lawyers teach Africa's future policy makers


through its nonprofit affiliate, New Perimeter, taught a week-long Special Economic Zone Course for the fifth consecutive year at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
The course, which took place in September, was taught by a global team of DLA Piper lawyers alongside Johann Koen, Legal Counsel for Barclays Africa Group Ltd., who taught two separate sessions on South Africa's Special Economic Zone and trade policies around Africa.

New Perimeter designed the course at the request of the University of Pretoria to expose Africa's future policy makers to the legal, policy and regulatory concepts and practices of special economic zones, as well as providing the students with professional legal and practical skills. The course equips the students with the tools and knowledge to critically review and analyse trade and investment options and policies and to act as future trade and investment policy advisors in their respective countries.

A part of Africa's first Master's Degree on international trade and investment law in Africa, the course is highly selective and run by the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape, taught at each university during alternate years. The LL.M. is targeted at graduate level students from across the African continent. This year the program reached 24 students from 14 different African nations. Since it began in 2011, DLA Piper lawyers have taught over 80 students from more than 20 different countries.

The team from DLA Piper included Claire Donse, New Perimeter Program Manager (Paris); Bob Gruendel, partner and global co-chair of Energy (New York); Ashley Bell, partner (Hong Kong); Pieter Paul Terpstra, associate (Amsterdam); Jeffrey Sheehy, associate (Brisbane); and Brittani Yriarte, associate (New York). Stephen Webb, partner and head of DLA Piper’s Asia Pacific Renewable Energy and Climate Change Group (Brisbane), also participated by video-conference.

Professor Daniel D. Bradlow, University of Pretoria, said: "The week that our students spend with the DLA Piper team is an unrivaled opportunity. Not only do our students get to learn the technical aspects of a complex area of international economic law from a group of superb legal experts but they get the opportunity to revise and apply the lessons they have learned in earlier sections of their course and to interact with experienced international practitioners. Based on the comments of our students, this week has been a highlight of their course and they, like the course administrators, are extremely appreciative of the generosity that the DLA Piper team showed in coming to teach in our programme."

Claire Donse said: "To be able to harness the skills and talents of DLA Piper lawyers to teach the future generation of Africa's policy makers on the legal, policy and regulatory concepts and practices of special economic zones is a rewarding experience. The feedback we have received on the course to date continues to exceed our expectations and the students remain incredibly engaged It's been great to return for a fifth year.''

New Perimeter was established by DLA Piper in 2005, to provide pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world to support access to justice, social and economic development and sound legal institutions. New Perimeter's vision is to harness the skills and talents of DLA Piper's lawyers to further a more just world for all.