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 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.”
Ms. Jan Royall, Principal of Somerville College, University of Oxford, visited India and shared her views on the occasion, “ 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."
Ms. Royall 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. Ms. Royall 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.
Mr. 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.