Melanie Riley

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Melanie Claire Riley (born 2 November 1968) is a corporate and public affairs expert who co-founded Bell Yard, a "litigation PR, crisis communications and reputation management consultancy", with Richard Elsen in 2002. She is now sole Director of the agency and was listed in PR Week's Power Book 2010 as one of the most influential people in PR.

Riley's background includes time as a press officer at Nomura. In 2001 she joined Cicero Consulting as an Associate Director from Golin/Harris Ludgate Public Affairs where she was a divisional director.[1]

One of Bell Yard's first mandates was advising Michael Jackson's public relations officer Ann Kite during the star's lawsuit against British journalist Martin Bashir following the unflattering documentary, Living with Michael Jackson.[2][3]

Bell Yard was then hired by the so-called NatWest Three to campaign against their extradited to the US on charges relating to the collapse of the American energy giant Enron. Riley has since maintained an interest in the extradition space and recently campaigned on a pro-bono basis on behalf of Asperger's sufferer Gary McKinnon against his extradition to the US. McKinnon admits to having hacked into Pentagon computers in a bid to prove the existence of little green men.

Bell Yard has also been involved in various high-profile City related litigation cases, representing Malcolm Perry in his discrimination claim against investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort in 2007 and star trader Rajesh Gill on his claim for fraudulent misrepresentation against brokerage firm MF Global in 2009.

Riley was nominated for election to Liberty's Council in 2010.


  1. ^ GHL's Riley quits to join Lock at Cicero, PR Week, 16 March 2001
  2. ^ Ripples of Jackson trial felt in the UK, PR Week, 11 March 2005
  3. ^ Jackson spin-doctor recalls PR disaster, Chris Ayres, The Times, 3 March 2005


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