BRLA, Dentons & DRD: Reputation on trial

12 Oct 2021

DRD Partnership co-organised an in-person seminar with international law firm, Dentons, and the British-Russian Law Association (BRLA), entitled “Reputation on trial: exploring the role of strategic communications in disputes.”

Reputation on trial: exploring the role of strategic communications in disputes

DRD Partner Claire Davidson gave a presentation and participated in the roundtable, chaired by Prof Bill Bowring, alongside Adam Cannon of News UK (The Sun Newspaper), Dominic Pellew of Dentons and Persephone Bridgman Baker of Carter Ruck.

Claire shared her perspective on how clients and their legal teams can work alongside strategic communications professionals to plan for and manage reputational risks, calibrate public perception and build support for their case outside of the courtroom.

Speaking from her experience of communicating for clients in contentions and litigated contexts, Claire touched upon a variety of hints, tips and tools which help improve stakeholder engagement without creating legal risks throughout the life-cycle of a dispute – from addressing public prejudices about complainants/defendants to preserving privilege, from taking a strategic decision to not communicate to protecting clients from accusations of defamation.

The presentation also provided an interesting insight into the role of sanctioned background briefings: these can help the media understand the true context of the dispute, while not playing out the trial process in the court of public opinion.

Panellists all agreed that involving external advisers can help litigating parties develop a nuanced and robust communications approach, aligned with the legal strategy. In this way, teams can assume greater control over how the progress and outcome of the case impacts the environment around it and mitigate potential downside risks arising from it.