Freshfields, HSF underscore racial diversity commitments with latest sponsorship schemes

Freshfields’ scholarship programme for black males enters 10th year, while HSF sponsors racial justice art project

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills have both announced their latest programmes to support racial diversity and justice.

Freshfields has admitted 16 new scholars to its Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. The scheme is designed to address the under-representation of black men from less socially mobile backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other City institutions. 

Annette Byron, Freshfields’ partner for social mobility and a founder of the scheme, said: “I never fail to be inspired by the potential and commitment of candidates and our scholars. In this 10th year of the scheme, it still seems critical to ensure greater access to opportunity, for those without financial privilege to be known for their talents.”

Since the programme’s inception, 111 individuals have now been awarded scholarships at more than 70 participating universities across the UK. The majority of the scholars in the 2013 to 2020 cohorts have now accepted roles at large law firms, investment banks, barristers’ chambers or in government service. Freshfields has offered training contracts to 19 of the scholars.

Panashe Jinga, Freshfields associate and 2016 Stephen Lawrence scholar, said: “I am really encouraged to see the next generation of talented and motivated scholars coming through. It's an excellent opportunity to give back through a scheme that gave so much to me.”

HSF's chief executive, Justin D’Agostino, is a judge for the inaugural Women and Diversity in Law Awards, which is hosted by The Global Legal Post. Click here to for more details and to make a nomination

Meantime, Herbert Smith Freehills said it is co-sponsoring a UK-wide art education project – The World Reimagined – which is intended to transform people’s understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on humankind in order to make racial justice a reality.

The art project involves trails of globe structures that will be installed in seven cities around the country, with HSF sponsoring one of the globes which will be located on Leadenhall Street in the City of London. The City of London trail artists include Foluso Oguntoye, Glen Brooks, Kione Grandison, Phoebe Boswell, Yinka Shonibare, Curtis Holder, Winston Branch, Sarah Owusu, Gil Mualem-Doron and Natasha Muluswela.

Alison Brown, the firm’s executive partner for the UK, US and EMEA, said: “By supporting The World Reimagined, we hope to further our understanding of the past and play an active role in shaping our future – for the better.”

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