New Perimeter hosts virtual training on special economic zones at the University of Pretoria

New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in underserved regions around the world, recently conducted an online week-long training on special economic zones (SEZs) for the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

The virtual course was held from June 28 to July 2 for 19 graduate law students from 10 countries across Africa who are earning a master’s degree (LL.M.) in international trade and investment law. New Perimeter designed the course to train African law students on SEZs as a possible tool for attracting foreign direct investment and increasing development. This marks the eleventh year a global team of DLA Piper lawyers has delivered the course, which runs on alternate years at the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape.

“We were extremely grateful to be given once again the opportunity to work with such a skilled and motivated group of graduate law students who were eager to dive into the intricacies of financial policy within special economic zones,” said Suzanna Brickman, DLA Piper pro bono counsel. “Throughout the virtual program, the students were passionate, engaged and intently focused on the material, and we hope that the training supplied these future leaders with valuable knowledge they are able to use to make meaningful recommendations about SEZ strategy in their home countries.”

The interactive course is designed to expose students to the concepts and mechanics of SEZs, including their benefits and constraints as a policy tool, and to encourage critical thought about the related legal, policy and regulatory issues in international trade and investment law. The course incorporates real life examples and equips students with the tools and knowledge to act as future trade and policy advisors in their home countries.

Professor Daniel D. Bradlow, director of the LL.M. program at the University of Pretoria, said: “The week our students spend with the DLA Piper team is an unrivaled opportunity. Not only do they get to learn the technical aspects of a complex area of international economic law from a superb group of lawyers, but they also have the opportunity to revise and apply the lessons learned in earlier sections of their course, as well as to engage with experienced international practitioners, both about substantive areas of international economic law and international legal practice more generally. The students and our team of course administrators are all extremely impressed by and appreciative of the generosity that the DLA Piper team showed in coming to teach in our program.”

LL.M. Program Manager Dr R. Jonathan Kabre said: “The DLA Piper Week is usually one of the highlights of the entire semester, and this year has only confirmed it. Despite the challenges associated with the online teaching mode, the DLA Piper team was available to teach and advise the students. We thank them for this valuable experience and hope to collaborate again in the future.”

The DLA Piper team that participated in the training included Jamie MacDonald (Johannesburg); Jeffrey Sheehy, Sarah Griffiths (Brisbane); Martin SchaefermeierNate BolinAmadi AneneTom ReynoldsErik Stier (Washington, DC); and Sharon Fitzgerald (Edinburgh). Professor Jim Coleman, an economist based in London who specializes in spatial economic development and urban revitalization, joined the DLA Piper team as a guest lecturer.

About DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world. In certain jurisdictions, this information may be considered attorney advertising.

About New Perimeter

New Perimeter is a nonprofit organization established by global law firm DLA Piper to provide pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world to support access to justice, social and economic development and sound legal institutions. Founded in 2005 as a result of our firm’s commitment to support legal advancement worldwide, New Perimeter’s vision is to harness the skills and talents DLA Piper lawyers to further a more just world for all.


Josh Epstein, Media Relations, DLA Piper, T. 212.776.3838