Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pro bono derivatives for Ethiopian famine relief? See Weil Gotshal & Manges

Now here's an interesting idea:

Seldom do derivatives attorneys have a crack at big, satisfying pro bono matters that call specifically on their rarified legal expertise. But such was the case with Conrad G. Bahlke, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges who coordinated a team of lawyers from the firm's Paris, London and New York offices in providing legal counsel to the United Nations World Food Programme and the World Bank for a unique pilot famine relief program in Ethiopia.

According to Mr. Bahlke, a contract with a French reinsurance group provides $7.1 million in contingency funding based on a derivative index of rainfall data gathered from 26 weather stations across Ethiopia. Payout would be triggered if data collected between now and October indicate a rainy season significantly below historic averages, pointing to crop failure affecting as many as 17 million poor farmers.

Read the whole article in New York Lawyer . Nice going, Mr. Bahlke.


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