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Lisa Peets - Partner

I chair the technology and media team and am part of our trade, data protection/cybersecurity, and public policy practices. While at law school, I spent a summer interning at Covington’s Washington, DC office. I had the opportunity to work with some inspirational and creative lawyers who clearly loved the law and the firm, so I applied when an opportunity opened in Covington’s London office.

Now I spend my days advising major innovators on the policy and regulatory issues surrounding their business. I draw from a range of disciplines, including trade, IP, data protection, procurement, and consumer protection. What I love most about my practice is that it isn’t static. Our team—trainees included—is constantly being stretched to tackle new areas. We’re also fortunate enough to have many terrific clients who treat us as members of their teams rather than as their “outside” counsels and who trust us to regularly advise on some of their most sensitive and strategic issues.

Our team is leanly staffed and our trainees are central to our work. As such trainees work directly with partners, are closely integrated into major matters and interact with our clients regularly. They aren’t collating documents or standing by the printer—instead, they’re in the middle of everything we do, every day.

Robin Blaney - Partner

I started as a trainee here at Covington and became a partner in the life sciences regulatory practice three years ago. I specialise in advising pharmaceutical companies on regulatory and compliance matters, corporate transactions and commercial agreements.

Fundamentally, what I enjoy most about my work is that the medicines we help our clients develop can actually make a real difference to people’s lives. Life sciences is also a lively area of law with constantly evolving legislation, regulation and case law which results in every day being different. In a typical week, I could be assisting a major pharmaceutical company, such as AstraZeneca, on headline corporate transactions, drafting a response to an inspection by a regulatory authority and advising a start-up U.S. biotech on the requirements for sponsoring a European clinical trial which involves travel to our Brussels office. I spent several years there as an associate which was a great opportunity and was a key part of my own career progression at Covington.

Our London office has grown considerably since I joined, though what is great is that we have retained the culture that attracted me so much to the firm in the first place. We still work in close-knit teams, with trainees and junior associates working directly for partners and gaining responsibility for and exposure to clients at an early stage. Now, as a trainee supervisor myself, I am keenly aware that trainees represent the firm’s future and that through our immersive and comprehensive training programme we are giving them the skills they need to progress as I did.

Morag Peberdy - Of Counsel

I am a senior intellectual property lawyer with a broad-ranging practice in a wide array of IP rights, including trade mark and copyright, patents, and contentious and non-contentious matters.

I studied biological sciences before converting to law, and then trained and spent a number of years at a top 10 City firm, where I became a solicitor advocate. I was attracted to move to Covington by its great reputation for life sciences, the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and assignments, its entrepreneurial nature and the enthusiasm of its lawyers. I haven’t been disappointed. My background is also typical of a number of the lawyers in the firm—a lot of us have an edge—be that by working in industry before qualifying or simply being able to indulge our academic interests through the law.

Another aspect of working here that I really enjoy is my role as chair of pro bono activities in the London office. Lawyers across the firm at every level work with a range of charities and individuals on legal matters. It is very rewarding to use our professional skills to support a variety of good causes which typically would not otherwise have access to legal advice.

I interact with colleagues across practice areas and offices on a regular basis. It’s a cliché, but no day is the same—there is no typical week and working life is never boring. I love the fact that we work with clients of all different shapes and sizes, from start-up domestic biotech companies, to the world’s largest household names—the common theme being that it is Covington they turn to for their most critical business issues.

Tom Jackson - Associate

I read history at Balliol College, Oxford, before studying the GDL and LPC at BPP Law School in London. I trained at Covington, and qualified into the dispute resolution team in 2015. During my training contract, I completed a six-month secondment at one of Covington’s clients in the pharmaceutical sector, which was a great opportunity to take on more responsibility, experience different types of work, and gain valuable exposure to an important firm client.

I was initially drawn to Covington because of its high-profile work, relatively small trainee intake size and the friendliness and approachability that I encountered throughout my application process with the firm. My experiences at Covington have entirely matched these initial impressions. I have found Covington lawyers to be incredibly approachable and generous with their time, irrespective of seniority or workload. Senior lawyers are patient and supportive, whilst also encouraging me to stretch myself, work independently and take on an increasing amount of responsibility from an early stage.

My work has been challenging and varied. For example, I have drafted investigation reports in connection with clients’ internal anti-corruption investigations, and have also been heavily involved in preparing statements of case and witness statements for complex English High Court litigation matters. I have also had the opportunity to engage directly with clients, barristers, witnesses, and opposing counsel on a regular basis.

Lawyers at Covington certainly have high standards, but they always appreciate the effort that goes into producing a good piece of work. There is a genuine commitment to trainees’ development which, combined with the quality of the work and friendly office environment, makes Covington an excellent place to train.

Joseph Jones - Associate

I joined Covington as a trainee in 2014 and rotated through the core corporate and dispute resolution seats as well as the elective technology and media and life sciences (regulatory) seats. This gave me a good grounding in the firm’s strengths whilst also allowing me the freedom to develop my legal skills in areas I was most interested in. In 2016, I qualified as an associate into the technology and media team.

The work in our team is dynamic, diverse and often fast-moving. As such, there’s never really a typical day! I might be advising a technology company on privacy requirements, developing policy arguments in response to new legislative proposals, or drafting pleadings for UK or EU privacy litigation. Policy and regulatory work often raises really interesting “big picture” questions, such as how societies should balance privacy rights against other interests e.g. national security. The work is intellectually stimulating as we are often analysing and applying either old laws to new contexts or
new laws, the interpretation and application of which is unclear.

An increasing amount of my work is focused on Brexit and the impact that may have on the technology sector, EU and UK privacy law and the ability to move data between the EU and the UK. As well as analysing the impact of Brexit, we advise clients on their Brexit strategy, which includes developing and drafting advocacy positions that can help shape the future UK-EU relationship. It’s exciting work as everyday there is a new twist or turn. Such is the industry and modern-day politics and socio-economics, that you never know what to expect but, it is a great challenge to be both light-of-foot in your thinking and approach whilst being comprehensive in your analysis.

Sana Ahmad - Associate

I am a newly qualified associate in the corporate department, having previously completed training seats in the life sciences regulatory, corporate and dispute resolution teams. What first attracted me to Covington was its strong reputation within the market, including a number of individual lawyers who are genuinely leaders in their fields.

Once I joined, I also liked the fact that Covington has a dynamic and challenging working environment but one that is also supportive and amiable at every level. Overall, what has most impressed me the most about Covington is the breadth of expertise and global reach of the firm. This allows trainees to take on exciting new opportunities—I myself was seconded to a major global brand’s video-ondemand service. During my time there, I was treated as a trusted and integral member of the legal team and my work covered drafting and reviewing distribution and licensing agreements for popular television programmes and movies, advising on new business opportunities and approving marketing communications and promotions. I really felt that my secondment was an invaluable learning experience, which gave me the confidence to take on more responsibility and develop meaningful client relationships.

Covington is a firm that prides itself on its diversity and offers a wide range of committees and pro bono activities. I am currently a member of the Diversity Committee and the Women’s Forum, amongst other groups, and through these I attend numerous networking events and training sessions with peers and partners. The encouragement and support that I have received in this aspect of my career at such an early stage is great and will allow me to build a foundation for a strong and lasting legal career.