Sixteen students scoop CC prize for environmental pitch

Students from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester and the College of Law are the winners of Intelligent Aid, Clifford Chance’s vacation scheme competition.

Intelligent Aid, which has run since 2010, asked students to write an essay on the ways in which governments might meet emissions reduction targets. The best 40 essayists were invited to Clifford Chance to work in teams on building business pitches based on a renewable energy case study. Each team then presented its business case to a panel from the firm.

The members of the best team were Samuel Harwin from Oxford, Laveen Ladharam from the College of Law, Robert Shorrock from Cambridge and Nikhita Suria from Manchester.

Sixteen students received a vacation scheme place. The firm originally offered 15 places but increased its offering to 16 places due to the quality of entries.

Robert Natzler from the University of Oxford was the overall winner. He received a vacation scheme place, a trip to Rio de Janeiro, an iPad and nominated charity Trees for Cities to receive £1,000.

Graduate recruitment partner Emma Matebalavu said: “The competition really threw students in at the deep end, requiring them to prepare a pitch for a complex renewable financing transaction.”

Tony King, director of the Clifford Chance Academy, added: “The breadth of the winners’ knowledge of the renewables market, and their understanding of the role lawyers play in complex transactions, was really impressive.”

Last autumn, Clifford Chance announced a retention rate of 77 per cent (24 July).