Rachel Lidgate

My journey In 1998, I went to Oxford University to study English. At that time, I hadn’t thought much about what I wanted to do beyond completing my studies. My parents suggested I consider law because I’m quite an argumentative person! I applied for a vacation scheme at Herbert Smith Freehills and had a fantastic time, so signed up for a training contract before completing a conversion course in Guildford and spending a year in Nottingham studying for the LPC. After completing four seats as a trainee, I decided to pursue a litigation career in disputes. Now, I’m a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills – it’s been an incredible experience

My future focus

Developing our digital law practice
My focus is on developing our digital law practice. We’re already developing smart legal contracts, which include code as well as natural language. We’ve started automating contractual processes and in the future we’ll be able to improve the performance of our clients’ contracts by making them dynamic. This is the future of commercial law and we’ll need dynamic lawyers to make it a reality.
My difference One area where I want to make a difference to the firm is in social mobility. The reason I have built my career at HSF is because I believe it to be a inclusive workplace, where I can be myself and put my personality into my work. It is important to me that the firm maintains this culture and becomes a more diverse place.

​​​​​​​There are several different aspects to this. One aspect is gender, where the firm continues to drive to meet targets and encourage mentoring and sponsorship to increase the number of women in the partnership at all levels. Another is social mobility. Both of these aspects matter to me personally because I was lucky enough to have some very good teachers at my state school who pushed me to be ambitious and achieve academically. Not everybody is so lucky but we want to attract the people with the most potential, from a range of different backgrounds, and to support their development within HSF. As one of the social mobility partners I am current involved in formulating the firm's strategy to ensure that our recruitment and management approaches identify and nurture talent wherever it may be found.

Other ambassadors

Whether they’re developing our digital law practice or championing greater inclusivity at the firm, our ambassadors exhibit our values in everything they do. Click the profiles below to find out more.