Law and International Development in Private Practice
April 14, 2013 – Maria Parra-Orlandoni
LIDS was delighted to host panelists Anne Falvey from Sidley Austin and Dolly Mirchandani from Allen & Overy to discuss private firm work related to international development, including project finance, energy and infrastructure, and public-private partnerships. What followed was a stimulating conversation about the intricacies of this practice area. Dolly and Anne explained that much of the work’s complexity can be traced to the differing perspectives of each potential client, which includes government agencies, debtors, and project owners themselves. Accordingly, the panelists highlighted some of the challenges of brokering ideas to different clients to ensure that a proposed project would be completed. Dolly and Anne also discussed yet another layer of complexity: international development projects, while mostly built on a series of commercial contracts, often have complex policy underpinnings.
Overall, the guest panelists’ account of their work was fascinating. Each of them described the exciting variety of industries their work has touched, including renewable energy, electricity transmission, schools, and even satellites. Both Anne and Dolly graciously hosted small group discussions following the panel presentation, leaving many law students eager to learn more about an international development practice in a private law firm!