MoProBono Fall 2018 Newsletter

4 MoProBono Fall 2018 MOFO LAWYERS TAKE A WHIRLWIND TRIP TO KENYA TO TRAIN LOCAL LAWYERS ON THE UN GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS Fun, collaborative, and exhilarating: these are just a few of the adjectives MoFo London associate Shruti Chandhok and head of restructuring in the London office Howard Morris used to describe their whirlwind summer trip to Kisumu and Mombasa, Kenya. They visited these locations to lead a professional development workshop series for local lawyers on the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights. The full-day workshops were designed to arm lawyers with the information and tools they need to implement the UNGPs, to help businesses both small and large, domestic and international to recognize and meet their human rights obligations and to prepare lawyers to undertake the necessary human rights due diligence work. Using the UNGPs to Shape the Law Understanding the UNGPs will be integral to Kenya’s success, says Howard, because they can help local legal professionals and business leaders shape their country’s laws, exercise responsible control over their natural resources, and better promote economic prosperity. “Conducting business while properly respecting land rights and labor wages, without discrimination on the grounds of religion or tribe, and with equality between the genders helps address social and tribal divisions and exploitation of people by unscrupulous businesses,” says Howard, who has visited and worked in Kenya and its neighboring countries on this and several other occasions. The trip was the first of its kind for Shruti, a member of the firm’s litigation department and global anti-corruption practice. “The groups we spoke with were highly inquisitive. They were interested in hearing about how compliance with human rights regulations would allow their clients to be ahead of the curve as well as provide new business for law firms. With a background in white-collar law, I was able to use the anti-bribery and corruption framework as an excellent contemporary exemplar of how compliance matters more to corporations of all sizes,” says Shruti. Leveraging the Power of Education and Social Media Howard and Shruti presented on the key UNGP themes during the workshops, often fielding questions and weighing in on real-life scenarios related to some of the following topics: • The scope of businesses’ responsibility to respect human rights; • Judicial grievance mechanisms; • Understanding the pressure on companies to respect human rights; and • How to make human rights part of your business. “What has been mostly a remote issue can now be brought to light by using the power of the consumer to influence businesses to do the right thing.” VERBATIM SHRUTI CHANDHOK, HOWARD MORRIS