Melanie Riley has 25 years’ PR experience in the field of legal and corporate communications, public affairs and litigation PR.
She co-founded Bell Yard Communications in 2002. Her long-established track record lies in providing thoughtful litigation PR and reputation management advice to clients on a wide variety of often sensitive issues. These range from high value commercial disputes to white collar criminal defence matters, matrimonial, intellectual property and employment litigation. She is regularly instructed on behalf of businesses, law firms, chambers, charities and high-profile individuals across a number of jurisdictions.
She leads the agency’s ‘issues management’ work, advising legal teams, HNWs, senior executives and in-house PRs on communications responses to risks to businesses and in circumstances where private lives become public property. She has also advised entities and individuals in respect of the media interest in both public and private inquiries and in coroners’ inquests.
Melanie also heads Bell Yard’s specialist campaign assignments. She spearheaded a UK based programme to highlight the inequality in the UK/US extradition regime, exposing the human stories behind the legislation, and founded www.friends-extradited.org, the voluntary organisation designed to help victims of unjust US extradition requests. She has also assisted individuals subjected to EAWs and international extradition requests, to highlight the inequity of their plights.
Melanie began her communications career at an international investment bank where she was responsible for day-to-day liaison with financial print and broadcast media across Europe.
Melanie is supported in her work by a diligent and creative team. Bell Yard has consistently been ranked a Band 1 Litigation PR agency in Chambers and Partners’ Litigation Support Guide in both the inaugural guide in 2018 as well as in 2019. Melanie is similarly ranked Band 1; she is described by peers as “phenomenally discreet and capable” and “incredibly effective” while lawyers say: “if I could have only one speed dial to a PR, it would be to Melanie at Bell Yard.”