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Antony Dunkels, Bell Pottinger

Bell Pottinger and Michelmores launch crisis management service


Law firm Michelmores and communications agency Bell Pottinger have combined to provide a new crisis management service to help mitigate reputation risk for the alternative investment and finance market.

The service was launched at an event at Michelmores’ offices on 16 March and was attended by prominent figures from leading businesses within the alternative financial services sector.
 
Michelmores’ and Bell Pottinger’s crisis management offering responds to the increasing variety and complexity of challenges faced by businesses in the sector. The greatest risk to these firms is a collapse in investor/lender confidence.
 
There are many reasons for loss of confidence but investigations by regulators or the police can be particularly disastrous. At one extreme this may take the form of a 'dawn raid', but it can also involve s166 interventions, suspensions (of individuals or product lines), orders for the production of documents etc. Other threats may come from a cyber-attack, data-breach and ensuing civil litigation, or from whistle-blowers within the firm.
 
When these challenges arise, businesses require skilled legal advice and complementary reputation protection to maintain confidence among stakeholders, to shape the outcome and to help the business survive.
 
Andrew Oldland QC, partner and head of the finance and investment sector at Michelmores, says: "Alternative investment and finance firms face an increasing variety of issues to tackle, which when combined with instantaneous media coverage, have heightened investor volatility as never before. When a crisis hits, early decisive action is required to stem any loss of confidence. Quick, clear legal advice and action intermeshed with the right communications messaging is essential. Our joint crisis management service with Bell Pottinger will enable firms to access the best legal and communications advice with a single phone call."
 
Antony Dunkels (pictured), partner at Bell Pottinger, says: “The alternative finance and investment market has been subject to increasing media and public scrutiny over recent years. In the event of a crisis, businesses are vulnerable. The damage and resulting cost is inflicted at the moment that the event becomes public and can be fatal. Legal and communications services operating in tandem can dramatically reduce the reputation fallout from, for example, regulatory or police intervention, or a data-breach. We are looking forward to tackling some of these complex issues with Michelmores, who are leaders in this field.”

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