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Covington & Burling has introduced a European head of public policy and government affairs role to the firm as it looks to beef up its offering in Brussels.
According to sources the firm was in competition with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for the hire of Sebastian Vos, who worked at the magic circle firm’s antitrust, competition and trade practice group between 2003 and 2007.
Vos was most recently a Brussels-based director at public affairs consultancy Fipra, which he joined in 2008. He was understood to have been approached by Covington twice before accepting the role.
Covington’s public policy group head Dan Bryant said: “The recent European Parliament elections and forthcoming changes within the European Commission will significantly alter the landscape for businesses hoping to enter 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.”
Bryant was behind the hire of Vos. He joined the firm in 2012, having previously been vice president of public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo.
Vos will be responsible for growing the team going forward, as the US firm’s management deliberately targets the European practice as an area for growth.
The group in Brussels includes former ambassador Jean De Ruyt, who served as Belgium’s permanent representative to the EU, and Wim van Velzen, who worked in the European Parliament for a decade.