(L-R) Awards host Andrew Ryan; Penny Jones, communications and PR consultant, Lisa Tremble, director of external affairs, Jessica Hart, senior communications and PR executive, Mishcon de Reya; Laura Golding, senior conference manager, Legal Week

Finalists: Keystone Law; Mayer Brown (highly commended); Setfords Solicitors; Technology PR.

Mishcon de Reya’s shrewd handling of the media furore surrounding its client Gina Miller’s Article 50 legal challenge saw it scoop the PR and communications award.

The firm successfully argued that the government needed to follow due legal process in order to trigger Article 50 and commence Brexit negotiations, but given the high profile and divisive nature of Miller’s legal challenge, the firm’s PR team had to rigorously monitor media coverage and make certain the key message was reported accurately – that the case was about process not politics. After initial misreporting, the firm’s PR team arranged for a select group of national journalists to be briefed by Miller and Mishcon de Reya partner Rob Murray, ensuring subsequent stories outlined the legal argument correctly.

As the case unfolded, the team worked closely with Miller and the firm’s lawyers to draft statements and carefully manage when to involve journalists and when to push back on coverage. The case ultimately generated more than 2,500 media reports in 25 countries.

“In the face of some very hostile media coverage and fierce political opposition, Mishcon’s handling of the issues and their overall conduct of the case in PR terms was a tribute both to the firm and to the client bringing it,” said a judge.

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