• Legal Consultancy
  • Legal Research
  • Advocacy & Training
  • Legal Policy Analysis
  • Legal Drafting
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Our Services

DLA offers advice and, in certain cases, representation to our clients. We are a full service Research and Consultancy firm with the added benefit of having associates competent to not only offer advice, policy analysis as well as training and advocacy but who can actually follow up this advice with actual representation of our clients in international negotiations, before Arbitral panels and tribunals both ad hoc and institutional. Our clients have normally been governments and intergovernmental bodies, national and international NGOs and a wide range of financial services corporations. Where a matter concerns national law where local legal practice restrictions apply, we are happy to instruct reputable firms in the jurisdictions to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion. Indeed most of our associates are licensed to practice in one or more jurisdictions in Africa and beyond. Our work has tended to mainly revolve around the following areas:-

Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer

We recognize that the protection of intellectual assets is essential to the competitiveness of most organizations, private or public, and to their attractiveness for investors. In the development context, there is a need to properly balance intellectual property systems, to ensure that they offer suitable incentives to invest in research and innovation, while at the same time ensuring that the diffusion and further development of research results are not stifled. At the same time, care must be taken to protect, preserve and provide for the fair use of indigenous intellectual property (traditional knowledge). The team at DLA is alive to these concerns and they inform our IP & TT work.

International Trade Law, WTO Issues & Regional Integration

African countries are increasingly realizing the need to be actively engaged in the processes that shape international trade. Our team is uniquely equipped to advise on the various problems posed by this complex practice area especially in the ongoing Doha process and beyond. DLA associates have been involved in trade negotiations in both in regional contexts and at international fora and are well placed to support the efforts of governments and intergovernmental bodies in achieving beneficial trade terms.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

FDI has undoubtedly become a key component of national development strategies for all most all the countries over the Globe and the African continent is no exception. Investment provides firms with new markets and marketing channels, cheaper production facilities, access to new technology, products, skills and financing. On the other hand, for the host country or the foreign firm which receives the investment it can provide a source of new technologies, capital, processes, products, organizational technologies and managment skills, and, as such can provide a strong impetus to economic development. We have acted in the past for both investors and hosts and the range of jurisdictions we operate in makes us the obvious choice for your the needs of individuals, businesses and governments in this area.

International Arbitration & Dispute Settlement

The increasing importance of international investment has been accompanied by the rapid development of a new field of international law that defines the obligations of host states towards foreign investors and creates procedures for resolving disputes in connection with those obligations. Our associates have practised law at in Africa, Europe and the United States and are in the unique position to assist our clients to effectively resolve disputes arising out of investment activity. Members of our team have acted for governments and investors at all stages of the dispute settlement from negotiation to fully fledged arbitrations and we welcome instructions to represent parties or to act as abitrators.

Food Security

DLA takes the view that while in some cases food crises are unexpected emergencies, the vast majority arise as the inevitable consequence of misguided agricultural and food policies over the a number of years. We have associates with expertise in this critical area and can support the efforts of governments, intergovernmental bodies as well as national and international NGOs in developing appropriate policies to address this issue sustainably and equitably.

Biodiversity and Biosafety

Several of our associates are deeply engaged with issues concerning biodiversity and biosafety and are following with keen interest the ongoing discussions on these topics taking place at the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Trade Organization, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the World Intellectual Property Organization. We have offered advice on the implementation of national and regional biosafety regimes and welcome further mandates from clients seeking our expertise in these areas.

Human Rights & Poverty Issues

We see poverty as essentially a human rights issue. Our associates are thus committed to a framework for development, trade and investment that respects, protects and promotes human rights. DLA associates have spent hundreds of hours devoted to work in this area and it forms a crucial underpinning of the work we carry out in the various jurisdictions in which we operate.

Corruption and Good Governance

Any efforts at achieving human development are inevitably undermined by poor governance, of which corruption is but a symptom. Our team has obtained experience analyzing why sytems fail and helping governments and intergovernmental organizations to develope policies to deal with endemic corruption and other manifestations of bad governance. We are especially proud of the work of our associates in developing the first New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Handbook on Good Governance in Africa. We are confident that we shall continue to receive such important assignments which our skills base and jurisdictional range supremely enable us to execute with perfection.