KOROR, Palau — A new law group has formed in Palau that caters to business development issues in the island nation and in the Pacific. The Pacific Development Law Group is a partnership between two long-time friends, Larry Goddard and Kassi Berg. Formed in January, the law group already has a roster of clients.
Goddard and Berg’s partnership is timely with the upswing of tourism to Palau and the growing appetite of foreign investors to get into infrastructure projects in the country. The two described the creation of the law group as “perfect timing.”
Berg described the law group as “a boutique law firm catering to business development, investment legislative drafting and policy consulting in the Pacific region.”
Goddard said his partnership with Berg is a good match with his 20 years of experience in the Pacific region in both legislative and executive branches of the government and Berg’s litigation skills. Having lived, worked and practiced law in Palau, Goddard and Berg are not new to the island. Both have an extensive background of the country’s laws.
Aware of the small market for private law practices in Palau, Berg said the law group is directed toward a different approach: unlocking the investment and sustainable development values of the island nation.
One of the group’s biggest clients is the Office of the President, for which the firm provides both legal and policy advice. Goddard said the firm is involved in President Thomas E. Remengesau’s plan to make the country’s EEZ the world’s first marine sanctuary.
Berg said they are very selective of their clients and are looking into getting involved in tasks that are beneficial to the country as a whole.
Goddard has helped Pacific island nation take action toward independent and effective governance but with emphasis on “protecting environmental harmony.”
Goddard worked as Remengesau’s legal counsel from 2001 to 2009 and has served a key role in important regional sustainable development projects, such as the Micronesian Challenge, Micronesian Chiefs Executive Summit and the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Future, among others.
Berg was one of the founders of the regional television station in Palau, the Oceania Television Network, and the production company Roll ‘em Productions. Prior to her work with OTV, she served as the senate’s legal counsel from 2001 to 2003.
Although Berg and her husband, Jeffrey Barabe, formed a business in 2004, she said she had been handling intermittent law cases in between until she went into partnership with Goddard.