Hogan Lovells helps Kraft Group / New England Patriots deliver 1.3 million N95 masks from China to Massachusetts and New York

Washington, D.C., 2 April 2020 – International law firm Hogan Lovells represented the Kraft Group/New England Patriots on a pro bono effort to obtain the necessary government approvals to pick up 1.3 million N95 masks from Shenzhen, China, and deliver them to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts using the Patriots’ team plane.

“We are extremely gratified to have helped with this humanitarian mission to bring urgently needed masks to Massachusetts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hogan Lovells partner Amy Roma, who led the firm’s cross-practice pro bono team, with the critical support of Roy Zou, Managing Partner of the Hogan Lovells Beijing office. “We would also like to thank Ambassador Huang Ping, the Consular General for the PRC in New York, for his extraordinary efforts in securing the necessary Chinese government approvals and issuing the required visas for the flight crew on short notice, as well as the U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy in Beijing for their invaluable support for this mission.”

Hogan Lovells navigated the complex array of authorizations and inter-governmental support requests in the United States and China for the masks to be picked up in Shenzhen on April 1. The masks cleared U.S. Customs in Alaska the same day and will arrive in Massachusetts on Thursday. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the arrival of the shipment today. 

Additionally, 300,000 of the masks were purchased by Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, to be donated to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state of New York. They are scheduled to be delivered to New York City on Friday morning.

The mission was complicated further by the urgent timing of the trip and the shifting landscape of U.S. and Chinese laws governing shipments of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.   

In addition to the U.S. and Chinese authorizations for the trip, Hogan Lovells also advised on FDA and Customs matters to ensure that the masks would quickly clear Customs upon their arrival.

“Hogan Lovells was an absolutely invaluable member of our team effort in this humanitarian mission,” said Robert Kraft. “Supply chains around the world are shut down and bottlenecked with bureaucracy, fear and in some instances, commercial priorities over human. Hogan Lovells tore through the bureaucracy with their knowledge and skill around international trade and truly worked 24/7 to make sure this mission was accomplished. I am so thankful for their work in supporting the front-line defenders of the public’s health and safety in the two places I most love, Massachusetts and New York. I am very grateful to everyone at Hogan Lovells, as well as Ambassador Huang Ping and the numerous other organizations involved, for their amazing work on this mission. We could not have done it without them.”

In addition to Roma, Hogan Lovells’ Washington team included partners Ajay Kuntamukkala, Jonathan Stoel, and Mike Heyl, and Senior Counsel Norm Coleman. They were assisted by partner T. Clark Weymouth, who leads the firm’s pro bono practice, associate Jane Chen, and paralegal Danni Wang.

The Asia team included Zou and registered foreign lawyer Ben Kostrzewa in Hong Kong.

More details about this effort can be found in the Wall Street Journal story here.

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