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SBAN and Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Foster Social Entrepreneurship (1)

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SBAN is very pleased to announce a new relationship with Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.  Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is an affiliate of Lex Mundi, the leading association of independent law firms.  By calling upon Lex Mundi’s global network of 160 top-tier business law firms located in more than 500 offices around the world, Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation will help find experienced lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to SBAN members in need of professional legal support for their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation has entered into this relationship with SBAN as part of its new initiative to support social entrepreneurship and to facilitate the delivery of legal services to social entrepreneurs throughout the world.  SBAN is engaging with Lex Mundi to meet its mission by assisting our members and their organizations in accessing legal advice and counsel on a pro bono basis.

The relationship with Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation enables SBAN’s active members to request access to legal services for their social entrepreneurship. 

Obviously, the relationship is limited to issues related to a SBAN member’s social entrepreneurship and does not extend to personal matters.  The legal services that the Lex Mundi law firms and lawyers can provide include, but are not limited to:

 

·        Guidance on establishment of business entities, including formation of profit and non-profit corporations, partnerships and proprietorships.

·        Guidance on corporate formalities, including the development of appropriate processes and structures to protect and ensure the long term health of the corporation (by-laws, issues of governance, compliance with reporting requirements, etc.).

·        Drafting and review of contracts, loan agreements, debt financing agreements and other business transactions.

·        Intellectual property advice and protection.

·        Drafting of laws and regulations.

·        Employment and benefits issues.

·        Real estate leases and transactions.

·        Property rights.

·        Government regulation.

·        Market access and distribution issues.

·        Litigation and arbitration.

·        Environmental and energy.

·        Insurance, banking and finance.

·        Media law issues.

·        Food and drug law.

 

A listing of the jurisdictions in which the Lex Mundi network has law firms is attached.  Each law firm is indigenous to its respective jurisdiction -- that is, its lawyers are intimately familiar with the legal systems, languages and cultures of their respective jurisdictions and are usually “home grown”.  Even if you have a legal problem in a jurisdiction in which there is no listed Lex Mundi law firm, you are nevertheless encouraged to contact Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation because there may be lawyers in adjoining jurisdictions or lawyers otherwise familiar with a particular jurisdiction who could be of assistance.

If you have a need for legal services, please follow the process set out below so that Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation can assess the nature of your request and endeavor to locate a lawyer in a Lex Mundi law firm who can be available to provide you with the requested legal representation.  Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and the Lex Mundi law firms have complete discretion in choosing which legal matters to take on as pro bono matters.  If Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation determines that the Lex Mundi law firms cannot provide the legal services you need, the Foundation will attempt to guide you to resources that may help you find appropriate representation.

Even if you have a request for general legal information but don’t necessarily need representation on a specific issue, please forward such requests through the process described below. 


Who is in the Lex Mundi association of law firms?

We have attached a listing of the international and US based firms that comprise the Lex Mundi network.  If you are interested in working with one of these firms, please do not contact them directly.  Rather, follow the process as outlined below.

 

How can I access the services of Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and the Lex Mundi law firms?  How does the process work?

·        Send an email to Dave Roll, the Managing Director of Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation (droll@lexmundiprobono.org.), and copy Keno Sadler (ksadler@sbalumni.org).  Please be sure to copy Keno Sadler so that he may confirm your participation with Summerbridge/Breakthrough on behalf of SBAN. In your email describe the nature of your request and provide any supporting information that will help Mr.  Roll to better assess your needs.  For example, if you would like to set up a corporation in Kansas, or the Czech Republic, provide information on the purpose of the corporation, whether you wish it to be profit or non-profit, the proposed governance structure and other relevant information.

·        Dave Roll will review and assess your request and contact the Lex Mundi firm in the relevant jurisdiction or jurisdictions to determine whether lawyers with the requisite expertise are willing and available to accept the assignment.  It will be up to those lawyers to determine whether there is a conflict of interest which would preclude them from providing you with legal services.  If your issue is beyond the scope of the Lex Mundi lawyers’ expertise, they may decide not to represent you. 

·        If you are seriously considering retaining or working with a lawyer or law firm introduced to you by Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, the Foundation, since it is no more than a matchmaker, will require you to sign a form protecting it from liability. Specifically, the Foundation will ask you to acknowledge in writing that (a) the Foundation is not providing and has not provided legal assistance to you; (b) you are solely responsible for deciding whether you wish to retain or work with any Lex Mundi law firm or lawyer introduced to you by the Foundation; and (c) you agree to waive any claim you may have against Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation arising out of the introduction or work done or not done by the lawyer or law firm introduced to you by Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.  Mr. Roll will ask you to sign such an acknowledgement and waiver and return it to him by fax (202-429-3902) before you will be permitted to engage a Lex Mundi law firm for pro bono services.

·        Once Mr. Roll has received the acknowledgement and waiver form signed by you, he will notify the lawyer at the Lex Mundi law firm (copy to you) and you will be free to decide whether to engage that law firm to provide the requested legal services to you on a pro bono basis.

 

What is the ongoing relationship between me - as an SBAN member and a client - and the Lex Mundi law firm?

Once your request has been approved and you have engaged a Lex Mundi law firm to provide you with pro bono legal services, you will have all the rights and responsibilities of their other clients.  It is a professional relationship and you should be treated with the same level of respect and responsiveness as a billable client.  If you have any issues relative to responsiveness or diligence in dealing with your matter, please bring them to Mr. Roll’s attention.

Our expectation is that as a client of a Lex Mundi firm, you will build a relationship with the attorney assigned to represent you.  If you have an initial request and sometime later you have a second request for services you should contact the attorney that you worked with initially and copy Mr. Roll on the request.  Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and the Lex Mundi firm will need to re-assess whether the new request fits within the parameters of the relationship with SBAN before the firm agrees to represent you on the new matter.  If for any reason you do not wish to work with that attorney again or the second need is in a different area of law from the first and potentially outside your attorney’s expertise, you may contact Mr. Roll directly.

 

What are the costs associated with securing the services of a Lex Mundi firm through Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.

The Lex Mundi law firm will make available the legal services of their attorneys at no cost to you.  If there are separate costs for out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing fees with a governmental authority, those expenses will be your responsibility.

The services of Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation are available to our members effective immediately.  Because we are in the early stages of this partnership, we ask that you remain flexible and professional as we develop a better understanding of our members’ needs and the processes for managing and supporting requests.

 

We hope that this new partnership will help to further the important work of our SBAN members.

 

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