Sid S.
Senior Associate
Job category Law

About Sid

Key Experiences

From a small town in India to being an international M&A lawyer
The first job that I was offered as an 18 year old was with the Indian Air Force, as a Flying Officer, which would have been exciting but I decided not to accept it. I was always more interested in debates and public speaking and I thought that law would suit me better.

I ended up joining a young law school in India, with little or no infrastructure back in the day, which was a life changing event for me. And when I say young — you literally have to compare it to old universities in the UK which have been here for over 100 years, I was the fourth batch of my law school. So although we did not have the infrastructure, I think somewhere I did have the resolve to do well — and that got me to where I am today.

When I started at the firm, I had a few challenging months, but then I eased into the firm and started enjoying what I liked the most: high profile Corporate M&A transactions. These give me a great opportunity to work with some of the smartest lawyers in the world and sophisticated clients from varied cultures and regions.

Current Position

Corporate senior associate with expertise in cross-border M&A.
I am an international corporate senior associate with particular expertise in cross-border M&A.

I help clients on a wide range of corporate transactions, including public and private mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures and other aspects of corporate law, across the UK, Europe, India, Africa and the US.

As an integral member of the firm's India practice, I advise clients on outbound, as well as inbound, India related transactions, and also head various initiatives in India as part of the firm's wider commitment to the country. I am also a member of the firm's Africa practice and have experience of assisting on inbound transactions into a number of African jurisdictions.

In addition to my day-to-day work, I lecture at various renowned universities in the UK and India (including Oxford and NLUs), and I am also the Co-Chair of NOTICED (UK's first inter-law firm diversity network focussing on multiculturalism, which comprises 12 top London city based law firms).

Main Motivations

Working with some of the smartest people in the world
Working with, and for, some of the smartest people in the world is a real privilege; be it at HSF or at clients. It is very rewarding to see that your advice and input are being valued by top quality individuals and organisations, and it gives you a real sense of satisfaction to be part of some of the best success stories of our generation.

Top Advice

There is no substitute for hard work
There are various reasons for working hard, I will try and highlight one here by way of example:

I have always been a big fan of mentoring. One thing that kept me going in my initial challenging phase was the people in the firm! I was very lucky to find some great mentors in the firm in that period — and this was extremely crucial.

Mentoring does not mean being assigned a mentoring partner by the HR team, as it happens most of the time making the mentoring programme meaningless more often than not. It is more about trying to find and establish relationships with people around you, not just with partners or associates but also with more experienced trainees, who might be interested in you or your work.

One might ask, why would anyone be interested in one? The answer is simple, it is always a two-way stream, you offer your help and assistance and be ready to take on more work and share someone’s workload and in return you get their experience and guidance.

Greatest Achievement

Virgin Group's sale of its stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France KLM
I have been lucky to have worked on the proposed sale of Richard Branson's (Virgin Group) 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways to Air France KLM, which was signed in May 2018. This is a unique transaction: intellectually invigorating and involved intense negotiations (it was a three-way negotiation, as Virgin Atlantic Airways was held in a joint venture between Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines). It took many months and was very challenging, making it all the more pleasing when we did sign it.

Herbert Smith Freehills

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