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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

Our senior advisers include a range of former policymakers – such as Cecilia Malmström, former European Commissioner for Trade; Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden; Erika Mann, a former leading Member of the European Parliament; Sir Michael Leigh, former European Commission Director General for Enlargement; Ambassadors Péter Balás and Karel Kovanda, former European Commission Deputy Directors General for Trade and External Relations, respectively; Ambassador Jean De Ruyt, former Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union; Sabine Lautenschläger, former Vice-Chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism at the European Central Bank (ECB); and, in the UK, Thomas Reilly, a former British Ambassador and Head of Government Relations at Royal Dutch Shell, now Covington’s Head of UK Public Policy; and Lord Francis Maude, former Europe and Trade Minister for the UK.

Number of Public Affairs Consultants

Covington’s European Public Policy team includes 25 lawyers and policy 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, Meta, Global Blockchain Business Council, Microsoft, 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 and the Northern Ireland Protocol, Climate Change and Renewable Energy, Privacy Policy, IoT, 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 2022/23 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.