NEW YORK, June 13, 2012Covington & Burling is strengthening its transactional capabilities in Latin America with the addition of Gabriel Mesa, a senior corporate lawyer with in-depth experience in the region.

Mr. Mesa joins the firm’s New York office as of counsel in the firm’s corporate practice where he is expected to advise corporations in joint ventures and in mergers and acquisitions in the United States, Latin America, and other emerging markets. His experience spans venture capital and private equity investments, strategic acquisitions, privatizations, and oil and gas ventures. He has been ranked by Chambers Global as a Leading Lawyer for Latin America and has advised a broad range of clients in some of their most significant transactions in the region.

Timothy Hester, chair of Covington’s management committee, said the addition of Mr. Mesa underscores the firm’s strong commitment to expanding in Latin America.

“Gabriel is a strong addition to Covington’s Latin American corporate team,” Mr. Hester said. “He will strengthen our capability to assist clients investing in Latin America, and also to provide a top level of service to companies in Latin America that are active globally. His understanding of the business and legal cultures of these countries, and his technical expertise, will be a great asset to our clients.”

Rubén Kraiem, Covington’s leading corporate partner for business interests in Latin America, said Mr. Mesa will play a crucial role in the firm’s ability to serve U.S. and European as well as Latin American clients.

Mr. Mesa earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University and his law degree at Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as the book review editor for the Law Review. Before entering private practice, he served as a clerk for Judge Charles P. Sifton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

“This is an exciting opportunity to join a firm that is deeply committed to continuous growth on an international level,” Mr. Mesa said. “I look forward to helping clients in Latin America and around the globe.”

This marks Covington’s second high-profile addition to its corporate practice serving Latin America. Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, a former senior State Department official, joined the firm late last year.

Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, provides corporate, litigation, and regulatory expertise to enable clients to achieve their goals.  Founded in 1919, the firm has more than 800 lawyers and offices in Beijing, Brussels, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.