Covington hires CMS London duo as part of energy-focused strategy

Covington & Burling has hired energy partners Ben Holland and Jeremy Wilson from CMS Cameron McKenna after an increase in instructions from energy clients in London and Washington.

Co-chair of the firm’s global arbitration practice, London-based Gaëtan Verhoosel, told The Lawyer that there was “certainly a strategy” behind the hires because of a recent boost in work. The pair will both practise in Covington’s international arbitration and commercial litigation practice groups, focusing on energy-related disputes from the London office.  

Wilson’s first day was yesterday (Monday 1 July), while Holland’s start day will be in two weeks. It is not known how long their notice periods were at CMS or if they are bringing any clients over with them.

Verhoosel said there are no plans to make further lateral hires in the department in the near future, adding that the “immediate objective” is to work on organic growth.

The pair commented on issues within the sector in a statement. Holland, who handles large-scale commercial disputes for UK and international energy clients, said: ”Increased political risk is an unavoidable fact for energy companies. Deals in the energy sector are also being disrupted by volatile oil prices and regulatory changes – giving rise to price review arbitrations.  Clients facing inevitable high-value disputes turn to lawyers with a strong track-record winning big-ticket energy sector disputes.”

New York qualified Wilson, who handles both commercial and investment-treaty international arbitrations, added: “It is an interesting time for energy disputes lawyers; the sector is in a state of flux, with changing regulatory regimes, new technological challenges, and political instability in some of the key oil- and gas-producing regions. Since moving from the US to Europe, I have represented clients across the globe in high-stakes disputes connected to these developments.”

No associates are moving over to Covington with the pair.