Covington Expands European Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice with Sebastian Vos

25th June 2014

12 June 2014

Sebastian Vos, an international public policy professional, is joining Covington & Burling to lead the European division of the firm’s global public policy and government affairs practice.

Mr. Vos joins the firm as a partner in its Brussels office where he will focus on competition and technology related public policy issues and continue his public policy work involving emerging technologies and services. Mr. Vos will lead a team that includes: former Ambassador Jean De Ruyt, who served as Belgium’s permanent representative to the European Union; Lisa Peets, a partner and practitioner in the firm’s EU public policy group; Wim van Velzen, who served as a member of the European Parliament and was the vice-president of the EPP Group; and Paul Adamson, a senior figure in European public affairs.

Mr. Vos’ move to Covington follows the recent additions of competition partners Johan Ysewyn and Peter Camesasca to the Brussels office, reflecting Covington’s commitment to further developing the firm’s top tier advisory capability in Europe.

“Sebastian will play an integral role in expanding our global presence. He brings extensive experience in the European Union and can skilfully advise clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee. “As European legislators re-cast priorities for the next five years, we feel our clients will particularly appreciate Sebastian’s insight, experience and vision.”

Previously a partner and board member at a leading global public affairs consultancy, Mr. Vos’ experience spans public affairs as well as trade and competition law. A qualified lawyer, he advises on government affairs and legislative issues, providing clients with public policy, regulatory, strategic and communications advice on a range of competition, trade, transactional and sectoral issues. Mr. Vos has particular expertise in advising companies in the technology, financial services, energy and transport sectors.

“The recent European Parliament elections and forthcoming changes within the European Commission will significantly alter the landscape for businesses hoping to enter into a dialogue with the European institutions. Now is the time to engage, and Sebastian’s arrival significantly increases our ability to do so for our clients,” said Dan Bryant, chair of Covington’s global public policy and government affairs practice group.

In his new role, Mr. Vos will work closely with the U.S.-based members of the firm’s group, including: Stuart Eizenstat, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the EU and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration; Senator Jon Kyl, the second-highest ranking Republican senator when he left Congress in 2013; Congressman Howard Berman, the former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; Holly Fechner, who served as a senior aide to Senator Edward Kennedy; John Dugan, the former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency; John Veroneau, who served as deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Dan Spiegel, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations; and Muftiah McCartin, former staff director of the House Committee on Rules.

Having representation in Brussels is increasingly important for companies based in Asia, Latin America and Africa. In his new role, Mr. Vos will also work closely with colleagues in the firm’s offices in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai to provide guidance on European policy and regulatory issues as well as with former U.S. State Department officials and policy advisors such as former Ambassador Alan Larson; Witney Schneidman, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration; and Arturo Valenzuela, former Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs during the first Obama administration.

“What sets Covington apart is its ability to combine the tremendous strength of the legal expertise in its litigation, investigations, corporate and regulatory practices with a deep knowledge of policy and policymakers,” Mr. Vos said. “I am delighted to be joining Covington after a number of years dedicated purely to public affairs consultancy. I believe that in an increasingly complex and regulated world, clients facing tough challenges are best served by advisers who are able to combine multiple disciplines under one roof, and can provide clients with input from both legal and government affairs perspectives.”

Mr. Vos earned a master’s degree in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, D.C. while on a Fulbright scholarship, and has an L.L.M in European law and economic, public, and corporate law from Utrecht University. Prior to joining Covington, Mr. Vos spent time working for a variety of public sector and private institutions, including the United Nations, the European Commission, Goldman Sachs, and Freshfields. He is a member of the Amsterdam and the Brussels bars and speaks Dutch, English, German and French. In his new role, he will continue to do pro bono work for Missing Children Europe.

Link to press release

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