Our team

Alasdair Douglas Chairman

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 Partner

A co-founder of DRD Partnership, Claire has worked across a wide spectrum of sectors including FMCG corporate brand-building, inward investment, human and animal health, charities, trusts and membership organisations. She has delivered strategic communications programmes in over 100 countries. At a board and trustee level, she presently works with clients on value protection, risk mitigation, litigation communications, issues management and crisis management. Previously, she worked on a WHO-sponsored smoking cessation project and 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 the implementation of WHO guidelines on smoking cessation and alcohol use.

Claire provides guidance on communications strategies addressing regulation, market access and product positioning for companies, as well as counsel to international corporate leadership teams, the management of higher education providers, international NGOs and leaders of campaigns for human rights. Claire is trained in mediation and is frequently engaged in facilitating meetings addressing complex issues, working closely alongside advocacy groups in the EU, the US and internationally.

Locksley Ryan Partner

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 Partner

Prior to co-founding DRD Partnership in 2012, Lawrence began his career in the City as an investment analyst at British Steel Pension Fund before moving first into investor relations and then financial communications at firms including CitigateDeweRogerson and Brunswick.

Lawrence co-founded Mantra PR in 2000 which was sold to Loewy in 2007 and then joined M&S plc as Interim Head of Financial and Corporate PR.
Lawrence advises a range of clients with a particular focus on litigation, risk preparedness, crisis management and reputation management.

Robert Court Partner

Robert joined DRD Partnership in October 2016. He leads on the Partnership’s Risk+ Value approach, with a specific focus on major corporate clients. Robert’s recent work includes supporting a global learned institution in its reform of governance and strategy.

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. At Rio Tinto he was Group Coordinator for Sustainable Development, and from 2009 to 2015 Global Head of External Affairs.

Robert applies his global public-private background to help 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. He is a Senior Advisor with a range of advisory, social enterprise and business intelligence firms.

Pete Bowyer Partner

Pete joined DRD Partnership in January 2018, and leads the company’s public affairs activities.

He is one of the UK's leading political consultants with over 25 years in public policy and strategic communications. 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 multinational corporations, international NGOs and high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of issues across many different sectors.

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).

Pete started his career as a Parliamentary Advisor to a Shadow Minister in the mid-1990s. After 34 years’ membership, he remains active in the Labour Party 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 leaders committed to 100% clean energy in their areas by 2050.

Jeremy Oppenheim Partner

Jeremy has wide-ranging experience within central and local government as well as the charity sector. His career includes recently being the Director for Safeguarding and Counter Extremism at the Home Office, 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.

Kate Miller Partner

A lawyer by training, Kate is a senior reputation management specialist who has advised corporates, institutions and individuals on a broad range of critical communications issues. Her areas of focus include media and stakeholder relations, reputation and crisis management, litigation communications, campaigns, profile building and cyber.

Kate started her career as a litigator at law firm Allen & Overy in London, qualifying in 1997. In 2000 she moved into the world of communications, spending the first 12 years at Brunswick specialising in financial communication for corporates including mergers and acquisitions, financial calendar, corporate positioning, stakeholder engagement, crisis and litigation. Since 2012 she has focused on reputation management for companies, institutions and private clients, with many of her clients having an international footprint across diverse geographies.

Paul Barnes Partner

Paul has 30 years experience advising clients at board level on public affairs and strategic reputation management. He is an expert in helping to influence government thinking and in creating coalitions to campaign for policy change. His clients range from FTSE 100 companies to smaller businesses, trade associations and charities.

Paul’s recent work includes a national campaign to change UK business taxation, a programme to reform visitor visa procedures and the securing of commitment and funding for a major infrastructure programme in central London.

He was a partner at GJW Government Relations, which founded the modern, professional public affairs industry in the early 1980s. More recently, he was joint managing-director at Weber Shandwick Public Affairs.

Paul was a councillor for ten years and, at 23, became Britain’s youngest mayor. He is currently Campaigns Director of Conservatives Abroad, working with the Conservative Party to engage British expats worldwide. He was Chairman of the Board of a major London further education college and a member of the Government’s London East Learning and Skills Council.

Jelena Kudelko Associate

Jelena joined DRD Partnership in May 2012. Jelena works across a range of sectors, with particular expertise in government and diplomatic relations, crisis management and cross-border legal disputes. Her recent work includes campaigning on behalf of UK and international organisations, as well as litigation support for high-net-worth individuals.

Jelena started her career at Gardant Communications, where she provided research and analytical support, primarily for clients from Russia and the CIS region.

Prior to that she worked in Moscow as a legal analyst.

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 is currently studying Italian.

Sarah Whittam Associate

Sarah joined DRD Partnership in October 2014. She supports a range of clients in the public, private and charity sectors, focusing on campaigns, stakeholder relations, strategic positioning and crisis management.

Her recent work includes supporting an overseas government in an international bid campaign, managing crisis communications for a state-owned energy company and creating thought leadership positioning for a global pharmaceutical company.

Prior to joining DRD, Sarah worked on the JET Programme in Kyoto, Japan and as Media Officer for Jubilee Scotland. She has also worked with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St Andrews.

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

Sarah speaks Spanish and Japanese.

Irina Sukhikh Analyst

Irina joined DRD Partnership in June 2014.

Since joining DRD, Irina focuses on the third sector, rights programmes, humanitarian crises and multi-stakeholder engagement. She supports clients from around the world on media relations, risk mitigation, crisis management and public affairs.

Irina’s recent work includes a secondment to an international professional membership body to provide in-house counsel and lead several projects as part of the governance modernisation of the institution.

Irina is well-versed in policy and campaigning, having worked at the European Parliament as an assistant to Sir Graham Watson, one of the veteran members of the European Parliament and the president of the pan-European liberal party, ALDE.

In the past, Irina also worked for Prime Research, an international media research company in Oxford.

Irina graduated with a first-class honours degree in Business and Politics from Oxford Brookes University.

She is a native Russian speaker.

Kaitlyn Ewing Analyst

Kaitlyn joined DRD Partnership in August 2014. She supports a wide variety of clients including international development charities, multinational corporations and the UK missions of overseas governments.

Kaitlyn’s recent work includes the implementation and management of programmes of work in the areas of diplomatic and government relations, data breach response, safeguarding risk reviews, and crisis mitigation and recovery.

She previously held positions at prominent fiscal policy think tanks in the US and the UK, a top migration policy think tank in Brussels, the US House of Representatives and a UN-affiliated human rights NGO in Madrid.

Kaitlyn holds a Master of Public Administration in Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Political Science (Magna cum laude) from American University in Washington, D.C.

She speaks Spanish and Italian.

Sarah-Jane Tollan Analyst

Sarah-Jane joined DRD Partnership in July 2018. Since joining, she has supported a number of clients, including an overseas government, an international development charity and a US-based law firm.

Prior to this, she worked for a marketing and communications consultancy in London, delivering international programmes involving media relations, stakeholder engagement and strategic positioning for clients in the financial services, tourism and technology sectors. Sarah-Jane also held a position in the marketing and communications department at Cancer Research UK.

Sarah-Jane holds a B.A. in English from the University of Cambridge. She speaks conversational French and Spanish and is currently studying Mandarin.

James Browne Analyst

James joined DRD Partnership in October 2018, where he supports a wide range of clients, focusing largely on stakeholder engagement and public affairs.

He previously worked at Newgate Communications, where he held a roving role in the Financial team, also working across Geopolitical, Public Affairs and Corporate. He has worked to advise clients of all sizes on effective communications with the capital markets, and advised Xiaomi Corp. on UK media engagement for its IPO.

James was previously a commissioned Royal Navy Officer and has also worked as a cricket journalist and professional jazz pianist. He speaks Italian.