#BLM: How to Communicate Diversity in Business

Bell Yard Communications’ founder and director, Melanie Riley, was quoted in the UK’s financial newspaper, Financial News, alongside other PR gurus, on the importance of championing racial diversity in companies that have come out in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

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Tackling the Covid-19 Challenge – Crisis Communications in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands

The COVID-19 crisis is a challenge for all of us, and in these times of universal struggle accurate information and the use of adequate communications channels is of paramount importance. Best practice sharing and the exchange of knowledge and skills will be key to address the crisis communication challenges ahead in the world of business & politics.

Therefore, this brief initiative of the Crisis & Litigation Communicators Alliance attempts to lay out a short assessment of government communications and measures around the COVID-19 crisis with particular focus on Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. The report can be found here

Guideposts for aligning your legal strategy and crisis response

When you’re managing a crisis, it’s important to include a communications strategy with your legal plan.

PR pros and legal experts often find themselves at loggerheads over what to disclose, what to address publicly and what to keep close to the vest. For PR pros looking to convince lawyers and leadership teams, it’s helpful to rely on certain guidelines.

Click here for more information

Why Asian CEOs must pay more heed to crisis communication

Asian corporate leaders are generally more self-effacing than their Western counterparts when handling corporate and legal disputes, preferring to keep conflicts away from the public eye. The passive approach towards tackling crisis communications sometimes borders on avoidance and occasional states of denial.

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CLCA UK member firm Bell Yard Communications has posted a blog reflecting on discussions at the 2019 CLCA annual meeting in Amsterdam

Despite all the shenanigans of Brexit, Bell Yard was grateful to receive a warm welcome from European colleagues last week at the annual meeting of the CLCA network (Crisis & Litigation Communicators Alliance), held in Amsterdam.

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CLCA’s UK member firm top-ranked for Litigation PR

CLCA UK member firm Bell Yard Communications is delighted to be ranked as a Band 1 Litigation PR firm in the Chambers’ Litigation Support Guide 2019.

The firm already secured a lead ranking in last year’s inaugural guide and has held that position for the second year running. This year, the agency is described as “very effective” and “highly recommended.”

Click here for more information

Global Network of Litigation PR Experts Grows with New Swiss Agency Partner

The Crisis and Litigation Communicators´ Alliance (CLCA), a global network of international Litigation PR specialists expands its success in 2019 by welcoming a new member firm to its network – the highly-respected Swiss agency Cabinet Privé de Conseils (CPC), based in Geneva and Bern

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CLCA UK member talks about Brexit PR

Bell Yard senior consultant Louise Beeson has been quoted in an article about how law firms are communicating around Brexit topics. There is still much uncertainty and PR is mostly about promoting expertise right now but Brexit is doubtless likely to give rise to litigation and therefore litigation PR challenges in future.

Click here to view the article

CLCA members recognized in new Litigation PR ranking

The long-established Chambers & Partners legal directory known for researching the world’s best lawyers in different fields has expanded its analysis this year to include Litigation Support Advisers and has assessed PR & Communications firms for the first time.

Two Crisis and Litigation Communicators´ Alliance (CLCA) members have been recognized in the inaugural rankings which are limited to the jurisdictions of the UK and US only so far.  

Bell Yard Communications, our UK member and a founder of the CLCA, secured a Band 1 ranking in the UK. The firm is described as “one of the earliest exponents of the craft (of litigation PR) in the UK“ with Director Melanie Riley mentioned as a “Noted Practitioner“ of whom peers said “If I could have only one speed dial to a PR, it would be to Melanie at Bell Yard.”

LEVICK, our US member firm, ranked in Band 3 in the US section and is said by clients to be “the go-to firm for crisis management in DC,” and recognised for being “very knowledgeable” in cases involving the Department of Justice or Congressional investigations. Ian McCaleb,  chair of Levick’s legal advisory and communications practice, is described by clients as being: “… quick to work out the political ramifications of a case…and get to the heart of a problem very quickly.”

To see the full Chambers rankings click here: CHAMBERS

Martin Jenewein from Schneider | Minar | Jenewein Consulting and Chairman of the CLCA, comments:

“The CLCA is proud that our UK and US member firms have achieved this distinction and it is good to know they have been externally validated as best in class. When the Chambers team expand their research into other jurisdictions, we look forward to other CLCA member firms making the cut in the future.”


For further information, please contact: Martin Jenewein, CLCA chairman, jenewein@smj.at: Tel: +43 (0) 1 402 17 65-14  

About CLCA: The Crisis and Litigation Communicators´ Alliance (CLCA) is a global network of owner-managed PR consulting firms who are leaders in Crisis Management PR and Strategic Legal communications in their respective markets. Clients can benefit from the collaboration of members on cross-border matters and the CLCA’s specialist expertise in international disputes (especially Competition Law and Cartel cases, Cross-Border Litigation, Class Actions, Regulatory Enforcement cases, Fraud and Employment related disputes).

CLCA members to speak at Swiss Litigation PR summit

The CLCA’s academic partner, Professor Dr. Patrick Krauskopf and ZHAW School of Management and Law, organise a Litigation PR convention each year which will take place this year on 18th April 2018 in Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland titled “The influence of Trump, Twitter & #fakenews on legal communications.” For further information click here


Crisis and Litigation Communicator´s Alliance expands to new continent

The CLCA is pleased to welcome Australia’s premier provider of crisis and litigation communications – “Australian Public Affairs” (APA) – as a new member bringing a wealth of experience in this new southern hemisphere market for the alliance. For further information click here

Professor Dr Patrick Krauskopf becomes Academic Partner of the Crisis & Litigation Communicators’ Alliance

The Crisis & Litigation Communicators’ Alliance (CLCA) is pleased to announce that Professor Dr Patrick Krauskopf of Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the CLCA have signed an Academic Partnership Agreement.

For further information click here

CLCA welcomes new member firm in Korea, Access Communications & Consulting Co., Ltd

Access Communications & Consulting Co., Ltd, based in Seoul, Korea, has joined the CLCA, as its second member firm in Asia. Founded in 1995, Access has a strong reputation for issues management and crisis PR work for multinationals and brands operating in Korea and has an impressive track record of litigation work, patent and IP related litigation in particular. Click here for more information

NAÏMA Strategic Legal Services GmbH

NAÏMA Strategic Legal Services GmbH has joined the CLCA as its new member firm in Germany. Founded by Uwe Wolff, it has a 15 year track record of working on Litigation PR mandates for companies, financial institutions, NGOs, associations and prominent individuals in Germany. Mr Wolff also wrote the first book in Germany on litigation PR “In the Name of the Public Opinion – Litigation PR as a Strategic Instrument in Legal Disputes”. NAÏMA Strategic Legal Services GmbH is based in Berlin but has a Brussels office too.

Click here for more information.


CLCA announces new US member firm LEVICK

LEVICK, the leading crisis, litigation and public affairs communications firm in North America, has joined the CLCA as its newest member firm. LEVICK has an unrivalled pedigree and employs nearly 50 professionals in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and Toronto. LEVICK has an outstanding reputation and a rich experience of crisis and legal disputes ranging from criminal or regulatory matters on Wall Street to multi-party action following environmental disasters.

More information can be downloaded here.

The growing trend of collective claims in Holland

Margaret van Kempen, of CLCA’s member firm in the Netherlands, finds this article by Dutch liability law Professor Dr Bauw very interesting for the debate it summarises about the growing trend of collective claims in Holland. Although Professor Bauw is not necessarily against a claim culture, he is critical about commercial driven claim vehicles that do not comply with the Dutch Claim Code.

A translation of the article can be downloaded here.

CLCA’s Germany member quoted by Bloomberg

CLC Alliance member Stephan Holzinger based in Munich comments to Bloomberg on the Aldi familial dispute whereby the family normally obsessed with secrecy has allowed a dispute about art, vintage cars and a multimillion-dollar allowance to spill into public view.

“It’s grotesque that Theo Albrecht is attacking his sister-in-law invoking the company’s reputation,” says Stephan Holzinger, a Munich litigation adviser who isn’t involved in the dispute. “Aldi’s reputation has been more damaged by the mudslinging.”

Read more


SMJ speaks at Austrian Judiciary Conference

Patrick Minar, a partner at SMJ Consulting CLCA’s member firm in Austria, recently spoke at the Austrian Judiciary Conference held 4-8 May 2016 in Vienna and attended by 150 members of the court system and legal profession.

He delivered a lecture on the growing importance of Litigation PR.

Download the full speech here


Aria Partners joins CLCA

The CLCA is delighted to welcome a new member firm for France – Aria Partners, the leading and highly respected crisis, litigation PR and corporate communications agency based in Paris. Founded by Jean de Belot, Aria Partners has been involved in some of France’s highest profile crisis and litigation matters in recent years from the rogue trader Kerviel case where it advised French bank Société Générale through to the PIP Implant case where Aria supported Rheinland TUV, the company who inspected the manufacturing process of the implants. Aria Partners is an independent PR firm, with unrivalled experience of litigation cases in the French market. It is trusted on sensitive and significant reputational matters by corporates and lawyers alike. The CLCA is very pleased to add this calibre firm to its network. Read more

Annual gathering

Earlier this month, CLCA member firms convened in London for our annual get-together. We had an convivial dinner at the Aqua Shard with amazing views of the City, and got down to business the next day at an exclusive meeting room in Fleet Street.

First on the agenda was an exchange of news, trends and best practice litigation PR ideas in each of our markets. Next we had a demonstration from our Austrian member firm SMJ about their impressive intelligence gathering tool available to all CLCA clients. It deep-mines the internet and social media for information about a matter, company or individual and processes patterns of interconnectedness.

And lastly we discussed future plans for the CLCA including the countries of priority for expansion (France; Ireland; Abu Dhabi; Israel and Australia) as well as our business development and marketing pledges.

All in all it was great to meet everyone in person and renew our commitment to the CLCA and to discuss professional as well as World Cup prospects!

Next year Vienna?!

New CLCA members in Asia and Austria

The CLCA is delighted to welcome two new member firms – WeR1 Consultants, the leading investor and media communications agency based in Singapore, and Schneider | Minar | Jenewein Consulting (SMJ), one of Austria’s leading litigation and crisis communications agencies based in Vienna. This adds Asia to the CLCA’s footprint for the first time and expands our capabilities in Europe. Both firms are highly regarded in their home markets. The WeR1 team has worked on some of the most high profile court cases in Asia including matters involving criminal proceedings and financial class action-style suits. It has also led crisis management activities for companies in Malaysia, Hong Kong and India, where clients were experiencing fraud and bankruptcy situations. SMJ advises high-profile individuals, businesspeople and financiers during times of dispute. It has also led crisis responses for companies based in Austria and Switzerland. For further information about their capabilities please see websites WeR1 and Schneider | Minar | Jenewein Consulting (SMJ).

There has been much discussion over the past few years, led unsurprisingly by a coalition of broadcasters (BBC, SKY & ITV), over the arcane rules regarding the visual reporting of British criminal trials. Whilst the print media are allowed access to report for their readers, the broadcast media were banned from having cameras broadcasting from within a court building.


So, the news bulletins have been forced to rely on still sketches drawn from the memory of court-room accredited sketch artists. Perhaps even more surprising, these artists have to take a mental picture of their surroundings within the court room, such as the look of the judge, defendant, witnesses and barristers, and reproduce this picture with crayons outside the court room – no drawing is allowed inside the court! No wonder the broadcasters want the rules changed.

So the Judges allowed a test trial to be broadcast (after 3 years of negotiation) from a murder trial in Scotland that lasted 6 weeks and had 70 witnesses. This was distilled into a 2 hour programme that was broadcast for the first time on British TV last week. The reviews were glowing, certainly as to the way the footage was shot and edited to engage the viewer and build suspense as we got closer to the jury’s verdict. However, respected criminal law partner Michael Caplan QC from Kingsley Napley LLP, joined Bell Yard in sounding a note of caution for future trial reporting. Our article, first printed in the legal publication – Solicitors Journal – can be read here in full.

CLCA Inaugural Chairman Stephan Holzinger contributed to Springer’s new book “Litigation-PR: Alles was Recht ist” with his article “Fields and Structures of Communications Consulting in Legal Disputes”. “Litigation-PR: Alles was Recht ist” is the most current book on academic and operational issues of litigation PR in German-speaking countries. Here is the English abstract of Holzinger’s contribution:


Litigation public relations has turned from a trendy topic into a serious discipline in the legal community, playing a rapidly increasing role on the criminal law side in white-collar proceedings, also due to a greater than ever doubtful handling of media issues by some prosecutors, while continuing to have a harder stand on the capital crime side, likely for practical and also ethical reasons. A much broader range of application can be found on the civil side, either as strategic advice to top executives being in a dispute with their (former) employer, or in B2B disputes, with IP battles and private follow-on lawsuits against cartel members complementing classic areas of litigation public relations consulting in competition law, securities law, and product liability law, e.g. visual legal communications and public affairs also gain in importance especially in mega-cases which are highly complex and by definition often also political.”

Accolade for US member firm Hellerman Baretz

CLCA member firm in the US, Hellerman Baretz, has been honored by ‘The National Law Journal’ in its “Best of 2012” survey as “The Best Law Firm Crisis Management Firm.” It was also named “Best Legal PR Firm” in the same nationwide survey of the legal industry. These are well deserved recognition of HB’s expertise and reflect their strong reputation for crisis work in their marketplace.

See www.newlawjournal.co.uk and www.hellermanbaretz.com for further details.

“Corporations involved in a lawsuit are often more afraid of a loss of reputation in the public’s eyes than loosing the case in the courtroom. Litigation communications is therefore gaining in importance. Lawyers have to take this development into account.”

JUVE has published a big story about litigation PR in their November issue, describing a client case of Holzinger Associates and quoting Stephan Holzinger. In a JUVE survey among the top 50 law firms in Germany, Holzinger Associates was recommended as an Expert Consultancy.


Retired Army Colonel Rudy Burwell Joins CLC-A Member Firm Hellerman Baretz as EVP for Crisis Communications & Litigation PR.

CLC-Alliance member firm Hellerman Baretz Communications is pleased to announce that retired Army Colonel Rudy Burwell has joined as Executive Vice President of Crisis Communications and Litigation Public Relations in its Washington office. Burwell has over 20 years of crisis management experience both abroad and in the United States, including serving as the Chief of Media Operations for the Multi-National Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as the Director of Army Reserve Communications. For more information, click here.

CLCA founding member and inaugural chairman Stephan Holzinger will speak as a panelist on the 5th Annual Conference on the Globalization of Class Actions and Mass Litigation in The Hague from 8-9 December 2011.

Attached please find the current program.


The newly founded BUJ association, representing corporate lawyers in Germany, reports in the first edition of their magazine “unternehmensjurist” about litigation PR, featuring CLCA founding member Stephan Holzinger as litigation PR-pioneer in Germany.

New CLCA member in the Netherlands

The CLCA is delighted to welcome a new member firm in Northern Europe — Van Kempen Litigation PR based in The Hague. Highly regarded for its crisis and litigation work, Van Kempen recently launched a dedicated unit to further grow this part of its business. It has experience of shareholder disputes, (tax) fraud, environmental catastrophe (criminal prosecution), mass litigation, medical (neglect) and forced relocation matters and has supported several internationally-known Netherlands based companies during sustained and high profile crises. For more information about Van Kempen Litigation PR’s capabilities click here.

Study shows increase in reporting of legal disputes in German media and in dangerous ‘no comment’ responses

CLCA member firm Holzinger Associates has published a study of trends in lawsuit reporting in three German media sources for the period 2008-2010. Whilst the volume of reports involving legal matters increased, there was a disproportionate increase in the number of “no comment” responses which can result in a loss of trust and damage to a company or person’s credibility the author argues. The growth of the importance of social media in litigation PR is also mentioned. Click here for more information

Journalism and PR – between co-operation and confrontation

CLCA-member Stephan Holzinger will present current trends and hot issues of Litigation-PR at a conference of netzwerk recherche e.V. and Hamburg University’s Rudolf-Augstein (Der Spiegel) professorial chair. The netzwerk recherche (“research network”) is the association of investigative journalists and editors in Germany. For the full programm, see here.

Judgements of serious consequences in the court of public opinion

Professional article of CLCA partner Roland Binz in the daily newspaper “Der Bund”, Switzerland (only available in German). The article is analysing the increasing influence of public opinion verdicts on the reputation of involved companies and leading figures.

UBS Imbroglio Offers PR Lessons

“Good news travels fast,” the saying goes, “and bad news travels even faster.” That addendum may sound pessimistic, but it has never been more true than it is now when it comes to PR and companies in crisis. Given today’s global business environment and lightning-quick communications, news of a corporate public relations crisis can hopscotch from one continent to another in minutes, causing lasting harm in multiple locations without careful management.


Recent CLCA coverage:

The Crisis & Litigation Communicators’ Alliance (CLCA) has recently been featured in Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Wirtschaftsblatt and Der Standard.at (both Austria), as well as in the trade publications The Holmes Report and Bulldog Reporter (both USA), Persönlich and Klein Report (both Switzerland), PR REPORT and PR-Journal (both Germany), PR Week and Gorkana PR News (both UK), and Extradienst.at and Medianet.at (both Austria). Copies of the editorials are available through CLCA office.

Premier PR Firms Launch First International Communications Network for Litigation and Corporate Crises

Allows Coordinated Communications Strategy Across Continents

(New York), November 16, 2009 – In today’s world, business takes place globally – and so do PR challenges. In recognition, five prominent consulting firms today announced the establishment of an international network to provide clients with seamless crisis and litigation communications support as needed around the globe. The five founding members of the Crisis & Litigation Communicators’ Alliance, each a highly regarded boutique agency specializing in communications strategy in crisis and high-value litigation matters, are based in the U.S. (Hellerman Baretz Communications), U.K. (Bell Yard), Germany (Results: S. Holzinger!), Austria (PreventK) and Switzerland (Roland Binz Kommunikation & Image).


UK employment dispute with cross-border reputation/media advocacy implications

When several former members of Dresdner Kleinwort’s London-based management committee found themselves in dispute with the investment bank’s new owner, Commerzbank, earlier this year over unpaid severance and guaranteed bonus packages, media interest was not just confined to the UK where the legal claims were filed. Given the bank’s German HQ, the sizeable German government shareholding and that the Claimants ran global businesses within Dresdner Kleinwort with a significant German client base, the lawsuits attracted greater media attention in Germany than in the UK.