Luther Pendragon

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Luther Pendragon is a London-based crisis communication and lobbying company and the European affiliate of Nichols-Dezenhall.


Contents

Background

According to the Nichols-Dezenhall website, Nichols-Dezenhall "helps manage Luther Pendragon's clients in the U.S., while Luther Pendragon helps Nichols-Dezenhall battle crises in Europe. The affiliation also gives Nichols Dezenhall access to top-flight resources in Germany and Belgium".[1]

In September 2005, PR Week reported that "managing partner Simon Whale and partners Gina Coladangelo, Daniel Guthrie and Amy Kroviak have joined forces to take control from founders George Pitcher and Charles Stewart Smith. The pair started Luther in 1991 and between them own 75 per cent."[2]

In February 2008, it emerged that Luther Pendragon was one of three agencies refusing to join the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC), following a committee inquiry chaired by Labour MP Tony Wright. Despite attempting to "make amends" by drawing up its own code of conduct, the controversy surrounding Luther Pendragon's steadfast refusal to register resulted in a representative being called in to give evidence to MPs at the Public Administration Select Committee.[3]

In 2009, Luther Pendragon opened their Brussels office that is headed by former MEP Mark Watts. Explaining new recruits as Oliver Kaye, Mark Simpson, and Rose Montgomery with EP backgrounds, Watts said, "Regulation is now back in fashion in a big way and we know Brussels will be seeking to regulate almost every sector in 2010. Luther is advising clients that 2010 will be the ‘Year of EU Regulation’." He added: "The background of Luther’s new team reflects the post-Lisbon reality. The European Parliament is now the key institution and our understanding of what makes the Parliament tick is second to none."[4]

Pro-Nuke Activity

From August 2005, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has retained Luther Pendragon "to advise on communication issues arising from the third phase of the Committee's public and stakeholder engagement process".

According to CoRWM, "Luther Pendragon has been retained to support the process of consultation which will inform CoRWM's final recommendations, due to be presented to government in 2006. The Luther team will comprise: Adam Lewis, Ben Rich, Mike Granatt, Susie Winter and Aideen Lee.[5]

For more details see the CoRWM page.


Luther Sub-Contracted to AMEC NNC Not CoRWM

When NuclearSpin sent in an FOI request for all correspondence between CoRWM and its PR company, Luther Pendragon, Defra officials discussed whether the information could be released. See CoRWM section for more details. Initially the officials believed the information could not be released as "our Media Advisors .. are a private sub-contracted company, and any communication/s they hold with CoRWM Members that does not channel via the secretariat (Defra) is held as confidential – between two private parties.”[6]

Here was an admission that CoRWM’s PR company was not contracted to CoRWM but to AMEC NNC, a nuclear company. Also look at the CoRWM section to see how it was up to AMEC NNC and Luther as to what information was released rather than Defra officials.


FOI Request? - That Will be £200 An Hour Please

When Luther Pendragon was finally asked to provide details of correspondence between the PR company and CoRWM as part of the FOI request, Adam Lewis from Luther replied:

"We estimate that it will take a consultant around 7 hours in total. As per the contract this time is charged at £200 per hour bringing it to a total of £1400."

On receiving this, Adam Scott from CoRWM wrote to a colleague that:

"this is ridiculously expensive, please can you check urgently with defra FOI people whether we have to spend this kind of money as a result of their 'advice.'"

In the end, sources from CoRWM have told NuclearSpin that the money was not paid.[7]


People

Partners

Associates

Associate Partners

  • Jonathan McShane
  • Susannah Winter
  • Campbell McDonald: Former Chief Press Officer at the Cabinet Office and Press Secretary to Ed Miliband, MP. The LP website in July 2009 states: "Campbell has spent the last five years at the heart of government working closely with ministers, special advisers and heads of Whitehall policy units. He has managed media and stakeholders across a range of issues, from tackling social exclusion and supporting the third sector, to cutting red tape for British business and the Government’s use of IT. Campbell also worked in the Government’s Media Monitoring Unit, writing briefings for No10 and Cabinet ministers, and briefly in the No10 Press Office."

Senior Consultants

  • Meg Baker
  • Ben Frankel
  • Rebecca Hewitt
  • Adam Lewis
  • Beany McLean

Consultants

Former consultants

Clients

2013

2009

Luther Pendragon listed a small selection of its clients in 2009 as:[9]

Luther Pendragon lists its clients in 2007 as:[10]

Ditching a tobacco client

In February 2013 PRWeek reported that:

Luther Pendragon has told healthcare clients that it is no longer working with Philip Morris after a number of them questioned its work with the tobacco firm. [11]

Contact details

Luther Pendragon
Priory Court
Pilgrim Street
London EC4V 6DR
Phone: +44 (0)20 7618 9100 +44 (0)20 7618 9100 +44 (0)20 7618 9100  +44 (0)20 7618 9100  
Fax: +44 (0)20 7329 7301

http://www.luther.co.uk

EU Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the EU Revolving Door project of SpinWatch.

Resources

Notes

  1. Nichols Dezenhall, Luther Pendragon, Web Archive 20 December 2003, accessed 11 January 2010.
  2. PR Week, "Luther Pendragon quartet poised for £11m buyout," 09 September 2005, accessed 11 January 2010.
  3. Staff writers, "Lobbying inquiry zooms in on APPC non-members", PR Week UK, 21.02.08, accessed 10.09.10
  4. Public Affairs News, "Luther Pendragon hires ex-EP advisers as it grows Brussels office," Undated, accessed 11 January 2010.
  5. CoRWM, Luther Pendragon to advise CoRWM, Press Release, 28 July, 2005.
  6. Defra Emails
  7. See emails here
  8. APPC, Luther Pendragon, APPC Register Entry for 1 September 2012 to 30 November 2012, still published as latest entry on APPC website as of 26 February 2013
  9. Luther Pendragon, Clients, accessed 01 February 2009.
  10. Luther Pendragon, Clients, accessed 01 February 2007.
  11. Lyndsey Barber Luther Pendragon no longer working with Philip Morris, 11 February 2013
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