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.
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 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 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, 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 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.
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.