Firms team up to advance rule of law in developing countries

by Sol Dolor31 May 2017
Legal giants have launched an initiative that aims to advance the rule of law in emerging countries.

“The Juris Pilot” programme of LexisNexis and the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation aims to connect legal professionals with legal bodies for pro bono work. Lawyers from Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills, as well as Singapore law firm Allen & Gledhill have also pitched in.

Myanmar was chosen as the programme’s starting point.  “As democracy has been introduced to Myanmar, the legal professionals acting on behalf of the government have been faced with new challenges of negotiating contracts with other countries – an area of law that was previously largely unused,” said Veronica Rios, LexisNexis Asia Pacific rule of law executive manager.

Using LexisNexis research materials, three lawyers built a curriculum to conduct intensive training on international contract law for more than 50 public prosecutors of the Union Attorney General’s Office (UAGO) and other government ministries. These include the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Ministry of Construction, and the Auditor General, at the offices of the Attorney General in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

“By bringing together other experts from large law firms in Australia and around the world, we have been able to collaborate and share ideas, whilst helping to further expand the legal knowledge and skills of a key group of local legal professionals who are representing the newly emerging Myanmar government,” said Charles Brannen, one of the lawyers who conducted the training. He is a special counsel at Colin Biggers & Paisley (Australia).

“It’s a critical period for Myanmar as a relatively new player to the international arena whilst experiencing rapid progress by the influx of foreign investors,” he added.

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