Delhi: To commemorate 40 years in legal practice of India’s leading corporate lawyer, Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, and the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development based at Somerville College, University of Oxford, will be instituting the “Cyril Shroff Scholarships”. The fully funded scholarships seek to encourage research in pressing global issues involving law and policy, with a special emphasis on climate change and sustainability and seek to support “brain gain” in India by developing a pipeline of highly skilled talent and their research. This initiative is the first in plans for wider engagement over time.
From 2023, the new Cyril Shroff Scholars at Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD), University of Oxford will spearhead the shared values of the [Shroff Family] and Somerville College. The scholarship – three in the first instance, with ongoing discussions for the future – will be selected for their clear-sighted ambition to create change in India through law and public policy, with a lens on tackling the climate crisis.
Outlining the vision behind Cyril Shroff Scholarship, Mr. Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, said, “On my 40th professional anniversary – I have commenced my “giving journey.” I believe that life is divided into 3 parts – learning, earning and giving. Learning is lifelong, and in recognition of this, my giving journey commences with the scholarship instituted at Somerville College, University of Oxford. It is my ardent belief that law and public policy scholars at Oxford will be instrumental tacking the intractable challenges facing India, particularly the existential challenges of climate change. I also hope that that this will be “brain gain” for India. Somerville College at the University of Oxford is a perfect partner for our giving journey – given their storied history of inclusion, their India connection and empowering Indian scholarship since the very first Indian woman to study and practice law. This blends perfectly with our own ethos of creating the finest lawyers for a just world”
Cyril Shroff recently completed 40 years in the profession, in a career that has spanned among the most distinguished corporate, financial, and commercial matters in the country in this period, that have been pivotal in building strong global reputation for himself and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, India’s largest law firm that he leads as its Managing Partner. He was also an important force in reshaping and professionalising the legal profession and law firms in India and the adoption of legal tech. At CAM, Mr. Shroff pioneered and incubated several industry leading practices, most recently, ESG, in recognition of the climate crisis and its intersection with economic development and business. Over the years, his passion for a just world, blended with a keen sense of fairness and empathy has helped CAM firmly establish itself as a trusted advisor to its clients.
“I’m proud to see these scholarships become a reality. They will not only change the lives of the students who receive them, but go some way towards honouring and repaying the historic contribution made by Indian scholarship to our foremost universities and businesses, creating a brain gain for India, rather than a brain drain. Having spent time with Cyril Shroff in Mumbai, I can see his strong commitment towards a more sustainable world and deep intellectual curiosity on these critical issues. We are grateful for his philanthropic pledge to this endeavour.”
Jan Royall, Principal, Somerville College
Jan Royall is the Principal of Somerville College, University of Oxford. She has had a distinguished career in politics, notably serving as Chief Whip in the House of Lords and then as Leader of the House from 2008-2010. She also served as Shadow Leader of the House of Lords from 2010-2015.
Prior to her parliamentary career, she was a senior adviser in the European Commission before heading its office in Wales. In 2004 she was appointed to the Lords as Baroness Royall of Blaisdon and in 2005 became a Government Spokesperson for Health, International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Jan works with governments, political parties and NGOs in many countries on democracy building, leadership, nurturing civil society and women’s empowerment.
Somerville College at the University of Oxford is among the first few colleges to admit women and includes among its alumni, the first woman to practice law in India, 2 Prime Ministers and Nobel laureates. The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development at Somerville College, combines research, scholarships and engagement to study the complex challenges and opportunities posed by sustainable development in India. About 50 students have already been supported by the programme and are now contributing to India’s sustainable development.
About Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (cam) is India’s leading law firm with a global reputation of being trusted advisers to its clients. The Firm advises a large and diverse set of clients, including domestic and foreign commercial enterprises, financial institutions, private equity and venture capital funds, start-ups, government and regulatory bodies. The Firm generalists, specialists and senior ex-regulators expertly guide clients across a spectrum of transactions, sectors and regulations. With 1000 lawyers and 160 Partners, the Firm is the largest full-service law firm in India and offices in key business centres at Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, GIFT City and also in Singapore.
The Firm recently received “Innovation in Advancing Markets” award at the FT Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2022 Awards and the “National Law Firm of the Year: India” award at the IFLR Asia Pacific 2022 awards ceremony. The Firm had won “India Deal Firm of the Year” at the ALB India Awards and “Firm of the Year” at the IFLR1000 India Awards in 2021.
About Cyril Shroff
Cyril Shroff has over 40 years of experience in a wide range of practices areas, including corporate and securities law, disputes, banking, bankruptcy, and infrastructure. A thought leader and a visionary, Mr. Shroff has consistently been ranked as “Star Practitioner” in India by Chambers Global. Widely regarded as the “M&A King of India”, he has advised many first of the kind transactions in India. He has also been very active on the public policy front, and has helped craft fundamental reform, draft critical legislations, and regulations. He serves as the Chair of the SES ESG Advisory Board, FICCI Corporate Law Committee, the CII National Committee on Regulatory Issues for the Financial Sector and has severed on multiple committees of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, including Uday Kotak Committee on Corporate Governance and SEBI Committee on Insider Trading. Mr. Shroff is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Study of the Legal Profession established by the Harvard Law School. He also serves on the Board of Krea University.
About Somerville College
Somerville College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England, was founded in 1879 as Somerville Hall, one of its first two women’s colleges. Among its alumnae have been Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Nobel Laureate Dorothy Hodgkin. Its library is one of Oxford’s largest college libraries. Somerville College plays a major role in relations between Oxford and India. Cornelia Sorabji, born in the Bombay Presidency of British India, became the first Indian woman to study at any British university, when she came to Somerville in 1889 to read law, while Indira Gandhi, India’s first female prime minister, read Modern History at the college in 1937. In 2012, the college and Oxford University announced the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD). The OICSD carries out research on sustainable development challenges facing India and provides scholarships for outstanding Indian students.