Co-Founders and Co-CEO’s: George Sard and Paul Verbinnen
Number of employees: 200
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, Greek, German, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi
Overview & History:
Since its founding nearly 30 years ago, SVC has provided strategic communications support and counsel to Fortune 500 companies and other public and private multi-national corporations, educational and cultural institutions and high-profile individuals in connection with a vast array of matters that affect reputation, business and market value. A preeminent global litigation and financial public relations firm, SVC specialises in high-stakes situations and long-term positioning and reputation management. The firm has deep experience advising on government/ regulatory litigation matters and private civil litigation matters, crises, financial transactions, senior management changes, proxy contests, data breaches, and long-term corporate positioning.
Relevant Services Offered:
■ SVC’s Litigation Support practice is unique among peer firms as it includes a senior team of former practicing attorneys with strong legal backgrounds in civil and criminal litigation and investigations, government affairs, transactional law and intellectual property. Notably, several of these attorneys also spent portions of their careers working in journalism as reporters, producers and/or on-air commentators. The team works closely with counsel to distil complicated legal arguments into accessible and persuasive messaging for media, investors, employees, customers, business partners, industry thought leaders and other stakeholders, with the overarching goal of advancing its clients’ legal strategy while simultaneously advocating for them in the court of public opinion.
Crisis Management & Special Situations:
■ SVC provides candid, pragmatic counsel on a wide range of crises and special situations, from product recalls and industrial catastrophes to sudden leadership changes and major regulatory events. SVC understands the critical importance of speed, combined with sophisticated strategic thinking and robust, agile execution. Its role includes strategy development and ongoing counsel, research and message testing, preparation of multi-audience communications, development and execution of social media and digital strategies, media relations, investor relations, on-site support, and post-event reputation tracking.
Cybersecurity & Privacy Issues:
■ SVC has deep expertise helping companies prepare for and respond to data privacy issues and cybersecurity incidents. SVC’s team is distinguished by our breadth of experience and includes former cybersecurity lawyers, IT security engineers, government officials and corporate executives. SVC brings a full suite of capabilities to help public and private companies across all major industries protect reputation through strategic communications planning, effective incident response and post-breach reputation-tracking and rebuilding.
■ SVC’s Public Affairs practice draws upon decades of high-level government, campaign and policy experience to provide fully integrated public affairs counsel in transformative high-stakes situations that can affect reputation and value. These efforts — whether proactive or, when necessary, reactive — are seamlessly integrated into our strategic communications work.
■ SVC’s communications efforts are supported by a Digital Communications Group that is unique to the firm and includes a team of highly skilled social media and design experts who help it amplify its messages and directly target the appropriate audiences, when appropriate. An example of the ground breaking and innovate ways in which the firm has effectively deployed a digital strategy on behalf of a litigation assignment involved Martha Stewart, the founder of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, when she was on trial for perjury. It was essential for her business that she continued to speak to her audience and SVC were the first PR firm to create a litigation website that enabled her to do so in a controlled environment.
Notable Assignments Include Advising:
■ Elon Musk/Tesla in connection with SEC enforcement action and settlement
■ Qualcomm in connection with antitrust litigation in various countries
■ Fitbit in connection with intellectual property, consumer and antitrust securities litigation
■ Facebook in connection with intellectual property lawsuit and subsequent settlement with ConnectU
■ Takata in connection with airbag inflator malfunctions and related auto manufacturer recalls
■ HNA in connection with various litigation matters
■ PG&E in connection with legal, reputational and public affairs issues resulting from the Northern California wildfires and the company’s Chapter 11 filing
■ Pabst Brewing Company in connection with contract litigation against MillerCoors
■ DraftKings in connection with litigations and government investigations into legality of fantasy sports and related consumer protection concerns
■ Wynn in connection with litigation regarding FCPA and breach of fiduciary duty by a Board director
■ Nikon in connection with a series of global legal actions intended to halt the infringement of Nikon’s intellectual property