Demi Joannides

“As a first-generation university student with a state school background, I wanted to join a firm which is genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion. To me, diversity means encouraging, supporting and inspiring the best and brightest people, irrespective of their background.

With the help of Aspiring Solicitors’ HeadStart and Springboard programmes I received tailored feedback and advice, both of which were instrumental to my success. I found the mock interview sessions particularly helpful in building my confidence in preparation for rigorous assessment centres.

Since starting my training contract at HSF in March 2019 I have joined AS Alumni, through which I have received continued career support from Chris and the AS team.”

Demi Joannides, Trainee Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills


“At Herbert Smith Freehills we celebrate the differences that make us unique. We understand the importance of building a culture that reflects and embraces the diversity of our people, our clients and the communities in which we do business.

Embracing a diversity of backgrounds allows us to attract and retain the best talent. When our people bring their authentic selves to work and our teams harness diverse perspectives, we can provide the most considered and innovative advice to clients.

We want our people to be proud of their background. We have a dedicated Social Mobility Partner panel and committee, responsible for driving our social mobility strategy.  Our Social Mobility network is focused on supporting individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds to progress through the firm and to share stories about their own backgrounds.

We’re committed to improving access to the legal profession for all and we aim to increase access to the sector for those from under-represented groups. We’re proud to be ranked 15 in the Top 50 UK employers by the Social Mobility Employer Index. We sponsor the Rare Discuss programme for talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in commercial law. We use a contextual data system to allow us to understand the context in which a candidate has gained experience, so we don’t miss out on recruiting talented individuals. We collaborate with Aspiring Solicitors to increase diversity throughout the legal profession through mentoring, coaching, workshops and application advice for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.”

Olivia Ponton, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Herbert Smith Freehills