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About Us

The Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers (GAIL) is a community of legal leaders who are using the practice of law to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and to accelerate the just transition. We believe lawyers are uniquely positioned to facilitate change and support the movement towards a more equitable system.

The Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers is unique in our operation. We are leveraging the expertise of lawyers to accelerate the shift of corporate models and capital to make sure business is truly a sustainable force for good, while drawing learning from across the spectrum of impact disciplines.

Our Strategy

We profile, connect, educate, inspire and mobilise impact lawyers – locally and around the world. Together, we aim to transform the role of the law and lawyers to accelerate the just transition. GAIL shares learnings that exist within our community widely to equip lawyers with the knowledge they need to take action.

What we are trying to achieve?

Lawyers are powerful advocates, champions and gatekeepers. Through our programming, we identify and showcase examples of some of the most impactful work lawyers across the world are engaged in. We highlight work that is capable of replication and multiplication and, by distributing insights and practical learnings effectively, enable lawyers in any part of the world to act on this knowledge.

What
We Believe

Mission

To grow the next generation of ‘impact lawyers’ who will advocate for and champion a rapid and just transition towards a truly sustainable and inclusive economy.

Vision

Our work will not end until the just transition has been achieved – and all lawyers are impact lawyers.

The Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers (GAIL) focus is on the contributions that impact lawyers make to the wider global impact ecosystem. Impact lawyers are legal leaders working to have a positive impact on people and planet – personal success is measured in positive impact, not profit. 

Many are business and finance lawyers, some are litigators, some have other forms of expertise. Some work at major firms, others small. Some are senior, some junior. Some are practitioners, others academics. 

Impact lawyers work in many of the areas below to influence the impact economy and the practice of impact law.

  • Impact investing
  • Climate change and the law
  • Sustainable finance
  • Environmental, social and governance factors
  • Development finance
  • Blended finance
  • Business human rights
  • The social role of business
  • Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility
  • Benefit corporations and B Corps
  • Social enterprise and ‘for benefit’ enterprise
  • Social value commissioning and procurement
  • Cooperatives
  • International cooperation
  • Philanthropy and civil society
  • The rule of law
  • Future economic paradigms
  • Systems change
  • Public policy
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • Innovation and the law

In February 2022, esela – The legal network for social impact joined with the Benefit Company Bar Association (BCBA) and Red Latinoamericana de Abogados de Impacto (RLAI) to form the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers.

These networks saw a need for a global community of legal leaders using their careers to have a positive impact on people and the planet.

esela – The legal network for social impact was a non-profit global network of lawyers, advisors, academics and entrepreneurs. Their members shared a vision to create a sustainable and inclusive economy that promotes positive social impact. 

Red Latinoamericana de Abogados de Impacto (RLAI) was a group of Latin American lawyers who worked to produce, systematize and disseminate knowledge and analysis on the legal aspects of an economy focused on creating a positive social and environmental impact on public policies, investments and commercial activities.

The Benefit Company Bar Association (BCBA) was comprised of lawyers who advise benefit corporations and other forms of business organisations that have as part of their purposes creating positive benefits for society and the environment. The association sought to share the knowledge and experience of its members, to educate other lawyers and the public at large, and to promote the concept of doing business in a responsible and sustainable manner.

esela History

In 2013, the European Commission asked the consultants ICF and the UK law firm Bates Wells to undertake a study to map the shape and nature of social enterprise activity in 29 European countries as part of its flagship ‘Social Business Initiative’.

The idea of a legal network for social impact developed naturally from the mapping study, as it became clear that no such network of experts existed. At a roundtable event hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels in January 2015, the European Social Enterprise Law Association (ESELA) was formed.

In 2018, ESELA became esela -The legal network for social impact. The rebrand of esela reflected the network broadening beyond social enterprise into impact in its broadest sense, as well as the growing membership outside of Europe.

RLAI History

In 2015, Red Latinoamericana de Abogados de Impacto (RLAI) was founded as a result of collaborative, open and committed work of many. It originated from groups of lawyers from many countries engaged in public policy discussions and initiatives led by Sistema B. Together, we made it possible.

RLAI contributed to debates on legal structures and the institutional environment related to business practices, legal formats and impact investments. It supported initiatives and organisations in the impact ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our Latin American identity and desire for integration is linked by the understanding of the role of lawyers among the power of positive impact and of the legal design as a means to achieve justice, equity, diversity and social inclusion and to foster responses to the climate crisis.

BCBA History

In 2016, the Benefit Company Bar Association (BCBA) was formed by lawyers who were active in the enactment of benefit corporation laws in various U.S. states. The purpose of the BCBA was to build a community of lawyers who advise benefit corporations and other forms of business organisations that create positive benefits for society and the environment.

The BCBA sought to share knowledge and expertise, and encourage collaboration amongst lawyers interested in promoting positive change in business practices and business law.

The BCBA promoted and conducted conferences, seminars, and workshops to share global guidance and court decisions. Its programming equipped the BCBA community of lawyers to better assist their clients to conduct business in a responsible and sustainable manner.

GAIL adheres to The Imperatives for Economic System Change, co-created by Imperative 21 coalition.

The Imperatives

Design for Interdependence

  • Recognize the interdependence of healthy people, planet, and economies
  • Balance the relationships between the private sector, government and civil society
  • Ensure that everyone has access to free and fair markets

Invest for Justice

  • Remove structural inequality
  • Ensure leadership and ownership are more inclusive, and investment more accessible
  • Use technology to advance democratic ideals and human rights
  • Promote greater voice, power and opportunity for those currently marginalized

Account for Stakeholders

  • Measure success based on credible common metrics of sustainable value creation for all stakeholders
  • Create incentives that reward business and investments creating social and environmental value
  • Enhance standards of fiduciary duty

William H. Clark, Jr

President

Mr. Clark recently retired as Senior Counsel at Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP, but continues to practice in the areas of corporate governance and general business law.  He has served for many years as pro bono legislative counsel to B Lab and drafted the model legislation that has been the basis for the benefit corporation legislation that has been enacted in 39 U.S. jurisdictions and 7 other countries.  He is the Reporter for a special committee of the ABA Business Law Section that prepared the comprehensive revisions of the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act approved in 2008 and 2021.  He has served for over 25 years as the Reporter for the Title 15 / Business Associations Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and in that capacity has written all of the major entity law legislation adopted in Pennsylvania since 1988.  He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the American Law Institute, and a Pennsylvania commissioner to the Uniform Law Commission.  He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who in America.  He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College and received his J.D. magna cum laude from Temple University.  He also has a masters degree in theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Constanza Connolly

Vice President

Co-founder, Keidos Legal Impact

Constanza Connolly is an attorney at law from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and she obtained her Masters in Corporate Law from Universidad Austral.

She is specialized in corporate law, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions. She has a vast experience in business seeking social and environmental positive impact. She advises on the design and development of impact funds aimed at boosting sustainable finance and focusing on ESG (environmental social governance). She specialized in sustainable value chains and complex structures for the creation of solutions for non-traditional figures, including organizations with non-profit and for-profit “hybrid-structures”.
She recently co-founded Keidos Legal Impact, a consultancy focused on generating, facilitating and/or escalating the impact of organizations seeking to make sustainability central to their DNA. building the impact market in Latin America, and on developing public policies for the new impact economy.She co-founded the “Latin American Impact Lawyers Network” to boost impact businesses in the region and she is a member of its Board. She has been appointed as Vice President of GAIL Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers. She is also a board member of Argentina NAB – GSG Impact Investment Task Force. She actively participates in the “Latin America Payment by Result Network.

Michael Ryland

Board Secretary

Director, Centre for Social Finance Law

Michael Ryland is the principal and founding director of the Centre for Social Finance Law.
Michael has over 35 years of broad ranging experience in corporate finance, investment funds and commercial law, including 20 years as a partner at global law firms Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills.  He has worked in Australia, Japan and Indonesia, and has spent two years as a full time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC).
Michael has particular experience in the law relating to social investment, working with a range of for-purpose and for-profit clients on social impact projects, both domestic and cross-border.  This has included work on social investment fund structures, social impact bonds and other financial instruments, social infrastructure projects, social and affordable housing, disability services and accommodation, and community initiatives and projects.

David Dowling

United Kingdom Representative

Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP

Elizabeth Lange

North America Representative

Attorney, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Juan Diego Mujica Filippi

Latin America Representative

Corporate Responsibility, Universidad de Lima

Julie Wynne

Europe Representative

Partner, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd

Luke Fletcher

Emeritus Director

Partner, Bates Wells

Melissa Manzo

United Kingdom Representative

General Counsel, AgDevCo

Oliver Hunt

Secretariat Representative

Senior Associate, Bates Wells

Rachel Avellar Sotomaior Karam

Latin America Representative

Partner, Trotta, Eberhart, Sotomaior Karam

Roberto Randazzo

Emeritus Director

Head of ESG and Impact, Legance

Steven Moe

Asia Pacific Representative

Partner, Parry Field Lawyers Limited

Tze-Wei Ng

Asia Pacific Representative

Associate, Stephenson Harwood

Steven Moe

Chair, GAIL Asia Pacific

Partner, Parry Field Lawyers Limited

New Zealand

Steven Moe is a Partner at Parry Field Lawyers based in Christchurch with a focus on corporate law, governance, legal structures and transactions which often have a purpose driven aspect.  He has worked as a lawyer for 20 years in Wellington, London, Tokyo, Sydney and Christchurch which included 11 years at international firm Norton Rose Fulbright.  Based in New Zealand, he wrote “Social Enterprises in NZ: A Legal Handbook” and recently released a book of essays “Laying Foundations for Reimagining Business” and hosts seeds podcast (www.theseeds.nz), which has almost 300 in depth conversations with inspiring individuals.  He is the Chair of Community Finance which recently won the “Transforming NZ” award at the Sustainable Business Network awards for its work in raising almost $100 million for social housing.  This year he is organising a conference on impact and the power of business for good for 1,400 in Christchurch.

Ammara Farooq Malik

Founding Principal Attorney, AFMalik Law- Attorneys & International Development Consultants

Pakistan

Giana Lin

Partner, Fuguan Law

China

Jon Cheung

Partner, Prolegis Lawyers

Australia

Michael Ryland

Director, Centre for Social Finance Law

Australia

Sung-Hyui Park

Partner, Bates Wells

UK (South Korea)

Tze-Wei Ng

Associate, Stephenson Harwood

Hong Kong

Vivien Teu

Partner and Head of Asset Management & ESG, Dentons Hong Kong LLP

Hong Kong

Emiliano Giovine

Chair, GAIL Europe

Senior Associate, RP Legal & Tax

Italy

Emiliano is the head of the Impact & Sustainability team at RP Legal & Tax.

He mainly deals with nonprofit entities, social enterprises, socially oriented corporate vehicles, NGOs and international organizations. He advises these entities in the phases of incorporation, reorganizations, extraordinary transactions and adjustments required by the Third Sector Code.

He also provides support on ESG matters to leading national and international companies. More specifically, he deals with the adoption and implementation of sustainability models, corporate policies and ethical codes, the acquisition of the Benefit Corporation status and the B Corp certification, as well as ESG/human rights due diligence, non-financial reporting and impact measurement.

Emiliano has ten years of experience in the impact economy sector. In particular, he has been involved for years in several international cooperation projects and policy making activities, led by NGOs and by the United Nations, focused on the integration of migrants and refugees through entrepreneurial initiatives. He is also tutor of the “Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic” legal training program at the Faculty of Law of the University of Turin. He cooperates with Tiresia – Politecnico di Milano on legal issues related to social business and social innovation.

In the past years, Emiliano was a consultant of the United Nations at UNEP and a Legal Officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. He holds a master’s degree in Environmental Law and management from Cà Foscari University of Venice and is currently a PhD candidate in Public International law at Utrecht University.

Since 2019 he has been board member and legal coordinator of the NGO “ResQ Onlus – People Saving People”.

Alexander Vielwerth

Attorney at Law, Winheller

Germany

Alissa Pelatan

Founder & Partner, AMP Avocats

France

Ebru Metin

Founder & CEO, Legal Design Turkey

Turkey

Jens Magers

Lawyer (German Rechtsanwalt) and Chair Sustainability & Impact-Practice, Rittershaus Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater PartmbB

Germany

José María Dutilh

Managing Partner, Lequid

Spain

Julie Wynne

Partner, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd

Switzerland

Lennaert Jan Posch

Partner, Rutgers & Posch

Netherlands

María Peña

Head of Legal, Risk & Compliance, Symbiotics SA

Switzerland

Michael Mosimann

Partner, Eversheds Sutherland Ltd

Switzerland

Pedro Pais de Almeida

Partner, Abreu Advogados

Portugal

Raluca Radu

General Counsel, The Impact Facility and Co-founder and Board Member at LISI

Co-Founder,

The LISI Foundation

Netherlands

Roberto Randazzo

Head of ESG and Impact, Legance

Italy

José Miguel Alfaro

Chair, GAIL Latin America

Director General (Senior Manager), Seed by Ernest and Young

Costa Rica

José Miguel began his career as a Corporate Advisor at one of the largest firms in Central America. He worked as coordinator of a legal practice in Corporate and Commercial Law, Real Estate, Trust and Estate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation and Arbitration. There, he founded the Pro Bono Committee of Costa Rica, where he became familiar with Non-Governmental Organizations, including Techo and Grameen Bank.
In 2009, José Miguel founded s.e.e.d, where he coordinated legal matters for outstanding companies in different fields of the investment spectrum, such as: sustainability, technology, conservation, microfinance, fair trade, culture, education, volunteering, health, sports, and development. He has also actively promoted socially responsible investment and the improvement of the social and business ecosystem in Latin America.
Additionally, since the end of 2016, José Miguel was hired to provide legal advisory services to Carao Ventures and its portfolio of companies, in legal matters ranging from day-to-day financing issues to mergers and acquisitions.
In 2018, s.e.e.d became seed by EY, the business unit of EY Central America that is in charge of strategic growth markets, venture capital, emerging companies, SMEs, social enterprises, impact investment. With the integration of the firm, seed by EY Central America has been able to increase its presence in Latin American markets, leverage technology-based solutions to offer legal services, and strengthen its focus on pro bono initiatives.
Jose holds a JD Degree from the University of Costa Rica. After completing his Master of Business Administration at Oxford, which was obtained through a Skoll scholarship, he was selected as a Global Shaper, a community of the World Economic Forum.

Annalucia Fasson Llosa

Socia Senior del Área Corporativa, Muñiz Olaya Melendez Castro Ono & Herrera abogados

Peru

Camila Mazzer

Senior Associate, BRZ Advogados

Brazil

Guillermo Caballero

Professor, Universidad de Chile

Chile

Guillermo Tejeiro Gutierrez

Partner, Brigard Urrutia

Colombia

Ivana Calcagno

Founding Partner, You Hub

Uruguay

Lila Gasca

Pro Bono Director – Responsible Business, Hogan Lovells

Mexico

María Gabriela Cruz

Legal Specialist, Superintendencia de compañias, valores y seguros

Ecuador

Soledad Noel

Co-Founder, Keidos Legal Impact

Argentina

Allen Bromberger

Chair, GAIL North America

Founding Partner, Bromberger Law

As GAIL North America’s chapter President, Allen Bromberger looks forward to supporting impact lawmakers in this new paradigm. As Founding Partner, Bromberger Law, Allen is nationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the development of non-profit and for-profit legal structures that support the simultaneous pursuit of financial and social goals. Through his legal practice, as author of The Art of Social Enterprise, and as a speaker about the intersection of business and philanthropy, Allen has been at the forefront of the fourth sector and social enterprise movements that have risen to prominence in recent years. Allen’s expertise in corporate matters and business transactions includes social venture formation, finance, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, strategic philanthropy, cause marketing, IP licensing, and regulatory compliance. From foundations and family offices to funds and entrepreneurs, Allen offers counsel and serves as a trusted advisor and connector for his clients. Allen’s ambition is to build legal systems for social benefit that will thrive for years to come. Engage with Allen on LinkedIn or Twitter @abromberger.

Elizabeth Lange

Attorney, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Erin Smith

Commercial Attorney, B Lab

Scott DeWald

Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Ranajoy Basu

Chair, GAIL UK

Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP

Ranajoy Basu Heads McDermott, Will & Emery’s impact finance practice having extensive experience in debt capital markets and impact finance transactions. Ranajoy is recognised as one of the world’s leading lawyers in cross-border climate change and impact finance structures, including social and development impact bonds, renewable energy and “green” structured finance transactions as well as being a legal expert in adaptive and sustainable finance. He advised on the very first impact bond and has since, advised on some of the most innovative financial inclusion structures around the world targeting both environmental and social sustainability. Ranajoy’s key clients include supranationals, multilateral development banks, NGOs, not-for profit entities, impact funds, industry bodies, regional authorities, banks and corporates on structuring social impact finance solutions. He is a regular speaker on climate change, social sustainability and innovative finance.

Chris Garner

Associate General Counsel, SunFunder

David Dowling

Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP

David Hunter

Consultant, Bates Wells

Frances Holliday

General Counsel, LeapFrog Investments

Hazel Peck

Legal Counsel and Company Secretary, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation

Mark Kenderdine-Davies

Chief Legal Officer, CDC Group

Melissa Manzo

General Counsel, AgDevCo

Naomi Sander

Legal Counsel, Bboxx

Richard Gerrard

Senior Legal Counsel, AgDevCo

Sarah Ellington

Legal Director, DLA Piper

Simon Witney

Senior Consultant, Travers Smith

Sukhvir Basran

Senior Legal Director and Co-Head of Impact Financing, Hogan Lovells

Keya Advani

Executive Director (Maternity Cover), Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers

Keya is the Executive Director (Maternity Cover) of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers,  a community of legal leaders who are using their careers to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and to accelerate the just transition.
Keya runs GAIL from the offices of Bates Wells, the first UK law firm to become a B Corp, where she was previously a practicing solicitor in the firm’s Charity & Social Enterprise department and part of its Impact Economy practice.
Keya has worked with organisations in the private and non-profit sectors internationally, including in India, the US and the UK. As an English qualified lawyer, she’s advised businesses, financial institutions, NGOs, social enterprises, B Corps and impact investors on a range of legal issues. She is committed to using the law as a tool to create positive change and is interested in collaborative, transnational ways to address global, systemic problems.

Sarah Dobson

Executive Director, Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers

Sarah is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers,  a community of legal leaders who are using their careers to have a positive impact on people and the planet, and to accelerate the just transition.
Sarah runs GAIL from the offices of Bates Wells, the first UK law firm to become a B Corp, where she was previously Impact Economy Manager.
Sarah is a Fellow of On Purpose, the profit with purpose leadership programme. Her career has spanned impact investment at Big Society Capital, as well as improving access to justice in the UK as Head of Trusts at Support Through Court, and in Kenya and Uganda at African Prisons Project.
She has been called to the Bar of England and Wales and holds qualifications in Law and English. Outside work, Sarah is chair of trustees of KDC Theatre, a central London arts charity.

Bates Wells is the secretariat of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers and a Founding Member.

Bates Wells is a London law firm with a difference. The firm focuses on positive social impact as much as it focuses on being commercially successful.  Bates Wells’ top tier legal advice is coupled with a real desire to drive change. It was the first UK law firm to achieve B Corp status, a certification awarded to businesses that balance purpose and profit, following a rigorous audit of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Bates Wells’ clients are diverse –from corporate household names, to public bodies, to start-ups. Work for NGOs, not-for-profits, socially-focused investors and other impact organisations represents around 65% of the firm’s business.

Bates Wells has influenced some of the major developments in the UK social investment and purposeful business space, including:

  • the design of community interest companies and social investment tax relief,
  • advising the UK Government Inclusive Economy Unit on governance options for inclusive and purpose-driven businesses, and
  • the creation of the statutory social investment power for charities.

Bates Wells challenges what is possible in legal expertise delivery. Learn more at bateswells.co.uk/better-business.

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