Gus Sellitto

Gus is a co-founder of Byfield and works at the intersection of legal PR, litigation communications and reputation management in high risk situations. He is passionate about helping his clients to build their businesses and protect and enhance their reputations through powerful communications.

Thinking

I learnt my trade at Russell Jones & Walker (now Slater & Gordon) where I spent five years managing the firm’s national profile and acting directly for a number of its clients who were involved in landmark cases or faced significant reputational threats. My biggest takeaway was of the value of communications in building the brand of a legal firm – and the power of communications in protecting reputations.  With Byfield, we wanted to create a consultancy with the skill-set to act both for law firms and their clients. Today, we help law firms tell their stories in the most compelling way and protect their reputations when under threat.  We also assist those facing litigation or significant risk events, working hand in hand with – and as an extension of – their legal teams.

Communicating

The launch of Byfield in 2007 coincided with a landmark event for the legal industry – the Legal Services Act. Since then, I have seen law firms adapting to the new landscape they see before them: increased competition, new market entrants, deregulation, pricing pressures, commoditisation – the list goes on. The ones that have stood-out for me are those who have embraced the need to engage with media and other stakeholders; and used existing and new communications tools as effective conduits for their message. Many have also appreciated the value that communications professionals can add to their clients in litigation and other high profile risk events and this has further enhanced their offerings. As a result, the Byfield team works on fascinating, varied and often challenging assignments. One day we might be producing a piece of thought leadership for a leading law firm; the next we might be acting for a clinical negligence victim who wants to share their story; and the next we might be part of a law firm’s defamation team involved in a major reputation management job.

Leading

The law touches every part of our personal and professional lives and it’s very satisfying to see Byfield helping to shape a law firm’s reputation or working with a legal team to help a client achieve fair treatment in the media.  I’m very grateful to the clients we work with and proud of the reputation that Byfield has built: this is based on the fantastic team we have been able to attract and our shared values of fairness, excellence in our work and fun. My vision is for Byfield to become the first choice for any law firm wishing to raise its profile or who has a client facing a reputational risk. And the potential for expanding our business across international boundaries is very exciting.