Sierra Leone’s Inaugural Commercial Law Summit

Earlier this year, Sierra Leone held its first ever Commercial Law Summit, publicly recognising the central role of the rule of law in driving responsible inward investment and economic prosperity.

The Summit was organised by global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank, the UK Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network and the UK and Sierra Leonean governments, with support from ROLE UK and UKAid.

The Summit brought together leaders from the Sierra Leonean and English judiciaries, the Sierra Leonean government, the diplomatic and development communities, the business sector (local and foreign), and the legal profession for one day to formulate practical reform proposals to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Concrete recommendations were put forward in key areas, including: arbitration, anti-corruption and bribery, public- private partnerships, and reform of the court process.

During his keynote speech, Sierra Leone’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara announced that a raft of legislative and practical changes are on the way for the country - a move which he hopes will signal to the world that “Sierra Leone is open for business”. In particular, the Attorney General announced that he was committed to reforming Sierra Leone’s arbitration law, noting that the bill was “ready to submit to Cabinet”. The Attorney General noted that the Sierra Leone Law Reform Commission and the Attorney General’s Office had already developed the Bill with lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills. The new legislation will pave the way for accession to the New York Convention.

Find the rest of the feature by Rebecca Perlman of Herbert Smith Freehills on page 15 of Insight magazine.

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