CLIFFORD Chance is re-tendering its prestigious public relations contract in a bid to boost its international profile especially in Europe.
The review may well see the firm's current advisers Lowe Bell Financial, which took on the Clifford Chance account in 1996, dropped.
The move follows a decision by the firm just before Christmas to re-assess its public relations strategy in line with its aim to become a truly international firm, as outlined in its 'A Vision for the Future' mission statement.
It specifically wants to make more of an impression in Europe, where it has led the drive by UK firms to make a significant impact on the legal market there. Media relations officer Tom Rose acknowledged that the firm needed a less UK focused PR operation.
'Our PR needs to be more representative of our international coverage,' he said.
Rose said an agency with an established international presence would have 'a distinct advantage'. He said the firm would make a decision by the end of February.
The Lawyer understands that Clifford Chance has invited companies based outside the UK to tender for the contract, as well as UK firms, including Lowe Bell Financial and Shandwick, which boasts an international network of offices and recently set up a legal affairs unit in London.
Karen Roberts, director at PR company Financial Dynamics expressed surprise at the review: 'I have always felt that they were pretty strongly branded,' she said.