NEW YORK--Samsung has selected Fleishman-Hillard to provide global PR support for its mobile business, amid a bruising legal war with Apple.

The Holmes Report understands that Fleishman has secured the mandate following a competitive review held in New York in late 2012. It is understood that at least two other PR firms took part in the pitch, which sought a US-based agency to provide global corporate and brand reputation support for its mobile communications unit.

Samsung leads the global smartphone market, with sales expected to increase by 35 percent this year. However, the company remains embroiled in a legal tussle with Apple regarding alleged patent infringement.

Samsung is aiming to preserve a positive brand image during the ongoing litigation, according to sources familiar with the brief. In addition, Fleishman is also charged with establishing a strategic communications program that attempts to position Samsung Mobile as a leading global brand, and overseeing its celebrity endorsement and social media programs.

Samsung has previously worked with Edelman and Weber Shandwick on global smartphone projects, but it is thought that Fleishman’s brief effectively represents a new assignment. MWW’s status as US agency-of-record for Samsung Mobile is expected to be unaffected.

Edelman also retains its position as Samsung’s corporate AOR, in which role it has supported the company’s PR efforts around the Apple litigation.

Samsung mobile marketing senior manager Sophia Kim declined to comment, as did representatives from Fleishman-Hillard.