Former Number 10 legislative chief Nikki da Costa signs for Cicero
Exclusive: The ex-Downing Street aide is the latest big hire for Iain Anderson’s firm.
Theresa May’s former director of legislative affairs is set to join Cicero Group, PAN has learned.
Nikki da Costa is understood to be awaiting final Cabinet Office approval to take a role as strategic counsel at Iain Anderson’s fast-growing public affairs consultancy.
The Cicero founder confirmed the approach to da Costa, telling PAN: “Nikki will bring one-of-a-kind expertise to the Cicero team, having helped steer the Number 10 ship through a period of unprecedented political change. She will be a huge asset to our client offer and to Cicero colleagues.”
In a statement, da Costa said: “We’re just waiting for final sign off but I’m very much looking forward to joining Cicero Group at a time when the interplay between political risk and business has never been more acute.
“Having experienced government at the very sharp end throughout the last 15 months, I am greatly looking forward to using my experience to help Cicero and its superb client base as we face the challenge of navigating the politics ahead.”
PAN revealed in 2017 that da Costa was being brought in by Number 10 to fill the newly created director of legislative affairs role, where she established a new function and helped to secure the passage of legislation, including the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
Since leaving Downing Street in November 2018 she has made a number of media appearances, including taking part in a discussion about Brexit on Newsnight this week.
Before heading into Number 10, da Costa was head of UK government relations for international services giant Serco and then managing director at Bellenden (now Newington Communications). In 2015, she left Bellenden to set up her own business providing training to public affairs professionals.
Assuming that da Costa gets the green light to join Cicero, the hire is the latest big move at the firm. Cicero significantly expanded its reach in June last year when it acquired Westbourne Communications to create “the UK’s largest independent public affairs agency”. The firm then made one of the most eye-catching hires of the year when it stole former Sky News deputy political editor Joey Jones from Weber Shandwick.
In December, Cicero capped off an eventful year by landing the consultancy of the year award at the 2018 Public Affairs Awards.