Our people

Our people combine experience, advanced analytical skills, commercial acumen and the willingness to go the extra mile for our clients.

All clients are supported by at least two partners

The Team

  • Alasdair Douglas

    Alasdair Douglas Chairman

  • Claire Davidson

    Claire Davidson Partner

  • Locksley Ryan

    Locksley Ryan Partner

  • Lawrence Dore

    Lawrence Dore Partner

  • Robert Gardener

    Robert Gardener Partner

  • Robert Court

    Robert Court Partner

  • Pete Bowyer

    Pete Bowyer Partner

  • Jeremy Oppenheim

    Jeremy Oppenheim Partner

  • Jelena Kudelko

    Jelena Kudelko Associate

  • Sarah Whittam

    Sarah Whittam Associate

  • Irina Sukhikh

    Irina Sukhikh Analyst

  • Kaitlyn Ewing

    Kaitlyn Ewing Analyst

Alasdair Douglas


Prior to joining DRD, Alasdair chaired Aviate Global LLP, an international stockbroking business headquartered in London, was a Senior Vice President and Legal Advisor at Northern Trust Securities, chaired the representative body for the leading law firms in the City of London, chaired The Tree Council and was a corporate tax lawyer, managing partner and, latterly, senior partner with Travers Smith.  

He currently chairs the solicitors' pro bono charity, LawWorks, and a privately-owned, privacy law business, Data Guidance.  

Alasdair has extensive experience in dealing with regulators, government departments, legal and professional services businesses, private equity businesses, fund managers and both private and public commercial organisations, particularly in the regulated sectors.

Claire Davidson


Claire started her career specialising in the promotion of FMCG and corporate brand-building, inward investment and issues management. In 1997 Claire moved to Shandwick as its CEO responsible for consumer, healthcare and global brands; working for some of the world's biggest corporations across over 100 countries. She worked extensively on the WHO-sponsored project addressing smoking cessation and then was retained by the Department of Health in the UK to develop the Five-a-Day strategy, Fruit in Schools campaign and to offer guidance on implementation of WHO guidelines on smoking cessation and alcohol use.  In 2001 Claire developed a specialism in litigation communications, crisis and issues management and since then provides senior counsel to global corporations, shareholder groups, individuals and charities.

A co-founder of DRD Partnership, Claire provides guidance on communications strategies addressing regulation, market access and product positioning for pharmaceutical companies.  She also  provides counsel to other international corporate leadership teams, the management of higher education providers, international NGOs and leaders of campaigns for human rights. Claire is frequently engaged in facilitating meetings addressing complex issues and works closely with advocacy groups in the EU, the US and internationally.

Locksley Ryan


A scientist by training Locksley started his career as a Research Scientist at 3M before moving to the Mars Group. After fourteen years spent in research, marketing and personnel Locksley left as Head of European Communication. Other high profile positions include Director of Communications at Lloyds TSB and British Aerospace; the latter working across North America, the Middle and Far East Africa and Australia. Subsequently, he joined the financial PR agency, 'Brunswick' as a Partner before leaving to set up his own consultancy focusing on advisory work before co-founding DRD Partnership in February 2012.

Locksley's client work includes campaigning against political repression, international anti-corruption campaigns and advising high net worth individuals on asylum applications.

Lawrence Dore


Lawrence trained in the City as an investment analyst before moving to consultancy and working for a number of investor relations and corporate and financial PR agencies including CitigateDeweRogerson and Brunswick.

Lawrence founded his own agency, Mantra PR which was sold several years later to marketing service group Loewy. After a spell as Head of Financial and Corporate PR at Marks and Spencer plc Lawrence worked as a partner at Gardant Communications before co-founding DRD Partnership.

Recent client work includes advising an ex CIS state oil company, multiple litigations on behalf of business and shareholder groups, developing investor messaging for an international listed life sciences company, developing a communications strategy to support a campaign against anti-competitive pricing of financial products in Europe and advising clients on disputes over assets in Central Africa, Latin America and East Africa.


Robert Gardener


Robert joined DRD Partnership at the beginning of 2014, having previously lived and worked in the Middle East for five years. His expertise is in public policy and international government relations, advising and supporting foreign governments on their engagement in the UK and advising UK organisations on strategic engagement with overseas governments.

During his time overseas, Robert was Director of Communications and a member of the Senior Leadership Group at a subsidiary of the Office of The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. In this role, Robert represented the interests of Abu Dhabi in its large, strategic and international partnerships, with a particular focus on economic diversification and the development of physical and social infrastructure. Before that, Robert was Head of the Abu Dhabi office of Bell Pottinger. For over three years, Robert was also one of two non-Executive Directors on the Strategic Governing Body of the British Embassy, providing strategic guidance to the Senior Leadership team and co-hosting visiting trade and parliamentary delegations from the UK.

Robert has held positions at Brunswick; the Cabinet Office; Government House, Melbourne and Buckingham Palace. He has also spent time on secondment to the UK mission at the United Nations headquarters in New York.


Robert Court


Robert has global experience with the UK Diplomatic Service and with two major UK-headquartered companies, Rio Tinto (mining) and GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceuticals).  His diplomatic career included postings in London, Bangkok, Brussels (NATO and the European Union) and in Canberra as Deputy High Commissioner.  His two spells at Rio Tinto included roles as Group Coordinator for Sustainable Development, and from 2009 to 2015 as Global Head of External Affairs. 

Robert applies his global public-private background to helping organisations understand and address the political, social and stakeholder context in which they operate. This includes proactive work on policy issues such as geo-politics, sustainable development and human rights; delivering stakeholder engagement and communications strategies to help organisations manage risk in order to enhance and protect value; and providing mentoring support.

Robert is a Partner with the strategic communications advisory firm, DRD Partnership.  He is also a Senior Advisor or Associate with a range of advisory, social enterprise and business intelligence firms.

Pete Bowyer


Pete Bowyer is one of the UK's leading political consultants with 25 years public affairs experience. He is an expert at creating and running integrated government and media relations campaigns to influence public policy. Over his time as a consultant, he has advised multi-national corporations, international NGOs and high net worth individuals on a wide range of issues. He was Senior Director, Public Affairs at Weber Shandwick (2000-2005); Founding Partner, EURO RSCG Apex Communications (2005-2011); Managing Partner, Maitland Political (2011-2017) and Founding Partner, Maitland Green (2015-17). He is an expert on sustainability and international climate change policy, having advised HE Kofi Annan, Michael Bloomberg, the UN's International Panel on Climate Change and The Climate Group among many others over the last ten years. Pete started his career as a Parliamentary Advisor to a Shadow Minister in the mid-1990s. He remains politically active with cross-party contacts throughout Westminster and Whitehall. He served three terms as an elected councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth. He is currently chair of UK100, the network of local government leaders committed to 100% clean energy by 2050.

Jeremy Oppenheim


Jeremy Oppenheim has wide ranging experience of central and local government as well as the charity sector. His career includes recently being the Director for Safeguarding and Counter Extremism, responsible for UK government policy on safeguarding including modern slavery, domestic abuse, countering extremism and child sexual abuse. He was the Head of in-country immigration for the UK Border agency at the Home Office, where he introduced the "points-based system" and was responsible for all casework and enforcement across the UK. He has been a director of social services in London and was Chief Executive at Jewish Care, a national charity offering social care to British Jewry. He worked as international ambassador for the Home Office dealing with immigration policy and practice and undertook reviews of human trafficking support and the passport service for the Home Secretary.

Jelena Kudelko


Jelena joined DRD Partnership in May 2012.

Jelena has a wide range of experience in international media relations, policy-making, litigation support and campaigning for many international clients.

Prior to joining DRD, Jelena worked at Gardant Communications, where she provided research and analysis support primarily for clients from Russia and the CIS region.

She also spent a year in Moscow working as an analyst within the legal department of Delfranz.

Jelena holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree with specialisation in Commercial Law from University College London.

A native Russian speaker, Jelena is also fluent in Lithuanian and English.


Sarah Whittam


Sarah Whittam joined DRD Partnership as an analyst in October 2014.

Sarah graduated with a first class honours degree in International Relations and Modern History from the University of St Andrews. She also holds an MPhil in Politics and International Relations (specialising in Sino-Japanese affairs) from the University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining DRD Sarah worked as an English language teacher in Kyoto, Japan. She has also worked as Media Officer for the NGO Jubilee Scotland and as a research intern at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St Andrews.

A native English speaker, Sarah also speaks conversational Japanese and Spanish.

Irina Sukhikh


Irina joined DRD Partnership as an analyst in June 2014.

Irina is an expert in policy and campaigning, having previously worked at the European Parliament as an assistant to one of the veteran Members of the European Parliament and the president of the pan-European liberal party, ALDE Party. While working at the European Parliament, Irina gained a wide range of experience, supporting Sir Graham in his policy work, particularly as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Irina subsequently returned to the UK to work on his European election campaign in the South West of England.

Since joining DRD, Irina gained experience in corporate, litigation and financial communications. She has supported crisis management, media relations and  engagement with the European institutions, think tanks and NGOs for a wide range of clients across different geographies including the UK, US, EU, ex-CIS countries and African continent.

In the past, Irina also worked for Prime Research, an international media research company in Oxford. She worked on a wide range of projects particularly in the consumer sector and was responsible for the Russian-speaking team.

Irina graduated with the first class honours degree in Business and Politics from Oxford Brookes University. She is a native Russian speaker.

Kaitlyn Ewing


Kaitlyn joined DRD Partnership as an analyst in August 2014.

Prior to joining DRD, Kaitlyn worked at the TaxPayers' Alliance, supporting the research team in a variety of issue areas including taxation, regulation and budgetary policy. Kaitlyn has also held positions at Americans for Tax Reform, the U.S. House of Representatives and a human rights NGO in Madrid, Spain.

Kaitlyn studied Political Science and Spanish Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., and holds a Master of Public Administration in Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics.

Originally from the United States, Kaitlyn also speaks Spanish and Italian.