PR agency holds on to Bar account

THE BAR Council's PR agency Westminster Strategy has retained its prestigious contract to manage the profession's media and parliamentary relations.

According to Bar Council chief executive Niall Morison, the lobbying agency beat off stiff competition to retain the contract it held for six years before the recently completed beauty parade.

“It's a prestigious job, it's a high-profile job, and there was a lot of interest. It was good to see the high level of competition,” he says.

Around 10 agencies competed for the three-year contract, believed to be worth more than £100,000.

The decision to put the contract out to tender was made by the Bar's public affairs committee back in 1994 to ensure the profession was getting the best value for money.

The Bar Council's head of administration David Hamilton Rump insisted the beauty parade was a good housekeeping exercise and not a sign of dissatisfaction with Westminster Strategy.

But the agency will be relieved to have won the contract. Although the Bar Council work is not lucrative, its custom is regarded as prestigious.

A Westminster Strategy spokeswoman says it is delighted by the news which is recognition of the expertise of the agency.

“It is recognition of the press skills and political skills which Westminster Strategy is reputed for,” she says.