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Vinter is coming: Covington boosts projects offering as former BG GC returns to private practice

Covington & Burling has landed a heavyweight in-house veteran to boost its London project finance offering with the arrival of BG Group’s former general counsel, Graham Vinter, to chair and supervise the expansion of the practice.

Widely regarded as one of the standout GCs of his generation, Vinter joined BG in 2007 after 27 years with Allen & Overy (A&O), including two decades as a partner and acting as the Magic Circle firm’s global head of projects from 1996 to 2007.

Covington chair Timothy Hester described Vinter as a ‘veteran of the project finance industry [who] is highly respected worldwide for his unparalleled knowledge of the sector.’

‘We see an opportunity at Covington to build a leading projects practice that also provides synergies with other parts of the firm – in particular, arbitration, government affairs, tax, corporate, IP, and energy regulation.’

Vinter said: ‘Project finance is all about navigating complex projects involving multiple sets of interests from around the world, and Covington’s strength in policy-facing matters and diplomacy is a huge asset in this context.’

News of Vinter’s retirement from the BG Group emerged last April, and he was succeeded by Tom Melbye Eide in September 2015, who joined from Norweigan aluminium manufacturer Sapa.

The moves were confirmed before it emerged that BG was the target of a takeover by Royal Dutch Shell.

Other recent hires by Covington’s London office includes competition litigator Elaine Whiteford and disputes partner Greg Lascelles, both from King & Wood Mallesons.