WASHINGTON, DC, September 22, 2015 — Covington, in association with LEX Africa, an alliance of leading law firms in Africa with a presence in 24 countries, and Werksmans, the South Africa member firm that chairs the alliance, have launched a fellowship program aimed at fostering links between the African and international legal communities.
Each year, LEX Africa member firms will recommend an internal candidate for the fellowship by submitting an application for review by Covington and making the candidate available for an interview. The successful candidate will spend three months at Covington’s Washington office and will be paid a stipend to assist with living expenses.
The first fellow of the program is Sandro Jorge, a senior associate at Couto Graça and Associados in Mozambique. Mr. Jorge has more than ten years of experience in the public and private sectors and has held positions as legal counsel at the National Council for Sustainable Development and legal advisor and head of the legal department at the Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs in Mozambique. His private practice experience includes public law, energy, contracts, land, property development and corporate law.
Witney Schneidman, chair of Covington’s Africa initiative and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, commented: “Africa has a tremendous pool of talent across all sectors, and the legal industry is no exception. We are thrilled to be working with LEX Africa on this important initiative and look forward to welcoming Sandro to Washington in January 2016.”
Pieter Steyn, LEX Africa’s Chairperson and Director at Werksmans Attorneys, says he is delighted for LEX Africa to be part of this worthwhile initiative: “Africa is a continent of great knowledge and diversity and we are delighted to play a role in offering young lawyers across the LEX Africa Alliance the opportunity to work with a leading international law firm of the caliber of Covington & Burling. We wish Sandro Jorge well on his endeavor.”
Mr. Jorge added: “I am very excited about the fellowship, which is an amazing opportunity to build long-lasting relationships between our firm and the international legal community. The interest in Africa and in Mozambique particularly has grown exponentially over the past several years, and I have little doubt that this program will leave a lasting legacy.”
Mr. Jorge Graça, the managing partner of Couto Graça and Associados, commented: “CGA believes that Covington’s selection of Sandro Jorge as the inaugural fellow recognizes the high quality services and standards provided by the firm’s team of lawyers. Sandro’s selection motivates both him and his colleagues to work towards continuously developing the specialized legal knowledge, experience and services provided by CGA for the benefit of its clients. It will also enhance their clients’ trust in CGA’s ability to provide legal services in Mozambique.”