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Suezelle D’Costa

Suezelle D’Costa is an Associate Director at Hawthorn, advising founders, business leaders, and boards on how best to use communications to build credibility and protect their reputation. She specialises in providing strategic counsel in times of issues and crises, helping both individuals and businesses navigate challenging situations.

Suezelle currently advises a financial technology and data conglomerate, a media group, and an organization delivering on the vision of making the UK a global leader in financial innovation.

Suezelle is also a former journalist who, alongside her extensive network built through her career in communications, has worked with the media in India, the UK, parts of EMEA, as well as the US and Canada. She brings to the team her knowledge of the Indian market, having worked in Mumbai and Delhi for close to a decade.

Suezelle earned a bachelor’s in mass media, with a major in journalism, from the University of Mumbai, India.

When not at work, she is probably exploring a section of the Capital Ring Walk, a scenic walking route encircling London, cooking a feast for two, binge-watching a TV show set in some part of Europe, or turning the pages of a captivating historical fiction. Suezelle is also a student mentor and school governor at Salvatorian College.

Max Wrey

Max Wrey is an Associate Director of Digital Audit and Research at Hawthorn. He is responsible for conducting investigations and helping clients understand the risks they face in the digital space and how they can mitigate these.

Prior to joining Hawthorn, Max worked at online reputation management company Digitalis and business intelligence boutique Alaco. Prior to this, he held various roles in the Middle East, including for a trade event organiser in post-Gaddafi Libya, a security risk analysis company in Basra, and a real estate development project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

An obsessive student of the Arabic language, Max’s studies and travels in the Arab World have ignited an insatiable interest in all matters of history, culture, and politics in that geopolitically crucial part of the world.

His appetite for Arabic is only matched by that for the cuisines of the world. Outside of gourmandising, Max is riding the Padel wave and a keen cricket follower.

Johanna Pemberton

Johanna is a strategic communications specialist advising individuals and organisations at all stages of their growth, from startups to FTSE100 companies, on their strategic positioning and corporate communications.

She works closely with in house teams, senior leadership and CEOs on their reputation management, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications, narrative development, and thought leadership.

She has advised clients across a broad range of sectors including retail banking, financial services, media and agriculture and has experience of working with major international organisations including in the US, Latin America and Africa.

Johanna is a Mental Health First Aider and a member of the Employee Engagement and D,E&I committee.

Johanna joined Hawthorn from Durham University, where she read English Literature. She previously also worked with German CDU politician Ursula Groden-Kranich during her Bundestag election campaign in 2013 and at her parliamentary office in Berlin in 2014.

In her spare time, Johanna is a keen traveller, festival goer, netballer, cyclist and foodie.

Grace Skelton

Grace works primarily on political advisory, supporting clients with their stakeholder relations, policy development and managing complex political challenges. She uses her several years of experience working for the Labour Party, a trade union and in the UK Parliament to advise clients on navigating Westminster.

Grace also has corporate communications and lobbying experience from her two years working for a national trade body. Here, she developed her skills in strategic communications and stakeholder management, building media-integrated advocacy campaigns during what was a turbulent period for the industry.

In her spare time, you will find Grace passionately supporting Liverpool FC and cheering on the England national team in tournaments of all sports.

Dan Patten

Dan Patten is an Associate Director at Hawthorn, specialising in political advisory and international campaigns. He advises clients, including (U)HNWIs and major corporations, on government relations, regulatory affairs, and crisis communications.

With expertise spanning various sectors such as financial services, technology, defence, health, and litigation, Dan leads political and regulatory campaigns that aim to enhance the reputation of his clients, whether they are individuals or large corporations.

Before joining Hawthorn, Dan worked in Public Affairs at FTI Consulting, where he advised Nazdaq and LSEG100 corporations, chief executives, cultural institutions, and trade bodies. His work encompassed a diverse range of campaigns and reputational strategies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dan managed crisis campaigns for multiple clients across various industries and facilitated their participation in government and industry advisory groups.

Dan’s career also includes serving as a Parliamentary Researcher in the UK Parliament, where he managed the parliamentary relations of a successful Conservative leadership campaign candidate.

Outside of his professional life, Dan enjoys cycling and playing tennis.