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About Covington

Brussels Office Since:


Firm Description

Building a successful global business involves navigating the intersection of law and public policy for every country and every region in which you operate. Covington helps clients worldwide achieve critical business objectives by combining legal, political, and policy expertise to provide strategic advice and advocacy.

In an increasingly regulated world, Covington has an exceptional ability to help clients navigate their most complex business problems, deals and disputes. Our focus lies in highly-regulated sectors – technology, life sciences, energy, environment, financial services. competition and trade policy.

Our distinctively collaborative culture allows us to be truly one team globally, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers and advisors across the firm, sharing insight and expertise seamlessly. What sets us apart is our ability to combine deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices, and the tremendous strength in our litigation, investigations, and corporate practices. This enables us to create novel solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, successfully try their toughest cases and deliver commercially practical advice of the highest quality.

Led by Global Public Policy Chair Sebastian Vos, Covington’s European Public Policy team draws on a range of former policymakers, including politicians, lawyers, public affairs practitioners, diplomats and economists, as well as several policy advisors with deep substantive know-how in a range of sectors. The team offers clients unparalleled insight into the workings of EU political processes and institutions.

Owner Structure

Limited Liability Partnership

International Structure

With over 1,000 professionals in 13 offices worldwide, Covington has policy capability and experience in over 100 countries – working through our own team of experts, excellent contacts in the European External Action Service and the U.S. State Department, and established partnerships with a variety of highly respected law and public policy firms that can help with on-the-ground execution.

Key Strengths

  • Covington has the largest integrated public policy team at a law firm in Europe, with offices in Brussels, London, and Frankfurt, and a presence in Dublin.
  • “Global Problem Solving” from Covington draws together our global team of lawyers, former diplomats, senior government officials, and investigators. This team brings significant experience in dealing with the types of complex problems that involve both judicial and government institutions.
  • Our senior advisers include a range of former policymakers – such as Thomas Reilly, a former British Ambassador and Head of Government Relations at Royal Dutch Shell, now Covington’s Head of UK Public Policy; Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden; Lord Francis Maude, former UK Europe and Trade Minister; Erika Mann, a former leading Member of the European Parliament; Ambassador Jean De Ruyt, former Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union; Ambassadors Péter Balás and Karel Kovanda, former European Commission Deputy Directors General for Trade and External Relations, respectively; and Sir Michael Leigh, former European Commission Director General for Enlargement.

Number of Public Affairs Consultants

24: Covington’s European Public Policy team includes 4 partners, 2 counsel, 3 associates, 4 policy advisors and 11senior advisors. In addition, a large number of other colleagues across the firm contribute to our global public policy projects in Europe and beyond.

Key Clients

Business Software Alliance, Facebook, Global Blockchain Business Council, Microsoft, Oculus, Uber, Illumina, UCB Pharma, Kosmos Energy and Monster Energy Company.

Thought Leadership

The team regularly advises clients on forward-looking issues including AI, virtual reality, and Blockchain. For example, Sebastian Vos was a founding member of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and helped launch the GBBC at the WEF Annual meeting in Davos. Colleagues from around the firm also helped to draft the GBBC’s first Annual Report and contributed to a forward looking overview of key policy and regulatory developments around the world.

We update our clients on key public policy developments in the EU and around the world, for instance through our blog, the Global Policy Watch, through quarterly newsletters and through webinars. Recent topics included Brexit, IoT, GDPR and Blockchain.

We frequently invite our clients to Covington events, featuring prominent EU Ambassadors and other government officials as keynote speakers.

Testimonials and why clients like to work with us

As a Band 1 firm ranked in Chambers, we receive praise both from market commentators and clients:

“In Europe, they have the top guys for regulatory work.”
“I think they are best in class, at UK or European level.”
“Sebastian Vos “has a no-nonsense style and gives good advice.”

Best in Brussels 2021 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.