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About Harwood Levitt Consulting

Firm Description

HLC is a boutique consultancy that works with leading organizations to create competitive advantage through political risk analysis, policy advocacy, and strategic communications. We bridge the gap between public affairs and management consulting, influencing policy, the public and commercial strategy.

Our work leans towards big-picture strategy, guiding organisations through the fundamental changes in public policies over the past 10 years. Organisations typically engage on a technical policy level, finding it increasingly hard to manage the links between political change and their business. By engaging in strategy discussions around key issues of our time, HLC helps navigate these challenges. For example, if influencing public opinion is cheaper through Facebook advertising than direct lobbying, is that clever advocacy or unethical? If companies invest in CSR and ‘purpose’, what happens when it clashes with business growth? What happens when defending an industry’s license to operate upsets mainstream opinion?

Harwood Levitt Consulting was founded in 2009 to counsel the world’s leading organisations on how to navigate the intersection between strategy and public policy. Traditional strategy consultancies did not support the Government Affairs function, and PA agencies did not have the models and scope of thinking to help clients plan with their businesses, as well as influence externally.

HLC has grown from those beginnings and works with leading companies, trade associations, foundations and CSOs, on how externalities should be internalized into our legal frameworks. We work on crises as broad as climate change and the erosion of democracy, to the future of healthcare, and encouraging growth and research while balancing the interests of all actors.

A team of 15, we are based in Brussels but much of our work is outside the EU beltway, working with international HQs. Most frequently we work with the heads of EMEA, International or Global Public Affairs functions who report directly into the business. We also work with heads of European and Global CSO strategy development across a broad range of sectors.

We pride ourselves on recruiting the best possible talent from across the world and in training and developing young talent and high-flyers for success in business and beyond.

Ownership Structure

Privately owned by two founding partners.

International Structure

Most of our work is international. Our model is to build a network of PA professionals and other consultancies as clients need them, either by coordinating the work of existing agencies or supporting RFP selection processes.

Thought Leadership

We intermittently publish blog pieces on our website at harwoodlevitt.com/home#sectionIdeas. The usual reaction is “excellent, and slightly too long.”  We are rude about Mark Zuckerberg, explain poker strategy in trade associations, and discuss the role of myth in advocacy narratives.

We strongly believe it will become increasingly important for future CEOs and others to build public policy more centrally into their strategies. Over the past 10 years, we have focused on executive education. We teach public policy and strategy at several leading business schools and often run our MBA modules with visiting universities.

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Best in Brussels 2019 Report

Best in Brussels is the first and only independent resource for organisations wanting to identify, compare and choose the best partners in Brussels for their advocacy needs.

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