Chaffe McCall’s Pro Bono Commitment Turns to the Republic of MalawiPosted on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 | Posted in Acknowledgements & Press Releases, Resources & Publications
Chaffe McCall Partners With ISLP to Aid Malawi
Chaffe McCall has a significant working relationship with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) on pro bono legal work. Recently the firm teamed up with ISLP, a non-governmental organization based in New York and London, and other experts to assist the Republic of Malawi on several legal issues. Among the ten poorest countries in the world, Malawi in southeast Africa has a growing mining sector, but one which the government acknowledges as facing numerous challenges. Seeking expertise, the government asked for assistance with its policies, including measures to combat public corruption.
In October, Peter Strasser, Partner in the New Orleans office, returned from a two-week trip to Malawi with the ISLP. Mr. Strasser and LA Supreme Court Justice Greg Guidry worked with the Malawian Anti-Corruption Bureau to assist in their investigation and prosecution of “Cashgate” cases. Over seventy government officials, politicians, and businessmen have been arrested for manipulating the Malawian central government’s computer payment system to authorize and transfer funds to non-existent or complicit companies for supposed services. The funds were then converted to cash and laundered to purchase high-end assets. It is estimated that the financial loss realized over the past year alone is $30 million. By other estimates, thirty percent of the country’s budget could have been looted over the past decade, equivalent to the amount foreign donors have provided Malawi over the same period. As a result, all foreign aid has been suspended until the Anti-Corruption Bureau prosecutes the offenders and recoups the stolen funds. Mr. Strasser and Justice Guidry will be returning on a regular basis to Malawi to help the Bureau in this effort.
Chaffe McCall is deeply committed to pro bono projects. Providing quality legal services to those disadvantaged and most in need of legal services is an integral part of being a lawyer at Chaffe McCall.
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Since 1826, the lawyers of Chaffe McCall have always focused on understanding their clients’ business and have earned their reputation of providing clients with practical legal guidance consistent with their business interests and goals. Chaffe McCall has a rich history of serving clients regionally, nationally and internationally to address the challenges they face in the areas of admiralty, commercial litigation, health care, labor and employment, real estate, and tax. The firm owes its continuing success and longevity to a history of distinguished leaders and a team of talented, creative, and hardworking professionals, who meet our clients’ legal needs timely and cost-effectively. Chaffe McCall LLP is Louisiana’s oldest full service law firm centrally located in downtown New Orleans with addtional offices in Houston, Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles. The firm can be found online at www.chaffe.com. Devoted to Excellence.