We are more than glad to have nominated David Miles, Jamie Tribe, Nancy Chu, Hannah Berry, Karolina Reiter, Richard Oliver, and Sinead Oryszczuk of Covington & Burling for the TrustLaw Lawyer of the Year Award 2019. They were the best lawyers that we have worked with in our careers and we were extremely impressed both by their professionalism and integrity.
Below the text we submitted for our nomination: https://thomsonreutersfoundation.cmail19.com/t/d-l-xtkirkt-ydhkhiwku-k/
“The team of Covington & Burling went above and beyond in helping us advise the Government of Lesotho on off-grid energy regulation, thus making a large step forward in the electrification of tens of thousands of people in rural Lesotho. We requested Covington’s legal assistance to review draft legislation that the Government of Lesotho had prepared in cooperation with the UN Development Programme. The purpose of the legislation is to structure the off-grid energy sector in Lesotho, in particular for so-called mini-grids, decentral solar-battery energy systems that can provide electricity to villages and small communities in the absence of electric grid infrastructure. Off-grid energy services such as mini-grids have emerged in the past few years as solutions for millions of people without energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, and countries that introduce legislation that makes off-grid energy projects bankable can attract large-scale private investments to develop these solar-battery systems. The team of Covington & Burling has provided outstanding legal service for this project and significantly helped to inform lawmakers in Lesotho how to make the legislation bankable. Two things stand out among the exceptional service they provided: First, off-grid energy is a relative new infrastructure sector and there are few examples of legislations or regulations in other countries that one can refer to. The Covington team, despite having little experience with off-grid energy, utilized their extensive expertise with energy infrastructure projects to analyze and think through off-grid regulations and provide feedback that would make them bankable for both the government, international lenders, investors, and developers. Second, from the very beginning we established an understanding with the Covington team that the ultimate beneficiary of this legislation would be the people of Lesotho, and not individual player like our organization or any single institution in the off-grid energy sector. We were impressed by how seriously the Covington team took this conviction, and appreciated even more that towards the end of this project Covington offered to continue their legal services directly for the Government of Lesotho, instead of working on this project through us. In brief, the lawyers at Covington & Burling were the best lawyers that we have worked with in our careers, and we strongly feel that they deserve this award both for their professional expertise as well as their strong ethical mindset to help the people of Lesotho.”