International legal practice Osborne Clarke has partnered with Paul Smith's Foundation, a charity established by the renowned fashion designer Paul Smith, to deliver mentoring services to up-and-coming designers at the Smithfield Market location.

The Fashion Residency at Studio Smithfield is a collaborative project between The Mayor of London, Projekt and Paul Smith's Foundation. It aims to provide London fashion designers with free workspace in the heart of the city, as well as access to mentoring from fashion and business experts to help grow their businesses.

Paul Smith’s Foundation has designed the mentoring programme, matching designers with industry leading professionals to help them create a sustainable footing for their businesses once they leave the project. Osborne Clarke is the only law firm to be appointed to the project, with a renowned retail sector team acting for household name retailers and brands as well as fast-growth start-ups and market challengers.

Ten of the firm's lawyers will be volunteering as part of the mentoring scheme, which will include workshops, group seminars and on-to-one tutoring on common legal issues faced by emerging designers. Advice will cover topics such as starting a business, protecting intellectual property right, commercial contracts and employment.

The Osborne Clarke team is led by Ben Parker, with Mary Hughes and Stefano Schahbasi from the Corporate team; Roshani MuniweeraEthan Plumb and Sian Edmonds from Intellectual Property; Julian Hemming from Employment; and Alex Aisthorpe, Josephine O'Dowd, and Bethany Filby from the Commercial team.

Ed Persse, Osborne Clarke's client partner for Paul Smith, said: 

"This partnership with Paul Smith's Foundation is another excellent example of how we strive to support our clients outside of our day-to-day work as legal advisors.

"Osborne Clarke's business strategy is centred on doing right by its people, clients, and communities, and a project like this absolutely speaks to those values. It's inspiring to see how committed the team is to helping deliver the project, which I'm confident will be the start of a long and successful partnership with the Foundation."


The collaboration with Paul Smith's Foundation is the latest charitable partnership to be announced by the firm. Over the past twelve months, Osborne Clarke has partnered with clients on mentoring and development programmes across a range of sectors, including Vodafone on outreach programmes; ITV on apprenticeship connections through client secondments; Microsoft's Law Firm Diversity Programme to launch Osborne Clarke Scholars, a multi-year scholarship, mentoring and personal development programme for university students from racial and ethnic minority communities interested in pursuing a career in private practice; and with client Revolut for a mentoring scheme matching partners and senior associates with a range of in-house counsel.

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