Lobbyists parade for Bar Council job

THE BAR Council is holding a beauty parade to determine which PR and lobbying consultancy will represent it into the next millennium.

Nine consultancies have been invited to tender for a three-year contract to handle the Bar Council's prestigious account, worth in the region of £200,000 a year.

Among the front runners are Westminster Strategy, the current holders of the account, and Shandwick, whose Bar unit is led by Jon McLeod.

McLeod handled the Bar Council's account at Westminster Strategy and helped it win the last beauty parade in 1995, before his defection last year.

The nine consultancies submitted their bids on paper at the end of last month, and the Bar Council is in the process of whittling the bidders down to four, before inviting them before a panel in July.

The Bar has never felt so threatened by a government, and the Bar Council is determined to get the best possible value from the contenders.

“It is our normal practice to hold beauty parades… it is a way of testing what is out there in the market,” said a Bar source.