In a ruthlessly competitive 24-hour rolling news environment our skill is in helping clients assess and deliver their messaging to make a real impact.
Preparing H1 financial results in the COVID environment
On 9 June Montfort hosted its third Change/Exchange since the beginning of the pandemic. These sessions bring together senior change and communications practitioners to share their experiences.
A few years ago, I interviewed Professor Sir Cary Cooper one of the UK’s foremost thinkers on workplace issues. We discussed the UK’s productivity puzzle – why does the UK consistently lag other developed nations on productivity measures? Cary felt that the UK had a ‘management’ problem.
My thoughts have drifted back to that conversation in recent weeks as the Covid-19 crisis has shifted very firmly into planning the return to the workplace.
2019 was an inflection point for investor commitment to ESG and the advent of COVID-19 has seen it propelled to the forefront of investor preoccupations.
When international criminal tribunals deal with accusations of crimes against humanity, media scrutiny is ferocious and reputations fragile. With experience on landmark cases, Steven Kay QC, one of the world’s leading criminal lawyers, reveals that in high profile international criminal cases there are often blurred lines between the law, politics and a ‘narrative’ woven by the media. In a globalised world where lies travel faster than the truth, Montfort hears that multidisciplinary collaboration is the way of the future.
A professional who ‘defies categorization’, Michele DeStefano is a highly ranked ‘Legal Rebel’ who researches and writes about the growing intersections between law, business, and legal innovation. As a professor at the University of Miami School of Law and Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School, Michele understands why communications and law are becoming like yin and yang professions in reputation management. Michele predicts that the success of law firms in the future will depend on what she calls ‘proactive co-collaboration’.
Over the last few days there has been significant debate about how the return to work will work in practice, especially in London where most people commute using public transport.
The Financial Services responses from our survey on Getting Britain Back to Work make for some interesting reading.
Montfort Communications has commissioned Opinium to conduct research into how UK workers feel about going back to their place of work in light of Covid-19. The research was conducted on 1-4 May 2020 and included interviews with 4,000 workers from across the UK.
With lawyers underwhelmed by litigation evidence, Nick Bortman co-founded Raedas, a corporate investigations consultancy purely focused on contentious work. Credible evidence for Raedas means evidence that can stand up in court and make a real difference in resolving a dispute.
In this episode recorded during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown, Montfort Communications hears how this specialist consultancy thrives in a niche where contentious work and high stakes are the name of its game. Plus, Nick’s prediction that COVID-19 will lead to relief fund fraud.
Following Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation on Sunday night we are entering a new phase in the fight against Covid-19. The data now shows we are past the peak of the epidemic here in the UK. The debate has shifted towards the return to work. Montfort has commissioned its own research “Getting Britain Back to Work” (conducted by Opinium) which shows almost half of those not in their usual workplace (45%) are ready to return to work, with only 28% not ready. If social distancing measures are implemented, there is majority support for a range of workplaces to start opening again imminently, including Factories (62%) and Offices (57%).
Going back to work isn’t just a business decision, its political.
70% of workers say UK will suffer long-term damage without imminent return to work according to poll
“Lowering the cost of insurance would be accomplished by such things as making it harder for lawyers to win frivolous lawsuits against insurance companies.” So said the American economist Thomas Sowell.
Justifiably or not, I’m sure the board of many insurance companies would share this sentiment. But Sowell probably did not have in mind the kind of backlash insurers are facing during the time of a pandemic, and the sorts of class actions touted in the media across the world against insurers who are refusing business interruption claims brought about as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
What exactly are McMafia laws and what does it have to do with Mrs Hajiyeva spending £16 million in Harrods? Alan Ward, a senior lawyer at Stephenson Harwood specialising in corporate and white-collar crime, uncovers the details of the UK’s controversial anti-money laundering powers in Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) to begin combating £4.4 billion of London’s criminal assets – both its background and its problems including unfairness and resourcing shortages to an accounting nightmare.
At Montfort we strive to anticipate the issues that our clients are facing and to help us we have a longstanding relationship with economic and social forecaster David Murrin. In recent years he has correctly called significant geopolitical moves and political results, notably calling the result of the Brexit referendum before the referendum was even announced, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of China to challenge the US for global leadership. A year ago, David urged his subscribers to heed the economic threat posed by a global pandemic. And from late 2019, he has accurately forecast the impact of COVID-19 on society and global financial markets – including the exact dates that the markets and the oil price fell.
As the lockdown persists, companies and shareholders are coming to terms with the idea of ‘virtual AGMs.’ Montfort was a pioneer in this field when, in 2016, we managed the first virtual AGM permitted under LSE rules, (for Jimmy Choo). Since then, we have assisted LVMH in staging a series of hugely successful shareholder meetings which have expanded the boundaries of shareholder engagement and general reputational outreach.
In 2014 when film, The Interview, about the assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un went from being a harmless spoof to the cause of a mass cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, Jonathan Pearl was Sony’s General Counsel in the USA. Bringing together his legal expertise and technological savvy, Montfort hears Jonathan’s crisis management pearls of wisdom on communications, how to mitigate long-term reputational damage and retain public trust when hackers do their worst.
In an age of fake news, ‘black PR campaigns’ and ‘anti-immigration propaganda’, communications expertise is ‘pivotal’ for success, immigration solicitor Elena Tsirlina advises. With immigration being a hot topic in the media, be it accurate reporting or the proliferation of misinformation online, Elena gives communications consultancy Montfort her ‘winning formula’ for cases with ferocious public interest – along with a powerful message for the media to educate on immigration, not misinform.
At a time when the world seems to be going to hell in a hand cart, with stock exchanges plunging and ominous talk of a global depression, many are asking if this is the end of the road for the ESG bandwagon? When companies are rightly focused on survival, should investors abandon their ESG commitments and their related requirements of companies as bull market excess?
No more pie in the sky policies, Sir Keir’s team have the expertise to deliver
From A-listers Naomi Campbell to Sir Cliff Richard, lawyer Gideon Benaim gives Montfort the inside story of what makes communications and legal expertise a ‘fundamental’ partnership in protecting the reputation of his many and varied high-profile clients. As Head of Reputation at law firm, Simkins, Gideon uses reputation law to help companies in a range of sectors and high net worth individuals when crisis strikes. How does he do it? With the ‘best people advising’ from the earliest possible moment.
The Montfort Communications Litigation & Disputes team explore how reputation management plays a crucial part in determining who is the ‘right winner’ or the ‘wronged loser’ in high profile litigation.
Montfort’s Malcolm Munro, a former senior ITN journalist, reviews how business communicators are handling the coronavirus crisis.
Anyone who has been booked to attend an event over the last fortnight, has likely been a witness to the wave of widespread cancellations, brought about by the measures imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Business should not think that the current crisis presents an opportunity to bury bad news. The opposite is the case and organisations will not be able to dodge bullets, nor sugar the pill.
Given unprecedented gyrations in financial markets, a brutal ending to the longest bull run in living memory and unabating volatility and fearfulness, it is crucial for companies to continue to show leadership to their investors.
As social pressure mounts and a highly engaged population campaign for big corporations to make genuine change to the way they operate, we have seen firms all over the world put environmental, social and governance values at the core of their business operations. But is it all a fad?
While the Covid-19 pandemic presents real challenges and dilemmas in all walks of life, Montfort is focusing on short term solutions and long-term intelligence to help our clients plot their way through the crisis.
“It is a myth that you cannot have financial returns as well as social impact.”
Alex Just and Stuart Leach, from Montfort Communications’ Litigations and Disputes team, joined Nicholas Bortman and Jenna Burton of Raedas in a recent webinar.
Coronavirus has put the spotlight on the international community’s capability to manage the contagion, not least in the field of communications.
The fast-growing corporate reputation specialist has made a senior hire in its Change & Employee Engagement area.
Montfort Communications, the fast-growing corporate reputation firm, has been appointed as a strategic communications adviser by BNP Paribas Asset Management.
After the festive break many listed company boards will soon reconvene with some facing the heightened possibility of difficult pre-AGM shareholder discussions…
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me – a Boris bonanza, runway to Brexit and surge in sterling…
Montfort Communications, the fast-growing strategic corporate communications firm, has been appointed as financial public relations and investor relations adviser by National World.
Montfort Communications, the fast-growing strategic corporate communications firm, has been appointed as communications adviser by Systematica Investments Limited (‘Systematica’).