Hogan Lovells and Bank of America lawyers partner to combat international wildlife trafficking

London, 22 April 2021 Hogan Lovells and Bank of America lawyers have conducted a cross-jurisdictional research project on international wildlife trafficking in support of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a charity dedicated to investigating and campaigning against environmental crime and abuse.

London based project lead, Hogan Lovells business restructuring and insolvency partner Alex Kay, commented: “Our research aims to help the EIA to fill the gaps in its databases of illegal wildlife seizure incidents – with a particular focus on the prosecution and enforcement outcomes following those seizures – and to understand the legal framework in place to combat wildlife crime, which in many instances sadly does not go far enough to prevent or punish these atrocities. Understanding leads to action, and together through collaboration we hope to enable real and much needed change.”

The Hogan Lovells team, comprised of over 50 lawyers in collaboration with 12 lawyers from Bank of America working pro bono, conducted research into incidents in the UK and countries across Asia, Africa and Europe, to identify the journey each seizure incident took through the country’s criminal justice process. The research addresses charges filed against suspects, the status of the proceedings against them, and the sentence imposed following successful conviction. Hogan Lovells and the Bank of America team are also assisting the EIA to navigate the jurisdictional and legal framework in each of the countries concerned.

“The Bank of America team was delighted to have had this opportunity to use our research skills to contribute to combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, which is often a crime that spans multiple jurisdictions”, noted Simon Turnbull at Bank of America.

Mary Rice, Executive Director at the EIA, said the project will have a significant impact: “This work is invaluable in enabling EIA to evaluate the steps that each country has taken to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, and the legal tools made available to their law enforcement agencies to help them do so. Armed with this understanding we can support and advocate to help put a stop to wildlife trafficking around the world.”

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