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In September 2019, our APME (Asia Pacific and Middle East) offices held its HL BaSE programme, which runs every second year in the region. This two-day programme is Hogan Lovells award-winning MBA-style course designed to give our junior lawyers a sharper commercial edge, as well as instill a solid understanding of the importance of social enterprise and social impact to today’s economy.

"HL BaSE provides Hogan Lovells lawyers at the outset of their careers with an understanding of how businesses operate, better positioning them to understand our clients. It is also a platform for delegates to build their own internal networks in the region."

Andy Ferris, Sponsoring Partner of HL BaSE, and Partner from our Singapore office.

During the programme, Mark Cheng, Senior Advisor for Europe and Asia from Ashoka, a global network of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, facilitated interactive lectures on business fundamentals with a cross-border focus and the role law firms take in helping clients achieve their goals. Six social enterprises from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore were invited to present to us in a TedTalk style on their social mission and the impact they are trying to make in their communities.

One of the highlights of the programme was the opportunity for the 45 junior lawyers from 11 different regional offices working together in six multi-jurisdictional teams, to offer pro bono legal support to the six social enterprises with the supervision of a partner, on issues ranging from finance, contract, corporate, and data protection law. 

Our social enterprise clients included:

  • AESIR creates games and interactive solutions for diverse groups of people with special needs using augmented-reality and virtual reality technologies. Their games are award-winning learning tools, co-designed with health professionals, to support happy, healthy and productive minds.
  • Think Playgrounds collaborates with communities to build public playgrounds for children in Vietnam as a place where the community can be together, socialize and build stronger relationships with neighbors. In addition, they campaign to raise awareness of the importance of outdoor free play for children’s healthy development.
  • Smart Air creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers to combat the impact of air pollution in many of the world’s most polluted countries; including China, India, Mongolia and the Philippines.
  • That Spark is a learning platform where professionals in China's social impact sector can take their work to the next level. They break down the barriers of language and location to bring expert content and user-centered learning experiences to changemakers across the country, to help them solve the challenges of their generation and make their contribution toward a better world.
  • HopeBox provides domestic violence victims with a vision for the future. They provide paid-work, accommodation and tools to enable women to be financially independent. They make and serve nutritious lunch boxes around Hanoi, which are made by rural Vietnamese women who have fled violent situations.
  • ThoughtFull provides an affordable and accessible mental wellness solution using a mobile chat platform that connects users to certified mental health professionals anytime, anywhere, via asynchronous text messaging.

The HL BaSE programme in APME was launched in 2015. Since then, we have run 3 programmes, have trained 127 junior lawyers and provided advice to 18 social enterprises so far.

We are already looking forward to hosting our next HL BaSE programme in September 2021.

You can find out more about our APME BaSE training workshop here , and more about our pro bono work here