense the pulse of a dispute and manage a PR strategy in a way…

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Winning the Battle but Losing the War; The Unseen Reputational Risk of Defending US-Style Class Actions 2310 1534 Liam McCafferty

Winning the Battle but Losing the War; The Unseen Reputational Risk of Defending US-Style Class Actions

A landmark case which could reshape the civil claims market in the UK is awaiting judgment in the Supreme Court. The case may lead to an increase in ‘opt-out’ style litigation, which presents reputational risks, write Liam McCafferty and Dina Hudson of Byfield.   Lloyd (Respondent) v Google LLC (Appellant)…

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Byfield Welcomes Gericó Associates to Mirovia 2560 1709 byfield

Byfield Welcomes Gericó Associates to Mirovia

We are delighted to welcome Gericó Associates to Mirovia – the first dedicated international alliance for legal sector communications. Gericó Associates is the first firm from Spain to join the alliance, and through Gericó, Muro & Asociados, has also expanded Mirovia’s reach to include audiences in Latin America.  Founded in…

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Space Law
Space; the Final (Legal) Frontier 2560 1709 Michael Evans

Space; the Final (Legal) Frontier

As commercial interest sparks a ‘Second Space Race’, our Senior Content Executive Tobias Sansome looks at the pre-existing legislation on space, and questions whether it is fit for purpose in today’s age.  “One Small Step For Man” Looking back at the 4,000 years of written law, it is hard to…

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Gus Sellitto Quoted in The Global Legal Post 944 541 Gus Sellitto

Gus Sellitto Quoted in The Global Legal Post

Byfield Managing Director Gus Sellitto has been quoted in The Global Legal Post on the news that chambers set 36 Group has urged its tenants to exercise the ‘greatest caution’ when commenting on social media about the sanctions imposed by China against Essex Court Chambers. Gus commented: “This is a…

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Byfield Consultancy
The Future of Sexual Misconduct Cases Before the SRA and SDT 2560 1709 Bethaney Durkin

The Future of Sexual Misconduct Cases Before the SRA and SDT

Following the news that the SRA has 140 complaints under current investigation, our Account Director Bethaney Durkin examines the SRA’s efforts to enforce justice and equality in the workplace, in the wake of a recent chastening High Court judgment against the SDT. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) confirmed last month…

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“Love all, Trust Few, Do Wrong to None”; The Fall and Rise of the European Super League 2560 1709 Liam McCafferty

“Love all, Trust Few, Do Wrong to None”; The Fall and Rise of the European Super League

As the dust from the European Super League debacle settles, our Account Manager Liam McCafferty takes a look at the missteps the clubs made along the way, and the events that turned public perception against the Big Six’s coup d’etat. The launch of the European Super League may go down…

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Building Foundations: A Short Guide to a Career in Legal PR 2560 1707 Tsuey Shan Halford

Building Foundations: A Short Guide to a Career in Legal PR

When you’re in the thick of it, and you can’t see the wood for the trees, do you sometimes think back to the start of your career and wonder how it all began? Some of you may have charted out your careers from the get-go but like many of my…

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Reputation Counsel; it’s what we do 2508 2560 Gus Sellitto

Reputation Counsel; it’s what we do

Byfield is pleased to announce the launch of our new website, and the next evolution of our brand identity: establishing our position as a leading consultancy providing reputation counsel to the legal sector and its clients.  Reputation Counsel Just as law firms provide counsel to their clients on legal issues,…

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Mind the Gap – Are London’s Legal Firms Finally Closing the Tech Gap? 2560 1709 byfield

Mind the Gap – Are London’s Legal Firms Finally Closing the Tech Gap?

Theresa Yurkewich Hoffman, Senior Policy and Innovation Advisor at the City of London Corporation, gives her thoughts on legal-tech gap, the ‘tech gap’, and what’s being done to address it. The legal sector has often been described as lagging behind the rest of the services in its adoption of new technologies…

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A Brief History of Litigation PR 2560 1709 Eugenia Verenko

A Brief History of Litigation PR

The origins of Litigation PR may not be common knowledge amongst those outside the industry, but – according to Eugenia Verenko, Senior Consultant at Byfield – for those in the know the birth of Litigation PR represents a vital turning point, and teaches an important lesson, even today. Over the…

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The Dividing Line: Social Media, Employee Policies and Reputation Management 1280 905 Michael Evans

The Dividing Line: Social Media, Employee Policies and Reputation Management

As reputation management and public persona become increasingly tied to social media presence, many are beginning to consider implementing a company-wide social media policy. We reached out to our readers to ask if their firms have a social media policy in place. We recently hosted a survey on our LinkedIn…

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The Sleeping Giant – Wikipedia 2560 1709 Michael Evans

The Sleeping Giant – Wikipedia

The media is glutted with cautionary tales of firms that have dabbled in the ethically dubious waters of Wikipedia edits. Wikipedia has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the use of the platform by PR agencies to promote clients, and has gone as far as to produce guidelines for both contributors and…

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Bears Fighting Alligators: How to Pick Your Social Media Battlefield 2560 1437 Michael Evans

Bears Fighting Alligators: How to Pick Your Social Media Battlefield

James L Barksdale, a pioneering executive – and endless source of aphorisms – who operated during the late 90s digital boom, famously quipped that “in a fight between a bear and an alligator, it is the terrain which determine who wins”. Whilst initially meant as a warning for firms to carefully…

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’Tips and Tricks’ – A Junior PR’s Guide to the Basics of Pitching 2560 1709 Tayla Murphy

’Tips and Tricks’ – A Junior PR’s Guide to the Basics of Pitching

Pitching to journalists can be a daunting undertaking for even the most experienced PRs, let alone those new to the trade, but learning to sell into the media is perhaps the single most important tick box for any PR consultant.

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We Are Going to Need a Bigger Boat: Scenario Planning and Assessing Reputational Risk 2560 1919 Liam McCafferty

We Are Going to Need a Bigger Boat: Scenario Planning and Assessing Reputational Risk

In my previous blog, I explained how to anticipate risks to reputation as early and as comprehensively as possible by building the right capacities to become a reputation-conscious organisation. In this instalment, I look at how to analyse and assess the potential impact of reputational harm to your firm.  By…

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How to Avoid a Reputation Crisis When Presenting to Your Employees 2560 1707 Michael Evans

How to Avoid a Reputation Crisis When Presenting to Your Employees

In the light of recent allegations against KPMG’s Bill Michael, Account Executive Dina Hudson breaks down the value of authenticity, vs the need for tact. KPMG’s Bill Michael threw himself and his firm into the spotlight when he ordered his staff to “stop moaning”, and “stop playing the victim card”  during a townhall…

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Exclusivity vs. Utility: The Argument Around Clubhouse 2560 1920 Michael Evans

Exclusivity vs. Utility: The Argument Around Clubhouse

Have you begun to think about how you’d integrate Clubhouse into your #communications strategy? Yes                                    11% No                                …

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Aberrance, Blunders and Catface: The ABC’s of Zoom Errors 2560 1707 Michael Evans

Aberrance, Blunders and Catface: The ABC’s of Zoom Errors

In an interconnected world, we need to be sure we don’t share… too much. Silence falls in the zoom-call, jerking you back from your daydream. Sweat beads on your palms as you feel the sudden tenseness, hear the subsequent dry cough. Your eyes dart to the bottom of the screen;…

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Priority Channels: Making the Most of Media 2560 1707 Michael Evans

Priority Channels: Making the Most of Media

Byfield’s survey shows social media may rule the roost, but content is her consort. One of our recent polls asked our clients which communication channel was their firm’s priority for 2021; and the results have stated conclusively that Social Media (59%) is the most important form of communication, by a…

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The litigation centre of a decentralised world
The litigation centre of a decentralised world 1457 806 byfield

The litigation centre of a decentralised world

Byfield Senior Content Executive Tobias Sansome has written for London International Disputes Week on how London has sustained its title as the centre for disputes resolution in a decentralised world.

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Does reputation risk mean calling time on law firm drinking? 2048 1134 byfield

Does reputation risk mean calling time on law firm drinking?

Byfield Managing Director Gus Sellitto has written for fivehundred magazine on whether it is time for law firms to sober up, after a number of high-profile investigations linked to excessive drinking. “In my experience, there has never such an acute awareness among law firms of the reputational damage they and…

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Between a rock and a soft place – leadership in a crisis
Between a rock and a soft place – leadership in a crisis 1600 1200 Tsuey Shan Halford

Between a rock and a soft place – leadership in a crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has been a test of character and determination for millions, and within the context of business, it has been the ultimate test of leadership.

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Divining Dreams, Navigating Nightmares: Building Capacities for Predicting Reputational Risk
Divining Dreams, Navigating Nightmares: Building Capacities for Predicting Reputational Risk 1600 1200 Liam McCafferty

Divining Dreams, Navigating Nightmares: Building Capacities for Predicting Reputational Risk

Just as history is oft said to repeat itself; there is rarely a crisis without precedent. For each and every conceivable event, there is likely someone, somewhere, who has experienced it.

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Byfield MD Gus Sellitto writes for The Times 1020 1164 Gus Sellitto

Byfield MD Gus Sellitto writes for The Times

Byfield Consultancy managing director Gus Sellitto, has appeared in today’s edition of The Times discussing Sir Philip Green’s battle to save his reputation. The article analyses how the former BHS boss may have inadvertently damaged his reputation in his attempt to suppress the allegations. To read the full article please click…

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Byfield MD Gus Sellitto Writes For fivehundred 1618 1142 Gus Sellitto

Byfield MD Gus Sellitto Writes For fivehundred

Byfield Consultancy managing director Gus Sellitto has appeared in fivehundred, discussing the PR response to #MeToo and law firm reputations. The read the full article, please click here. This article originally appeared in fivehundred   

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Gus Sellitto in PR in Lockdown Podcast 2560 1298 Gus Sellitto

Gus Sellitto in PR in Lockdown Podcast

Listen to the Lockdown Podcast

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zoom meeting
The Importance of a Litigation PR Strategy 1600 1200 Michael Evans

The Importance of a Litigation PR Strategy

Earlier this month, Byfield Consultancy and Commwiser held a virtual roundtable focused on litigation in India.

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Buzz feed News
The Media Has Evolved 1600 1200 Eugenia Verenko

The Media Has Evolved

The way in which media have covered scandals in the world of business and finance has changed dramatically in the last few years.

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