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Sub practice
Sub practice

Microfinance and Social Investment

At Allen & Overy we believe that we influence the wider communities in which we live and work and must ensure that our influence is a positive one.

Our Microfinance and Social Investment practice encompasses more than 350 lawyers located in over 30 offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and includes many of the leading practitioners in our key practice groups including banking, capital markets, corporate and dispute resolution.

The team has advised on a number of microfinance-related transactions and prides itself on being able to provide real and much-needed solutions helping to transform businesses in developing economies. Our clients include microfinance institutions (MFIs), banks, private investors and institutional investors. Whether on a pro bono or fee-paying basis, we aim to handle every case in exactly the same way – with professionalism and care.

On the social investment side, we have been involved in advising Social Finance Limited (Social Finance) on their Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), which are a unique investment product, structured as a fund, that directs private-sector money to fund public sector projects. In this case, the investment proceeds fund prisoner rehabilitation programmes, creating a financial return to the investors that is dependent on levels of recidivism in the prisoner group. Legal fees for negotiating and setting up the Social Finance prisoner programmes could have run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, a particularly significant amount when measured against a fundraising target of £5 million. To solve the puzzle, Allen & Overy stepped in to provide over 1,500 hours of legal advice on a pro bono basis, to help Social Finance craft and negotiate the SIB, an investment product enthusiastically accepted by investors, the Ministry of Justice and HM Treasury and used in many jurisdictions around the world as an example of groundbreaking social finance funding.

News and insights

Cryptocurrency digital screen

Publications: 05 December 2023

Deconstructing Crypto Episode 8: The Post-FTX Landscape

In episode 8 of Deconstructing Crypto, Todd Fishman and Gene Ingoglia break down the trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, in which a federal jury found him guilty of seven counts of fraud.

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Highrise buildings

News: 30 November 2023

A&O advises the underwriters and bookrunners on the debt financing for InVivo Group’s takeover of United Malt Group to form the world’s largest maltster

Our cross-border team in Paris and Sydney has advised a group of global bank underwriters and bookrunners led by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB) in connection with the debt…

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Person typing on keyboard

Publications: 30 November 2023

Podcast: Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023 - perspectives part 2

The Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023 has the potential to transform trade finance by permitting market participants to ditch paper documentation and move to digital. Last week’s episode explored…

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Image from within airport of aeroplane landing

News: 29 November 2023

Allen & Overy advises on new senior secured term loan of EUR 360 million granted to Azzurra Aeroporti

Azzurra Aeroporti S.p.A. has entered into a new senior secured term loan facility of EUR360 million, expiring in May 2027, with extension options up to January 2029. The purpose of the facility is to…

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Social Finance and Impact Investment Group

At Allen & Overy, we believe that we influence the wider communities in which we live and work and must ensure that our influence is a positive one.