Maasai elders swap Kenya for Holborn Viaduct

“WE’RE HOSTING some Maasai Elders on 14 May, if you’re interested in coming to see them?” is not the typical invitation that The Capitalist is used to receiving from City law firms.

However, it seems that working with Maasai tribes is all in a days pro bono work for lawyers at Hogan Lovells.

The firm has been doing intellectual property (IP) pro bono work, led by partner Sahira Khwaja, to try to secure a trademark for the tribe after the recognisable Maasai image has been used repeatedly used in advertising campaigns without any of the spoils making their way back to the tribe itself.

Lovells is working with Elders from the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania through charity Light Years IP,  which helps developing country producers win ownership of their intellectual property – should they choose to.

The tribe has a distinctive “cultural brand” said the law firm yesterday.

Eagle-eyed City workers might be able to spot them at one of the many other global superbrands – from coffee shops to supermarkets – located near Holborn Viaduct next week.