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WIN Africa

By Isaac Ntombela

Minchin & Kelly (Botswana), (“M&K”), hosted its second WIN Africa event on 31st August 2018 at the Peermont Grand Palm Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana, at which the entire M&K team of attorneys was in attendance.

WIN stands for “What In-house Lawyers Need”. This is a global initiative from DLA Piper, which aims to address the technical, commercial and personal aspects of lawyers working in-house. WIN originated in the United Kingdom in 2010 and is now offered throughout the world. WIN takes the form of events, tools and forums that are shaped by feedback from an active community of in-house lawyers. Firms in the DLA Piper group then formulate engagements regionally with in-house lawyers to address the information needs around the feedback. Regardless of location, there are resources online where one can join the online community to get access to these.

For M&K, the need for such an event was evident locally. In-house lawyers generally tend to feel isolated in carrying out their duties as legal advisors to their employers. This WIN event presented us with a good opportunity to provide in-house lawyers with a platform to receive updates on new laws and issues relating to legal practice as well as to interact with other legal practitioners and their peers.

The proceedings commenced with a presentation by the guest speaker, Kevin Lester, Head of Group Legal at Anglo American in South Africa.  Kevin gave a very informative presentation about the value accretive business partner that in-house lawyers should be.

The other presentations that were made at the conference were:

  • The taking of security by multiple lenders by means of Security SPV structures, presented by Tatenda Dumba, Senior Associate in the Corporate & Commercial division. This generated great interest as the new securitization structure which was spearheaded by M&K is a concept that is novel in Botswana.
  • A high-level review of the new Data Protection Act, presented by Isaac Ntombela, Partner and Head of the Corporate & Commercial division;
  • A review of the new Trust Property Control Act, presented by Oratile Gaopotlake, Senior Associate in the firm’s Real Estate division;
  • A refresher on the legal due diligence process was presented by Namie Modiri, an Associate in the Corporate & Commercial division;
  • A presentation on innovative tools to improve debt collection was presented by Nyaradzo Mupfuti, Manager of the Financial Recoveries division.

The event showcased the new, young and vibrant team at M&K to the in-house lawyers that were in attendance. We were also able to demonstrate our energy and innovative ways and solutions to legal problems.

The event was attended by 32 in-house lawyers from various companies and parastatals including Orange Botswana, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana, First National Bank Botswana, Debswana Diamond Company, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, Barclays Bank of Botswana, Botswana Power Corporation, Water Utilities Corporation, Botswana Stock Exchange, BancABC, Cash Bazaar Holdings, Legal Wise, Botswana Oil, Bank Gaborone, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund and Vivo Energy.

The attendees provided great feedback particularly noting that they appreciated that M&K was making an effort to keep them up to date with new legislation as well as the fact that the event was straight to the point and well-organized.