New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world, recently conducted two separate regional trainings on negotiating international agreements in Nairobi, Kenya.
DLA Piper partnered with the East African Development Bank (EADB) to deliver the trainings on August 2-3 for approximately 30 permanent secretaries and other senior government officials and from August 5-9 for close to 60 mid-level government lawyers from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The lawyers who participated in the trainings are involved in reviewing or negotiating contracts related to natural resources on behalf of their governments. This marks the sixth year that New Perimeter has collaborated with EADB to train East African public sector lawyers.
"We were thrilled to return to East Africa to continue our long-standing partnership with EADB," said Sara Andrews, assistant director of New Perimeter. "We are consistently impressed by the government lawyers involved in the trainings, and our global team of lawyers was privileged to work with them to engage on some of the most pressing issues facing their countries."
East African Development Bank Director General, Vivienne Yeda, observed that the Eastern African region has been losing wealth from the extraction of minerals. "This calls for capacity building for public sector professionals who are engaged in the development of legal and policy frameworks that will be pivotal in ensuring the respective members get maximum returns from their minerals."
The high-level, two-day program for permanent secretaries focused on preparing senior ministry leaders to manage teams engaging in complex international negotiations. The interactive five-day program focused on negotiating agreements and explored substantive issues involved in joint venture agreements, supply agreements and technology license agreements, as well as issues related to the political, social and economic context in which the agreements are negotiated. Using an experiential learning model, the training included active involvement from all participants. It was conducted with a combination of interactive lectures and simulated negotiations.
"We have had a very successful six-year partnership with EADB in bringing this form of intensive, interactive negotiations training to East African government lawyers and other professionals who are involved in negotiating the contracts that will impact their countries' futures," said DLA Piper partner Jay Finkelstein, who developed and led the trainings. "Providing enhanced skills and confidence in negotiations has the potential to have significant positive impacts on resulting agreements, which will bring long-term benefits and improve lives of the broader population of the East African countries. It is a pleasure to work with so many capable and dedicated professionals."
The DLA Piper team that participated in the training included partners Jay Finkelstein (Washington, DC), Sebastian Decker (Hamburg), Lisa Jacobs (Philadelphia), Greg Smith (Washington, DC) and Casey Sobhani (Los Angeles); senior associates Sadhie Abayasekara (London) and Ngowari Adikibi (Paris); lead lawyer Charlotte Sas (Brussels); and associate Taylor Randazzo (Austin). Joining the teams from DLA Piper Group Firms IKM Advocates and IMMMA Advocates were partners Beatrice Nyabira (Nairobi), Sadock Magai (Dar es Salaam), director Judy Muigai (Nairobi) and senior associate Miriam Bachuba (Dar es Salaam). Krantz fellow Caroline Fish (New York) served as the in-country coordinator.