Parliamentary and planning firm Bircham Dyson Bell has taken its public relations venture a step further with the hire of its first journalist, forming an alliance of lawyers, PR experts and journalists for the first time.

The firm has recruited journalist Frank le Duc from The Times as a communications consultant in its Westminster office. He will offer media and PR advice to clients of the firm’s major projects team, including public transport authority and executive Merseytravel.

As exclusively revealed by The Lawyer (15 November 2004), Birchams last year launched its public relations function after securing a five-year appointment as the exclusive public affairs adviser to Merseytravel.

The firm exploited its position as adviser to Merseytravel to beat several top communications companies in a five-way pitch for the role.

Robbie Owen, Birchams head of parliamentary, public law and planning, said: “Having a journalist on board will allow us to provide a level of insight into the media that is rarely found within the legal sector.”