LONDON, 8th March 2017 – Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of its partnership with The Barefoot College, jointly celebrated with International Women’s Day.
Since announcing the partnership, the firm has helped Barefoot to achieve a number of goals. These include providing pro bono advice on the creation of a non-profit presence in the UK and the U.S., and establishing several agreements and projects that will help the organisation grow and fulfill its mission to nurture and support a journey to empowerment.
The global partnership, a key part of Hogan Lovells commitment to Empowering Girls and Women, was announced in July 2016 and became official as of 1 January 2017. The firm’s people will help Barefoot College to improve lives by empowering women in rural communities in the world’s most remote locations, training 400 women – known as solar mamas – in 35 countries to become solar engineers and bringing light to 20,000 homes. The first phase has already paid dividends: in addition to securing charitable status in the UK and U.S., Hogan Lovells successfully advised Barefoot on several projects, including:
- Advising on a funding agreement which will allow for replacement solar panels at Barefoot College India and funding for enterprise development by solar mamas in India;
- Targeting more countries for solar mama expansion;
- Advising on an agreement that will allow Barefoot Enterprises to expand their production of honey in Zanzibar;
- Advising on a new social investment finance loan facility from a Foundation;
- Launching our fundraising efforts by raising £7,000 in donations from Hogan Lovells people, an amount that will be matched by the firm.
Through more pro bono work, Hogan Lovells is also helping Barefoot to create a corporate structure in nine countries – Botswana, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Fiji, Liberia, Madagascar, Myanmar, and South Africa. To date, 67 lawyers across six continents have contributed a significant number of pro bono hours to the partnership with Barefoot College, with more progress expected as the second phase rolls out.
Patrick Sherrington, Regional Managing Partner Asia Pacific Middle East, said:
“Our relationship with Barefoot College is a core part of our commitment to Empowering Girls and Women. Our work together is literally life-changing and I’m particularly pleased that we’ve been able to collaborate with clients to meet barefoot business needs and achieve results. I’m immensely proud of our people and all we’ve achieved as a firm so far, and excited to embark on phase two of our relationship.”
Since its foundation in 1972, Barefoot College has worked to educate the marginalised, exploited, and impoverished rural poor, lifting them over the poverty line with dignity and self-respect. Through its projects in 84 countries, Barefoot has brought renewable electricity, clean water, and long-term working opportunities to millions of people. To date, Hogan Lovells has provided Barefoot College with expansion, intellectual property, corporate and tax advice on a pro bono basis, as well as volunteer and financial contributions.
Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International, added:
“The collaboration between Hogan Lovells and Barefoot College is already attracting considerable support and capturing the attention of Multinational companies throughout the world, whose commitment to ensuring people and nature thrive, is a priority. Barefoot College believes the example of Global Citizenship shown by Hogan Lovells leadership is an especially relevant and critical one in the current geopolitical climate. We invite further support from those visionary companies who are committed to investing in building a world of opportunity for all.”