The General Counsel Forum | A Legal Indaba is part of the Investing in African Mining Indaba taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The forum will take place in the morning on February 6.
The event is being hosted by Hyve in partnership with Africa Legal and is sponsored by Baker McKenzie and Dentons.
Africa Legal’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Pearson, said the intricacies and complexities of the legal work around African mining meant lawyers working in the field faced unique challenges.
“This forum is an opportunity for General Counsels to meet their counterparts from other countries but who are dealing with very similar issues. It offers unique networking opportunities and also the chance for lawyers to discuss and debate issues that are specifically relevant to their world.”
The event will focus on Risk, Growth and Sustainability | Strategies to turn challenges into benefits as a modern mining GC.
Conference chairpersons Aviona Mabaso, Group Legal Counsel at Bauba Resources, and Daniel Driscoll, Vice-President Legal & Compliance for Endeavour Mining, will open the event.
The panel discussion on Risk, sponsored by Dentons, will look at how the legal function can ensure maximum risk-reduction and benefit in managing key compliance requirements such as ESG and Health and Safety. The question the panel will debate is “Do legal departments always have to be at the ‘sharp end’ of risk solutions or can operating as a conduit and facilitator work better?”.
On technology the discussion will centre on how to empower the legal function to drive efficiency, add value and ensure cross-company engagement with risk management from automation of ‘at mine’ contracts to data analytics to both deliver value and prove it.
Compliance is another area that will be discussed with the participants exploring practical solutions to building a culture of compliance through training, visual aids and positioning the legal function as trusted advisors who can systematically reduce the business’s exposure to compliance risk rather than just control the damage of its manifestations. Is a new approach required in the face of company sustainability and environmental goals rather than legal requirements?
The session will be moderated by Dentons partner Stephen Shergold with panellists including Aviona Mabaso; Ria Sanz, Executive Vice President - General Counsel, Compliance and Company Secretary, AngloGold Ashanti; and Robert Botha, Director, INMISO Consulting
The second part of the event will be a panel discussion on Growth looking at the role of the legal function in supporting and driving technology-based innovation whilst protecting IP in their businesses.
Next will be a debate on the General Counsel as a trusted adviser and how they can add maximum value at early-stage M&A and expansion planning in Africa. The panel will explore how the legal function can empower and guide their leadership to make bold steps into new markets while balancing risk and reward.
Finally, there will be time for reflection on the growing expectations that the board and investors are placing on the mining GC to effectively explain and manage African legal developments and increasing global regulation and sustainability goals.
Panellists here include Fiona Edmundson, Deputy Head of Legal: South Africa, Anglo American and Adam Chester, General Counsel, Company Secretary and Head of Risk and Compliance, Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc.
The panel discussion on sustainability, sponsored by Baker McKenzie, will focus on monopolising on and developing board and investor focus on ESG for business benefit.
Here delegates will be invited to look at the role of the in-house function in managing and streamlining relationships with key suppliers to project a business’s sustainability commitments and impact beyond directly controlled operations. This will finish off with a conversation around building a sustainable role within the business and elevating the GC from a risk manager to proactive strategic advisor for both business and personal sustainability.
The moderator for this event is Baker McKenzie partner Richard Blunt with Daniel Driscoll; Hermien Uys, Head of Legal, Vedanta Zinc International; Jasmine Abrahams, Group Manager - Sustainability, Ivanhoe Mines; Pieter Smit, Group Legal Manager, Ivanhoe Mines; and Andrew Irvine, Legal and Corporate Engagement Manager, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as panellists.
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