Clifford Chance has appointed Shandwick Public Relations to up its profile in Europe, as rumours persist that the firm is planning a big project in the region.
The firm, which had previously used Lowe Bell, hired Shandwick after holding a beauty parade of three PR firms, which included Lowe Bell. The appointment will be for a six-month trial period.
Clifford Chance denied that there was any one big project on the cards. Managing partner Tony Williams said: “We've done a lot in relation to the UK. It's important that we don't forget we're an international firm.”
The firm wants more coverage in European papers, a move which is bound to enhance its efforts to pick up major European deals.
Williams added that the firm had also been working on its media profile in the UK recently. “Frankly, we are making ourselves more available. We have always taken the view of being extremely cautious. That sometimes gives the impression we don't want to talk to the press.”
Continental countries generally have stricter rules on lawyers promoting themselves than in the UK and clients often ask for secrecy.
But Williams said clients were now happier for their firms to talk about deals, provided it was after the event.
Madrid-based finance partner Peter Cornell has been put in charge of the firm's European marketing programme.