LONDON — Pagefield Global, the litigation, dispute and crisis PR specialist formed by 17 ex-Bell Pottinger staffers in 2017, has ceased trading.

The firm was set up as Pagefield Global Counsel in the wake of the collapse of Bell Pottinger with start-up funding and initial back office support from public affairs and corporate comms agency Pagefield Communications, although the two business were operated separately.

Pagefield Global was led by CEO Stuart Leach (pictured), a former barrister and CEO of Bell Pottinger Global Advisory, and Pagefield Communications owner Mark Gallagher, who founded that agency in 2010.

Pagefield Communications, which also took on a number of Bell Pottinger staffers at the time, is unaffected by the closure of Pagefield Global.

The latter agency’s 13 employees were told on Tuesday this week that the business was closing and were paid up until that date; Pagefield Global is now expected to go into liquidation.

A source close to the situation said that a decision had been taken by the leadership that “the business didn’t have a viable future”. It is not known at this stage what will happen to the litigation PR agency’s employees, although the source said it was “unlikely” that they will be hired by Pagefield Communications as their specialisms were so different.

In a statement, Pagefield Global said: “It is with regret that Pagefield Global, the independent specialist litigation PR company founded in 2017, has ceased trading with immediate effect.”

“The closure of Pagefield Global does not affect Pagefield Communications, an entirely separate company which initially provided start-up finance and back office support but played no active part in the day-to-day management of Pagefield Global.”