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DLA Piper Lawyers Teach Negotiation Skills in Tanzania
Cristopher Farrar, of counsel at DLA Piper in Houston, recently returned from Tanzania, where he was part of a DLA Piper pro bono team that taught negotiation skills to Tanzanian lawyers.
"The basis of the trip was to share some of our international experience and [to] help to develop skills sets in negotiations for the Tanzanian government lawyers," says Farrar, a project development lawyer.
Farrar says about 10 DLA Piper lawyers from around the world made the trip to Tanzania during the last week in April for the teaching sessions. Most of the Tanzanian attorneys involved work at various government agencies, such as the attorney general's office, the prime minister's office, the tax division, the contract-and-treaties division and the public prosecutor's office, he says.
He says the Tanzanian attorneys were divided into small groups for mock negotiations sessions, with some representing a government-owned company and others representing a multinational company. His role was advising one of the groups tasked with representing a government-owned company.
In addition to the hands-on experience in negotiations, Farrar says the DLA Piper lawyers wanted to show the Tanzanian lawyers the importance of understanding all aspects of a business matter, not just a discrete part of it.
"We helped them to explore the entire business transaction and look at it from a high level … ," he says. "The attorneys we were working with really enjoyed that aspect, because the attorneys working in a government department, sometimes they don't get to see the entire transaction."
Farrar, who joined DLA Piper in May 2012 from Dewey & LeBoeuf, says he has worked internationally in the past, including a year and a half in South Africa and a year in Kuwait.
Farrar says the firm's pro bono work in Tanzania is part of DLA Piper's New Perimeter, a global pro bono initiative. For the last three years, DLA Piper lawyers have worked pro bono with students at the Law School of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.
This article first appeared on Texas Lawyer's Tex Parte blog.