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Victoria Ainsworth

Victoria is a corporate and financial communications specialist advising companies at all stages of growth. With a focus on the financial services space, Victoria works across private equity, venture capital, wealth / fund management and banking, to deliver multi-faceted communicated strategies that help companies manage stakeholders and meet their reputational objectives.

Victoria is also an experienced financial communications specialist, supporting clients at every stage of their public journey, from pre-IPO narrative building and profile raising, to ongoing financial calendar support, stakeholder engagement, media handling, deal support and crisis management.
Victoria joined Hawthorn in 2016, from Man Group Plc, one of the world’s largest alternative asset managers, where she worked across the firm’s communications and investor relations functions. Prior to joining Man Group, Victoria worked at Rathbone Investment Management in the communications and marketing team.

She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Masters degree (Hons) in History. Outside of work, Victoria is a mum of two, and enjoys travelling with her sons, cooking for the family, as well as reading and interiors.

Justin Penrose

Justin Penrose is a Senior Director, leading on litigation PR and crisis communications.

He is a highly experienced PR expert with an impressive journalistic pedigree, including 10 years as the crime correspondent for the Sunday Mirror.

Throughout his subsequent career in communications, Justin has worked with both legal clients and those facing litigation, managing crisis situations, and providing counsel on media tactics and stakeholder management.

When he gets the chance, he is a keen traveller, enjoys spending time with his four children, and is an avid Liverpool fan.

Steve Atkinson

Stephen Atkinson, a partner at Hawthorn, leads the financial services practice, specialising in advising clients on financial and corporate communications.

He focuses on guiding individuals, in house teams, Boards/CEOs and leaders on reputation, deal flow, fund raisings, narrative building, corporate relations, stakeholder management and crisis management activities. He works with a broad range of clients including retail banks, fintech companies, private equity, private debt, asset management and corporate advisory companies. As is the norm at Hawthorn, Stephen also consciously works with a variety on non-financial companies and not-for-profit organisations to ensure our clients benefit from the broadest possible range of experience.

Prior to joining Hawthorn, Stephen worked at Standard Chartered Bank where he held a variety of leadership and communications roles including Group Head, Investor Relations and Communications and then served as the Group’s Corporate Affairs Director for five years with responsibilities for all communications activities of the Bank including media, investor relations, internal communications, public affairs, sustainability, reputational risk management and brand management. Stephen also served as the Regional Head of Private Banking for the AMEA region and as the Group’s Chief of Staff.

Ross Hawkins

Ross Hawkins joined Hawthorn from the BBC, where he was a political correspondent, working for its flagship programmes on television and radio. After beginning his career as a newspaper reporter, he spent almost twenty years in broadcasting, covering general election campaigns, Parliament and the impact of political decisions on industry.

He advises on public affairs and corporate communications. Ross graduated from Oxford University.

Liz Bruce

Liz Bruce has 20 years of experience across corporate communications, finance, technology, and media and leads Hawthorn’s North America business.

She has held a variety of strategic communications leadership roles, including Head of Communications and Brand at Strategic Value Partners, a global asset management firm, and Head of Communications at the venture capital firm Greycroft. She was also the first Global Chief of Staff for Corporate Communications at Goldman Sachs during the Global Financial Crisis.

Liz began her career at Goldman Sachs in the investment banking division, advising consumer and retail clients on M&A and capital raises. Following her time at Goldman, Liz co-founded Fitzroy Communications, where she advised clients across a wide range of industries on internal and external communications challenges. Fitzroy was acquired in 2017 by Teneo, a CEO advisory firm, where Liz was a Senior Managing Director. Liz holds degrees in computer science and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jon Wynne-Jones

Jon Wynne-Jones, Senior Director, leads work on Hawthorn’s corporate clients, with a particular focus on the media industry. He is responsible for providing reputation management, including promoting campaigns and thought leadership, as well as helping clients navigate challenges to their image.

Jon believes in the importance of personal connections, acting as a trusted advisor to senior business leaders and using his extensive network to build partnerships.

Jon has a rare mix of experience, having worked in-house, at global agencies, and as a national newspaper journalist. Prior to Hawthorn, he was the head of external communications for dmg media, with particular responsibility for the Daily Mail. He also worked for the WPP agencies, Burson-Marsteller, and Hill and Knowlton after 15 years as a national newspaper journalist for titles including The Telegraph, The Mail, and The Independent.

Jon enjoys playing sports, even if to a very average level, and watching them, particularly Arsenal and the Chicago Bears, as well as traveling, reading, and country pubs.

John Evans

John established Hawthorn in 2013 and has built the business into one of the leading independent consultancies in London with operations in New York and the Middle East.

Over the past 10 years, he has advised a broad range of individuals and businesses including NatWest, Forbes, Kering, ION and DLA Piper. In addition, John has advised on some significant fund raisings, M&A as well as issues and litigation support. He has been a top recommended advisor by Spears for 8 years and has been recognised by Chambers for his work in litigation support.

John is a member of the Royal Albert Hall philanthropy board and supports the work of Gemini Untwined.

Henry Lerwill

Henry is a corporate and financial communications specialist with over 10 years’ experience advising listed and private businesses, from start-ups to FTSE 100. His areas of expertise include natural resources, business services, and emerging markets.

He has advised clients on a range of communications challenges, including IPOs, crisis situations, and cross-border M&A, including handling several politically sensitive transactions.

Henry joined Hawthorn having served in the global communications consultancy Bell Pottinger and began his career at Pelham Public Relations.

Gordon Carver

Gordon Carver is a Senior Director specialising in Corporate and Leadership Communications. He advises teams across a range of sectors including luxury, retail, technology and financial services.

A former journalist, Gordon uses his experience from more than 15 years in news, multimedia and communications to guide organisations to craft and tell their story. Working closely with both leaders and communication teams, he devises communications programmes that deliver strategic and reputational impact for clients.

Gordon joined Hawthorn in 2019. Prior to this he led the Corporate team at global agency Porter Novelli (Omnicom Group). He has extensive experience in media strategy and issues management, helping organisations from FTSE-100 firms through to scale-ups in navigating the complex media landscape. Some of his past clients have included: British Telecom, eBay, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, The Economist Group, UHY Group and Pinsent Masons.

Having studied English Literature (BA) and Journalism (MA), Gordon is constantly seeking out the story and motivation behind individuals and organisations.

Outside of the office, he’s a keen cook and busy father of two who can be found traipsing his sons across the parks of London most weekends.

Francesca Eaton

Francesca Eaton is a corporate and technology communications specialist at Hawthorn. She works with businesses at all stages of growth, devising integrated campaigns that build and protect reputations and create excitement around technology and its impact.

Francesca takes an insight-driven approach, designing communications strategies alongside leadership and marketing teams that drive changes in behaviour, build advocacy, and engage key audiences. Working across Hawthorn’s portfolio of technology clients, spanning sectors including financial services, space, healthcare, and retail, Francesca focuses on campaign planning, executive profiling, thought-leadership positioning, and stakeholder engagement.

Prior to joining Hawthorn, Francesca worked at Edelman and Team Lewis. She has advised major multinationals, B2B technology specialists, and both start-ups and scale-ups. Before embarking on her career in technology communications, she studied Politics at Durham University and completed an MA in Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion.

Outside of Hawthorn, she enjoys exploring new cities, being by the seaside, skiing, and all things fashion and interior design.

Charlotte Juckes

Charlotte Juckes is a Director, Strategic Communications. She has over eight years’ experience advising on crisis and corporate communications and campaigns, with a specialism in working with consumer-facing global businesses, including in the finance, media, luxury and retail sectors.

Charlotte takes a creative and multidisciplinary approach to deliver high-impact communications and engagement strategies that generate positive outcomes. She has consulted on communications programmes for individuals, national and multinational companies, governments and executive teams spanning a range of industries and issues, with extensive experience advising on narrative development, executive positioning and profiling, building reputational resilience, issues management and industry engagement. Selected client experience includes Forbes, NatWest, Yoox Net-A-Porter, and Kering.

Charlotte has been with Hawthorn since the firm’s early years. She has strong experience advising on issues and strategies related to DEI and gender equality in the UK and internationally, having joined Hawthorn following a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies at Oriel College, University of Oxford, where she received a Distinction for her work on women’s media sources.

Outside of work, Charlotte loves to travel, read, and venture into the great outdoors as much as possible.

Sarah Sands

Sarah Sands joined Hawthorn from the BBC, where she was editor of the Today programme, Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme. She was previously editor of the London Evening Standard, the first woman to edit The Sunday Telegraph and deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph.

Sarah is the Deputy Chair of the British Council, was Chair of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for G7 for 2021 and is on the council for 2022. She is a Trustee of the Science Museum, Partner at Hawthorn Advisors and Board Member of Channel 4 and the Berkeley Group. She is a Patron of the National Citizen Service, an Associate at the IWM and former Trustee of Index on Censorship.

Sarah is an honorary fellow of Goldsmiths College, University of London, Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge and a visiting fellow to the Reuters Institute.