Neil Desai Foundation
Registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1127399)


Neil Desai died unexpectedly and suddenly on his birthday on the 5th September 2008 aged 22 years. His death caused immense shock and sadness for his family and friends.

Neil was an incredibly talented individual. He was a world ranked squash player, an outstanding cricketer who had appeared in the Wisden Almunac, a first class student of law at Nottingham University and had gained work experience at  a number of  'Magic Circle' law firms.

Despite his numerous achievements Neil possessed a genuine humility and kindness. He was an incredibly friendly and charming person, who would always find something to discuss with great enthusiasm with anyone and everyone! One could not help but be bowled over by his infectious personality, huge smile and love of life.

 A number of things were dear to Neil throughout his life.

Neil was a passionate sportsman, and in particular loved squash and cricket. He was sponsored by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) in squash, which focuses on maintaining a balance between academic life and training as a performance athlete. Neil ran summer camps to train young children in squash and cricket.

In 2006 before starting his studies Neil travelled the world. He played squash and cricket in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. On his travels he fell in love with the townships in South Africa and, in his own words, was "struck most was when we visited a centre set up by South Africans to teach youngsters skills, like blacksmithing, mechanics and pottery so that they could make their lives better with skills...I hope that I have created a strong link here and that the next Huduma Fest (a concert Neil ran) could go to this amazing cause."

Neil began studying law at Nottingham University in 2006. He achieved top grades, completed a number of mini-pupillages and did vacation placements at Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Allen and Overy - he really was passionate about law! Neil was particularly taken by the organisation Liberty in the UK, which aims to protect civil liberties and promote human rights, and had written to them offering to complete volunteer work.

The Neil Desai Foundation was set up by his family and friends to support these and other causes.

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