6 November 2014 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

DLA Piper lawyers teach students from across Africa for fourth year running

DLA Piper, through its nonprofit organisation New Perimeter, has taught a week-long Special Economic Zone Course for the fourth consecutive year at the University of the Western Cape.

An international team of lawyers returned to Cape Town, South Africa to teach the course alongside lawyers from DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. Johann Koen, Legal Counsel for Barclays Africa Group Ltd./Absa Financial Services Holdings Property Limited contributed via video conference.

The course, which took place in September, is part of Africa’s first Master's Degree on international trade and investment law in Africa, a highly selective course run by the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape and taught at each university on alternate years. The LLM is targeted at graduate level students from across the African continent.

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.

The team from DLA Piper included Claire Donse, New Perimeter Program Manager based in the firm's Paris office, Steffen Kaufmann, a partner from Moscow, Kathy Ruhland, a partner based in Minneapolis, Tim Lohse, a partner from Palo Alto, Cézanne Britain, a Director at DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer based in Johannesburg, Brisbane-based partner Stephen Webb and Andrew Chegwidden, the Dubai based Head of Knowledge Management for the Middle East.

Claire Donse said: "The success of this pro bono legal education course sees us return for a fourth year to provide guidance to the next generation of  African policy makers on the legal, policy and regulatory concepts and practices of special economic zones. The programme in South Africa has proven to be an extremely rewarding experience for our lawyers as well as the students who take part in the course and we are thrilled to be playing a part."

University of the Western Cape Dean of Law, Professor Bernard Martin said: "This course is a great opportunity for our students to gain exposure to the practical aspects of international trade law from experienced international practitioners.  This provides them with a strong competitive edge when entering the workforce."  

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