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Herbert Smith Freehills has entered into a formal collaboration with Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (to Legal Education) ("IDIA"), a leading charity that operates across India to provide financial and practical support to empower students from underprivileged and marginalised communities in India to attend law school and to qualify as lawyers. 

Through this formal collaboration, the firm will provide financial, mentoring and pastoral support to a number of IDIA scholars during the course of their legal education in universities in India. In addition to assistance with fees and ancillary university expenses, the partnership will also see Herbert Smith Freehills providing practical assistance through other means to the IDIA scholars which it will support, such as providing graduate recruitment support and internship opportunities, which can help the scholars in shaping their legal careers.

Commenting on the collaboration, Roddy Martin, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills said:

"Laudably, the Constitution of India legislates for equality for all in India - equality before the law and non-discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. However, as in many other countries, social and economic exclusion remains prevalent.

Through supporting the excellent work of IDIA, we very much hope that we can help those most in need and most deserving to join the legal profession and improve its diversity and, through that, to help serve India well and also help to foster an environment in which there can be a permanent change in attitudes towards the underprivileged as they begin to make their marks within the legal profession.

As a committed partner, Herbert Smith Freehills looks forward to building a long-term supportive collaboration with IDIA as well as promoting IDIA's values and goals to Herbert Smith Freehills' clients and contacts worldwide."

Professor (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer, Founding and Managing Trustee, IDIA also commented:

"It is a matter of great honour for us that Herbert Smith Freehills, one of the leading law firms in the world, has chosen to partner with us on this important mission to make the planet a more inclusive one. What better way to do this than through the medium of legal education and the consequent creation of leaders from within underprivileged communities.

Herbert Smith Freehills was one of our earliest institutional supporters and had in the past permitted our scholars to partake in their excellent legal training programmes in India. We are truly grateful that they have now proposed to ramp up this support. We are certain that the several IDIA scholars that benefit from this support will make us all proud and help create an ecosystem that is worthy of the best ideals of law and justice."

As part of Herbert Smith Freehills' wider commitment to India the firm continues to support various other initiatives with Indian law schools including: the HSF-NLU Delhi International Negotiation Competition (INC), the International Lecture Programme jointly organised in India by HSF and Oxford University (ILP), the annual NUJS-HSF National Moot Court Competition, and the HSF Community Engagement Awards (designed to recognise and champion meaningful and high impact community engagement activity among law students in India).  For more details about our India Practice, please see here

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from 27 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. The firm provides many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including Banks, Consumer products, Energy, Financial buyers, Infrastructure & Transport, Mining, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Real estate, TMT and Manufacturing & Industrials.

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Claire Watts

Claire Watts, Communications Manager