WASHINGTON — Edward Yingling, the outgoing president and chief executive of the American Bankers Association is becoming a partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP starting in January.

Yingling has spent 25 years at the ABA serving the last six as its president and CEO.

At Covington,Yingling will focus on a variety of financial institution regulatory, legislative and transaction issues with an emphasis on implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

"Ed's leadership role at the ABA gives him a unique understanding of the complex legal and policy issues confronting the financial services industry, particularly in light of the Dodd-Frank legislation and its implementation," said Timothy Hester, chair of Covington's management committee in a press release Tuesday. "In addition to regulatory and legislative matters, Covington routinely handles enforcement actions before all the federal bank regulators, the SEC, the Department of Justice, and FinCEN, as well as other federal and state enforcement agencies. The breadth of Ed's experience will be a tremendous asset to our clients in all of these areas."

In the press release, Yingling said he picked Covington because it "has an outstanding financial services practice, with highly regarded expertise in all the areas bankers are most concerned about today… It also has a strong corporate and regulatory team to assist financial institutions in the restructurings that will flow from the new regulatory climate."

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