Shearman & Sterling Lawyers Featured in Article on Pro Bono Wildlife Conservation Project
Shearman & Sterling lawyers were recently featured in an article in Law.com, titled “Pro Bono NY Lawyers Train Kenyans to Better Prosecute Poaching,” which details their participation in a pro bono effort to help Kenyan officials prosecute poachers more effectively. Partner Beau Buffier alongside lawyers from Wigdor LLP, trained Kenya Wildlife Service officers in aspects of the law to enforce the 2013 Wildlife Conservation and Management Act. The passage of the Act provided stronger criminal and financial penalties for those caught and prosecuted for the poaching of endangered species such as rhinoceroses and elephants, along with potential life imprisonment. The program is run by Lawyers Without Borders, which was awarded a grant by the U.S. State Department in 2015 to do pro bono work related to the Act.
The attorneys traveled to Kenya’s Isiolo and Nanyuki regions to train approximately 45 wildlife intelligence and patrol officers on best practices in key areas relevant to the Wildlife Act. These included crime scene investigation and management, witness interviewing and testimony at trial. The teams also played board and card games that quizzed officers on the specifics of the Act, and provided community education on the importance of conservation.
In 2016, seven Shearman & Sterling lawyers, including three partners and four associates from the New York and Washington, DC offices, have participated in Lawyers Without Borders trainings in Kenya. The goal of the two-year program is to train 500-700 individuals involved in the country’s wildlife preservation efforts.
Shearman & Sterling has previously provided pro bono assistance in Kenya and other areas of Africa, including recent trainings for magistrates and judges for prosecution in Nairobi.