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Powerscourt appoints two senior Directors signalling firm’s ambitions following record year of growth in 2020

Peter Barrett joins as Head of Special Situations, strengthening the firm’s crisis and litigation services

Sarah MacLeod joins as Head of Healthcare to build on recent client wins in the sector

Powerscourt is pleased to announce the appointments of Peter Barrett and Sarah MacLeod as Directors and bolstering the firm’s senior management team following a year of record growth in 2020.

Peter Barrett joins from Infinite Global, where he led the consultancy’s crisis and litigation offering in the UK, advising a portfolio of professional services, corporate and private clients, both domestic and international. At Powerscourt he will spearhead new business growth in crisis strategy, preparedness and response appointments across a range of sectors, integrated closely with the firm’s Financial Services, TMT, Real Estate, Industrials and Consumer practice groups. He will also work to expand the firm’s litigation PR capabilities.

Recognised by Chambers & Partners in its 2020 rankings of leading individuals in UK Litigation PR and Communications, Peter’s previous work includes advising Alison Levitt QC and the high-profile independent inquiry into allegations of modern slavery in Boohoo Group’s supply chain, as well as former Tesco executive Chris Bush during his successful defence against charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Sarah MacLeod has been a strong advocate for the healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector throughout her career, drawing on broad communications experience from both within and outside the life sciences. She has over 15 years of agency experience advising companies on fundraisings, IPOs, strategic communications and media relations. She has also held senior in-house roles spanning corporate, external and employee communications at FTSE 100 companies: GSK and TUI Travel. Latterly she worked at Oxford Biomedica, the FTSE 250 company now manufacturing the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Sarah joins at a time of growth for the Healthcare sector at Powerscourt. Recent clients wins include the Russian Direct investment Fund on the Sputnik V vaccine, Nasdaq listed Northwest Biotherapeutics, a developer of cancer immunotherapies and Spy Biotech, a vaccine developer spun out of Oxford University.

Peter Barrett, Head of Special Situations, said:

“Powerscourt has a formidable reputation as the go-to adviser for organisations and individuals facing complex risk scenarios. The past 12 months have demonstrated starkly the extent to which sources of reputational threat are multiplying and intensifying. No firm is better placed to help clients navigate the difficulties ahead. Powerscourt has ambitious plans in place and I’m delighted to join the team.”

Commenting on her appointment, Sarah MacLeod noted:

“The importance of investing in healthcare to support innovation and development has never been more apparent, and there is an urgent need for specialist representation of this essential industry. As healthcare communicators, it is our duty to promulgate its positive impact, not only for investors but for society more broadly. The Powerscourt team are impressive and have risen to the challenge in support of their healthcare clients, particularly those responding to the global pandemic. I am thrilled to be joining them at such a critical time and looking forward to building on their success in the sector.”

Rory Godson, Chief Executive and Founder, said:

“We are delighted Peter and Sarah have joined Powerscourt. Peter has considerable litigation and crisis communications experience and his expertise will substantially enhance these traditional Powerscourt strengths. Sarah has significant experience spanning the healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and brings the added benefit of having led communications from the top at both consultancies and in-house.

“We continue to strengthen our senior team, having grown our business during the pandemic, and begin 2021 with the confidence we can capitalise on further growth opportunities while remaining committed to our values.”