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Libel law headliners Schillings set up new PR challenger

One of the PR industry’s most successful wheezes is its invention of “reputation management.” Who, in their right mind, is going to turn this down? Especially clients whose reputation, shall we say, is not of the highest.

Actually you can’t actually manage a reputation because, by definition, it’s in the past and you can’t change this – without falsifying facts that is: “Just alter that Wikipedia page for me please, Justin.”

One of London’s highest profile libel law firms Schillings – described as “combative” in the FT, you have to watch it with Schillings – has clearly tired of the namby-pamby efforts of PR firms and is setting up its own PR and communications operation to be headed by one-time Sun political editor George Pascoe-Watson. Amazing how many of these tribunes of the people have double-barrelled names.

He’ll be assisted by Victoria O’Byrne, a former communications director for the Prince and Princess of Wales and Richard Branson at Virgin Group. So that’s the establishment pretty well covered.

Schllings’ law clients, the FT helpfully reminds us, have included Sir Philip Green of Top Shop fame, as well as cyclist Lance Armstrong, Meghan Markle and Johnny Depp – plus the German payments group Wirecard which went spectacularly bust last year.

Schillings says the new business (as yet unnamed) is being “built in response to an increasingly complex world where licences to operate for individuals and organisations have become dependent on reputation, now made in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.”

Compounded by: “intensified scrutiny, digital and privacy threats, smear campaigns, complex reputation risks and overnight cancel culture — supercharged by the ultra-high pace of the digital age.”

Quite so. Sure it will be a worthy additional ornament to a distinguished profession.

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