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Covington Expands Project Finance Team

Firm Opens New Offices in Dubai and Johannesburg

April 27, 2017

LONDON—Covington significantly expanded its Project Development and Finance practice with the addition of Ben Donovan, Agnieszka Klich, Richard Keenan, and David Miles, and the firm’s Middle East regional capabilities in corporate and dispute resolution matters with the addition of Jack Greenwald. With these additions, the firm also opened offices in Dubai and Johannesburg.

The group deepens Covington’s corporate and project finance capabilities in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and beyond. Their arrival follows that of Graham Vinter, the former General Counsel of BG Group, who joined Covington to lead the expansion of the firm’s capabilities in this area. The new partners will also work closely with Korean project developers and lenders and Covington’s experienced project team in its Seoul office, including partner William H.Y. Park, of counsel Sam Pyun, and senior finance advisor Jinhong Park.

“Covington has long helped clients around the world navigate their most difficult legal and business issues in foreign markets,” said Timothy Hester, the firm’s chair. “These additions are a natural progression of our strategy to build a leading projects practice that leverages other important areas of the firm, including global dispute resolution, government affairs and public policy, anti-corruption, export controls, corporate, international tax, and energy regulation. In addition, this group’s particular strength in the Middle East and Africa will meet key needs of our existing client base and allow the firm to provide them even greater resources in those regions.”

“The team's reputation in project finance is absolutely first class, and we are delighted with their decision to join the firm,” said Mr. Vinter. “Not only is Covington’s strength in policy-facing matters and diplomacy a huge asset for clients involved in complex project finance transactions, the firm’s reputation and capability in corporate and regulatory law will also prove invaluable to our clients.”

The lawyers who joined the firm are:

Ben Donovan (Partner): Mr. Donovan represents oil and gas companies, government and parastatal entities, independent power producers, investment funds, and lenders in the development, acquisition, financing, restructuring, and divestiture of energy and infrastructure projects worldwide, with a particular emphasis on projects in Africa, Turkey, Central Asia, and the Middle East. He will split his time between Covington’s Johannesburg and London offices.

Daniel “Jack” Greenwald (Co-Chair of Middle East Initiative): Having practiced in Dubai since 1986, Mr. Greenwald’s practice encompasses joint ventures, project development and construction, acquisitions, investments, contracts, complex dispute resolution, and international arbitration and litigation. He will be based in Covington’s Dubai office.

Richard Keenan (Partner): Mr. Keenan represents sponsors, investors, lenders, and governments in connection with the development and financing of projects in the power (conventional and renewable), oil and gas (upstream and downstream), water, mining, and industrial sectors. He has advised sponsors and lenders in relation to some of the largest and most complex independent water and power projects in the Middle East. He has also advised clients in connection with the successful financing of oil and gas projects in the Middle East and India and in relation to some of the most significant mining projects to have been financed in Africa. He will be based in Covington's Dubai office.

Agnieszka Klich (Partner): Ms. Klich advises on the acquisition, development, and financing of international energy and infrastructure projects throughout the world with a focus on renewables, power and water, oil and gas, and mining. Ms. Klich has handled projects in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Oman in the Middle East and in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique in Africa. She has also worked on projects in Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Croatia, and Kazakhstan. She speaks several languages including English, French, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. She will be based in Covington’s London office.

David Miles (Partner): Mr. Miles has extensive experience structuring and executing complex, high value financing transactions. He advises clients on project finance, general lending, leveraged and other event-driven finance, real estate finance, and asset finance matters. His practice covers both conventional lending and Sharia compliant financing structures. Prior to joining Covington, Mr. Miles was based in the United Arab Emirates for a number of years and has also worked in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York.  He will be based in Covington's London office.

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