Portland loses Orr to DIT

Written by Rod Muir on 26 January 2017 in News

Liam Fox’s department nabs one of Portland’s top lobbyists.

Portland has been hit by the resignation of one of its longest-serving partners as Toby Orr heads to the Department for International Trade.

Orr has been appointed as director of communications at the recently-established Whitehall department headed by Liam Fox.

He will make the move in April after more than a decade at Portland. Orr joined the firm as an account executive and went on to establish its international team and to lead numerous global campaigns.

Fox heralded the hire, stating: “Toby brings a wealth of experience in developing and implementing communication strategies in a global environment. As Director of Communications, he and his team will deliver a key corporate function for the Department for International Trade, communicating the department’s priorities to our target audiences at home and abroad.” 

Portland boss Tim Allan put a brave face on the imminent departure, stating: “I will be sorry to see Toby go, but I am incredibly proud of his Portland career… He has helped build a business which now has over 200 staff on five continents. He leaves behind a great team, an awesome client list and a legacy of innovative and creative work. It’s a credit to him that he leaves Portland for such a critical role at the heart of government”. 

The move comes after Portland recently hired James Helm, director of communications at the Department for International Development, as a partner in its international team in London.

Orr said: “It is an honour to be joining the department at such an important time, working to devise and deliver an ambitious communications strategy to advance the UK’s trade agenda and promote Global Britain. I look forward to working closely with colleagues across the department and Whitehall on this exciting mandate.

“I have loved every minute at Portland, being part of a journey that has taken us from a handful of employees to a 200-strong company with offices across the world. No other communications agency gives you the chance to work with such a talented mix of people, doing such interesting work, for such prestigious clients.”

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