Herbert Smith India Essay Competition


Herbert Smith Freehills engages with various Indian law schools, across several fronts. As a firm, we are also keen on contributing to the social space in India. We believe that volunteering helps to develop well-rounded individuals and helps law students develop the ability to communicate and work with a diverse range of people. This benefits the students' communities and also helps us identify the types of high calibre candidates we aim to recruit.

The Herbert Smith Freehills' Community Engagement Awards Programme invites entries from individuals or teams of students across all law schools to showcase outstanding contributions they are making in their communities. There will be two main categories:

  1. Community investment through legal work and
  2. Community contribution through volunteering (i.e. non legal activity)

Herbert Smith Freehills' Community Engagement Awards - India video

Chris Parsons, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and chairman of the firm's India practice and Dheer Bhatnagar, lawyer and NLSIU alumnus, introduce the Herbert Smith Freehills' Community Engagement Awards in the above video.



Entries openMonday 8 May 2017
Entry deadlineFriday 21 July 2017
Shortlist announcedJuly 2017
Awards ceremony

September 2017



Entries may be submitted in the form of a short film (2-5 minutes in length), supported by additional information via the entry form. The focus is on key achievements and impact, and therefore, we are not looking to focus on other aspects such as the quality or presentation of the film. We would also like to hear your views on how the prize money would make a difference to your chosen non-profit partner.

If you have any queries, please email [email protected]

Your entries will be assessed by the Herbert Smith Freehills' Community Engagement Awards committee, and winners will be selected by a panel made up of members of our India practice.



Your entries will be judged on the basis of:

  • social impact
  • sustainability of the impact of your project
  • innovation
  • presentation of the entry

We encourage you to focus on one particular project which you/your team have developed over the previous twelve months – a project which demonstrates excellence in legal or non-legal work. The judges will give particular credit to work which creates strategic and sustainable impact.

The judges will also be looking for individuals or teams with  projects that have effectively achieved its key objectives. The scale of the projects may vary, but we are looking for entries which are able to demonstrate a coherent approach to meeting the needs of the community.

Please see below specific criteria for each category:

Community investment through legal work

The project/initiative should be one or more of the following types of legal work:

  • NGO internships
  • advisory work
  • case work
  • legal research
  • policy development
  • training/capacity building
  • legal drafting
  • contract review and/or
  • pro-bono partnerships

We are looking for examples of innovation and best practice by law students providing pro bono legal work

Community contribution through volunteering (i.e. non legal activity)

The project/initiative can:

  • be an NGO internship
  • tackle issues affecting any community (at the local or national level)
  • deliver social value - social, environmental or economic benefits to the community
  • involve a working partnership with the community, charity or NGO
  • demonstrate potential for wide impact

If you are unsure whether your project/initiative fits the criteria, please email [email protected].



We plan to present the Awards to the winners at a formal event in India. The event will be attended by the winners along with invited Herbert Smith Freehills' partners, employees and guests. This event will present the opportunity for Herbert Smith Freehills to draw the programme to a close for the year, reflect on its goals and achievements, and present other opportunities for students to engage with the firm.

Non-profit partners of the winners will be awarded a donation of £2,000.



As part of our commitment to India, we continue our support for various law schools.

We organise a number of international training programmes and educational events in association with leading law schools in India.

Each event provides an opportunity for Indian law students to interact with, and learn from, some of the world's leading lawyers and academics - such as Edward Walker-Arnott, Chris Parsons, Justin D'Agostino, other partners at Herbert Smith Freehills, Professor Timothy Endicott (Dean - Oxford Law) and Professor James Edelman (Barrister, Fellow at Keble College, and lecturer and Professor of the Law of Obligations in the Faculty of Law).

We hold a national moot competition in Kolkata each year, have run national essay competitions in Bangalore and have organised international lecture programmes in Jodhpur, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad - often in conjunction with Oxford University.


Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) are pleased to invite you to the fourth edition of the HSF-NLU Delhi International Negotiation Competition (INC) to be held on 8-10 September 2017 in Delhi. The competition aims at providing an opportunity to law students of top universities across the globe to practice and improve their negotiation skills. It provides a platform for students to compete in a truly diverse and an international environment. The competition is carefully structured to simulate legal negotiations particularly for those students who aspire to be international lawyers.
Students participating in the competition will assume the roles of International lawyers in negotiating a series of legal problems. The problems will be based on real life examples and will comprise a common set of facts known to all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side.INC is an invitation only competition.

Structure of the competition: Over 30 teams are expected to participate in the competition. There will be two preliminary rounds. Qualifying teams will then proceed to the advanced rounds, which will be knock-out rounds. The final round will take place between the winners of the advanced rounds. Each round will consist of a 60 or 90 minute negotiation session, which may be extended at the discretion of the judges, to make it akin to a real life experience.

Team composition: Each team will consist of two students.

Eligible students: All students who are enrolled in a full-time law degree (undergraduate or post-graduate) as on 1 September 2017 will be eligible to participate.

University representation: Only one team per University will be allowed to participate in the competition.

15 June 2017 Release of the problems/negotiation simulations
15 July 2017 Deadline for seeking clarifications
1 August 2017 Submission of the negotiation plan
8 September 2017 Registration and welcome address
9-10 September 2017 Preliminary and advanced rounds
10 September 2017 Finals and awards ceremony

The participants will be informed sufficiently in advance if there is any change in the schedule.

Judging: Each round is judged by a panel of one to three judges. Judges will include renowned lawyers and academicians.

Prizes: All participants will receive certificates of participation. The winners will receive a trophy to be held in their university and each member of the winning team will receive a cash prize. The runners-up will also receive a trophy and cash prize. There will be an award for the best negotiator and the best negotiation plan. A spirit of the competition award will also be given to the team that best displays the qualities of good negotiation.


Registration fees: A registration fee of INR 3,000 per team will be charged, to be paid upon arrival at NLU Delhi.

Travel expenses and accommodation: Each participant will be responsible for his or her own travel expenses. NLU Delhi will provide accommodation to the participants on the days of the competition for no costs.

Registration: Once you have confirmed participation, you will be requested to provide the team details. Indian visa: International teams are recommended to apply for the Indian visa at least 4-6 weeks before the competition dates. The Indian visa requirements will vary from country-to-country, thus it is advisable to visit the Indian embassy’s/consulate’s website in your country for further details. India has recently started the TVOA facility (Tourist visa on arrival) for select countries.

For further information about the competition,
please contact Daniel Mathew ([email protected]).

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