Somerville College and the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD) is delighted to announce a new funding opportunity for outstanding post-graduate law students ordinarily resident in India taking the Oxford BCL course: the HSA Advocates Career Development Award. This has been made possible through the generosity of Mr Hemant Sahai, Founding Partner of HSA Advocates, New Delhi. The HSA award will sit within the Cornelia Sorabji Law programme at Somerville which commemorates Cornelia Sorabji, India’s first woman lawyer and alumna of the College.

Hemant Sahai says: 'Having built a formidable law firm as a first generation lawyer, I recognise that a firm grounding in values, ethics, and strong education is perhaps more important than strong legal skills alone. Somerville and Oxford will provide this foundation. I hope this small gesture on my part to give back to society, will be able to touch someone's life and make a difference for her.'  

Hemant is acknowledged as one of the leading commercial and projects and energy lawyers in India and the Asian region. Hemant was recently recognised as and awarded the Infrastructure Lawyer of the Year by a reputed international legal publication – American Lawyer’s emerging Markets Awards, in Singapore. Hemant has also been highly recommended as a leading lawyer by Asia Pacific Legal 500, Chambers Asia Pacific as well as Chambers Global, among many others.

In addition to the traditional legal transactional and advisory assignments, Hemant has also been involved in crafting and advising on significant policy and regulatory frameworks across diverse infrastructure sectors in India and few other countries, working together with organisations like the World Bank, IFC, ADB and Planning Commission of India.

With over two decades in the legal profession, Hemant is a leading commercial lawyer and is currently advising on some of the world’s largest infrastructure and project finance projects.

He has been the Strategic Adviser to the Japanese government in respect of the Infrastructure sector in India for the last several years. He is regularly called upon to speak at diverse Indian and International forums, seminars and workshops.

About the firm

Since the firm’s inception in 2003, HSA Advocates (HSA) is today recognised amongst one of India’s foremost and trusted legal advisors to corporates, financial institutions, governments and public sector enterprises. HSA draws strength from the collective experience of its people, the exceptional diversity of its partners and lawyers, and deep sectoral understanding. Clients acknowledge and recognize HSA for the professionalism and commercial perspective brought to assignments; strong commercial acumen, ability to manage transactions in an efficient and cost effective manner and to address and resolve demanding commercial and legal issues.

Led by a growing collegium of partners who are legal experts of great repute, the firm has a well-established practice to serve clients across multiple industries and sectors including Aviation, Banks and Financial Institutions, Education, Energy including Renewable Energy, Hospitality and Healthcare, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment, Mining and Exploration, Oil and Gas, PPP Projects, Real Estate, Retail and FMCG, Services Sector, Smart Cities, Transport, Telecommunication, IT and software.

With offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, HSA Advocates’ credentials are a testimony to its ability to attract the best and brightest talent and the firm’s belief in nurturing teams with the requisite skills, in particular cultivating sector-specific experience.

Dr Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, Research Director of the OICSD, adds,

We are deeply indebted to HSA Advocates for creating this award which will strengthen the Indian cohort at the  OICSD in Somerville College. Law underpins regulation in all areas of sustainable development from workers’ rights to environmental protection. This award will provide a legal perspective to the existing cohort of scholars and the award-winner will return with a broader understanding of the complexity of India’s sustainable development.  This award will do much to enhance our drive to build a talent pipeline of students from India who will return to lead positive change.