UK Policy Group

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UK Policy Group is a London-based lobbying firm established in January 2017 by the directors of a US firm Definers Public Affairs. Its directors are Matt Rhoades and Joe Pounder, described as 'one of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C. for his ability to influence the national news cycle' and as a 'master of opposition research'.[1]

UK Policy Group says it provides 'political-style research, war room media monitoring, political due diligence and rapid response consulting'. Its work, it says helps its clients 'in their public affairs fights, influence media narratives and make informed decisions to disrupt crowded markets.' Clients will be able to 'shape public opinion, and impact outcomes' through the firm's 'end-to-end system of research - on issues and opponents'.[2]

UK Policy Group appointed Andrew Goodfellow, a former director of research for the Conservative Party, as its vice president. Ameet Gill former director of strategy Number 10 and founder of lobbying firm Hanbury Strategy is providing consultancy to the firm.

The firm is also partnered with Trygve Olson, of Viking Strategies, who advised the European People’s Party in the 2009 EU elections and worked as a consultant to the Republican Party in the US.[3]

US links

US lobbying firm parent

UK Policy Group is described as the 'London branch' of Definers Public Affairs, a US lobbying firm founded by Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign manager, Matt Rhoades and former Republican National Committee research director Joe Pounder. Rhoades and Pounder are directors of UK Policy Group.

UK Policy Group was originally called, and registered with Companies House as, 'UK Rising'. Rhoades and Pounder are co-founders of America Rising, a political action committee, or PAC, that, according to reports in Mother Jones and the New York Times 'specialises in helping [Republican] party candidates and conservative groups find damaging information on political rivals.

The news site Politico said the expansion by Definers Public Affairs came at a time when US lobbying firms were eyeing UK expansion 'in anticipation of flood of Brexit-related work'.[4]

Learning from the US

In February 2018 UKPG announced that it will be 'participating in a series of training sessions alongside our American counterparts' throughout the year, so that the UK firm can 'benefit from their expertise and unique experience'. According to UKPG, the first session was a 'presentation on how campaign-style research sits at the heart of everything we do as a group of organisations.'[5]

Tie up with US law giant

Definers has linked up with US law giant Dentons to provide a joint offering – '3D Global Affairs' – which, it says, 'allows clients to be the disruptor by combining political intelligence, legal advisors, campaign-style tactics, lobbying, governmental affairs, research, and communications into one unique offering'.[6]

Services they provide promise to 'disrupt The Political, Regulatory, And Communications Environment Over The Long-Term' for clients. Its services include: 'Legal Services'; 'Government Relations And Lobbying Support'; 'Communications And Rapid Response'; 'War Room Style Media Monitoring', which monitors a wide-range of media platforms on a continuous basis; and 'Campaign Style Opposition Research', which, it says provides clients with 'dossiers on opponents, competitors and agitators'.[7]


Consultants to UK Policy Group

  • Hanbury Strategy, the lobbying firm run by Ameet Gill former director of strategy Number 10. Gill said in August 2017 that UKPG will hire Hanbury Strategy to provide 'strategic communications advice' for an initial period of six months.[13]


UK Policy Group doesn't list any clients, but it includes 'political and commercial clients'.[14]



  1. Joe Pounder profile, Definers website, accessed Feb 2018
  2. About us, UKPG website, accessed Feb 2018
  3. Romney-linked lobbying firm to open London branch, Politico, 10 July 2017
  4. Romney-linked lobbying firm to open London branch, Politico, 10 July 2017
  5. UKPG Launches 2018 Training Programme, UKPG website, 5 Feb 2018
  6. £D Global Affairs, Definers website, accessed Feb 2018
  7. £D Global Affairs, Definers website, accessed Feb 2018
  8. James Caldecourt, Linkedin profile, accessed Feb 2018
  9. Louis M, Linkedin profile, accessed Feb 2018
  10. James H profile, Linkedin, accessed Feb 2018
  11. Rhiannon Glover, Linkedin profile, accessed Feb 2018
  12. Christopher Brannigan, Linkedin profile, accessed Feb 2018
  13. Ameet Gill, ACOBA letter, August 2017
  14. James H profile, Linkedin, accessed Feb 2018