Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP

Address: 10 Snow Hill, London, EC1A 2AL




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Great interview process' 'the culture of inclusiveness' 'great vacation scheme' 'seating structure' 'application process' 'first-class clients' 'quality of training' 'the collegiate working environment' 'recommended by other lawyers' 'high levels of early responsibility' 'business direction' 'small trainee intake' 'no sprawling international network dragging it down'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''The sense of humour of the partners' 'wide range of opportunities' 'Travers makes a real effort to ensure you have a good work/life balance' 'quality of work' 'room-sharing system' 'the biscuits in the meeting rooms' 'the atmosphere is excellent'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''Changing facilities' 'diversity at higher levels' 'lack of transparency over seat moves and qualification' 'slightly old school' 'needs more client contact' 'lack of international secondments' 'expectation of perfection' 'the soup in the canteen'
Best moment? 
 ''Being trusted to run with a project while the associate I was working with went on holiday' 'signing a deal at 2.30am' 'finishing a deal I'd worked hard on for weeks' 'attending an employment tribunal' 'taking part in a mediation in our offices'
Worst moment?
 ''Having to get documents re-signed' 'making errors' 'billing' 'moving seats is always pretty traumatic' 'managing sluggish IT software' 'redacting documents at 3am' 'making an embarrassing conflicts search error' 'taking part in a fund closing to very tight deadlines''

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Father Christmas - takes its work seriously (when it matters) but is light-hearted and has a sense of humour

The Verdict

The firm

City firm Travers Smith advises on a broad range of corporate matters and is widely respected for its finance expertise. The firm counts publicly listed and private companies, financial institutions, private equity firms and other businesses among its clients. A second office in Paris practising exclusively English law is also a part of the firm's network. 

The star performers

Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate tax; Employee share schemes; Employment: employers; Environment; Equity capital markets; EU and competition; Financial services; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Franchising; Fraud: civil; Investment funds; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Pensions; Private equity: transactions; Property finance.

The deals

Advised Shepherd Neame on the brewing, marketing and European distribution of Sam Adams, Asahi Beers and Angry Orchard Cider; advising Gist on a £3.5bn 12-year warehousing and logistics agreement with Marks & Spencer; advised Investec Bank as sole broker and NOMAD on easyHotel's £38m placing; acted for Bridgepoint and management in the £835m sale of Oasis Dental Care to BUPA; acted for LBIE in a headline dispute with ExxonMobil, which arose from LBIE's entry into administration.

The clients

Breedon Group; Exclusive Hotels and Venues; Greenacre Capital; Liberum Capital; Livingbridge; McColls Retail Group; Oikos Storage; Peel Holdings; Phoenix Equity Partners; Pinewood Shepperton.

The Verdict

Travers Smith's reputation for carrying out 'top-quality work' on behalf of 'first-class clients' certainly caught the attention of its current trainee cohort. The firm made a good first impression during the recruitment process, where the employees 'demonstrated a down-to-earth and inclusive attitude' and the interviewers asked 'interesting and thought-provoking questions'. Meanwhile, the 'great vacation scheme was the deciding factor' for one trainee, with a separate respondent adding 'the time and effort invested in the vacation scheme students assured me that the training would be equally as good'. Training contract highlights have included 'working as part of a very small team on a front-page merger' and 'attending a client signing in the Walkie Talkie building'. The 'international focus' is praised: the Paris office is 'a little gem' and a potential secondment destination, but beyond this the firm doesn't have a 'sprawling international network dragging it down'. Back in London, there are complaints about the 'the lack of a proper gym' as the current one is 'very small'. There is a 'collegiate working environment' at Travers Smith, and colleagues are 'very friendly, clever and welcoming people'. This year, the firm is a triple Lex 100 Winner, in the salary, social life and friendliness sections. We hear that 'certain parts of the firm can come across as old-fashioned', and 'decisions that affect trainees are sometimes made by senior members of the firm without consultation'. Yet the 'room-sharing system' demonstrates the 'approachability of partners', who 'go out of their way to make sure you know the context of the work you are doing'. For a 'wide range of opportunities' at a 'fiercely independent firm' renowned for 'excellent training', apply to Travers Smith.

 A day in the life of...

Luke Scott trainee solicitor, Travers Smith LLP 

Departments to date:  Corporate (private equity group), commercial, IP and technology

University:Newcastle University 

7.30am:  I get up and check the weather before deciding whether or not to brave the eight-mile cycle to the office. Fortunately, it's a warm and sunny morning so I make my way into the office by bike and take in the views of the City. When arriving at the office I put my bike in the designated bike store and head to the new shower and changing room facilities and place my cycle kit in the drying room for the journey home.

9.00am:  With the new subsidised café up and running and the go-to place for breakfast, I grab a cooked breakfast and a coffee while catching up with various colleagues across the firm then when I arrive at my desk I catch up with my supervising partner and associates. The IP & technology partners have recently returned from a business trip to Boston and New York where they were visiting clients and fellow law firms, so my room is inevitably keen to hear how this went. I then read through my emails, replying to any which can be dealt with quickly.

9.30am:  Having recently drafted a comprehensive privacy policy for a client, we have received a number of follow-up questions concerning the existing and forthcoming requirements relating to its direct marketing practices. I am asked by the supervising associate to prepare a draft response to the questions for us to discuss. Responding to the questions requires a technical analysis of current and future data protection and e-privacy law so I research the relevant law and regulatory guidance and prepare a draft response to the client which we then discuss.

11.30am:  We have been carrying out a complicated intellectual property reorganisation for a client involving a large number of commercial agreements involving eight different jurisdictions. A number of comments have come in from the client and their tax advisors on our drafts of the agreements. After discussing the comments with the supervising associate, I am responsible for making the consequential drafting amendments to the agreements and, where further information is required, preparing questions in advance of an all-parties call this afternoon.

1.00pm:  After a busy morning, a few other trainees and I choose to go out for lunch rather than going to the café. With the office being located just a few minutes' walk from Farringdon, St Paul's and Chancery Lane, there is never a shortage of options.

1.45pm:  When I get back to my desk, I respond to any emails which have come in while I was at lunch. Just before the all-parties call, the partner, three associates and I sit down to decide who will need to address each question from the morning's work and the order in which this will occur.

2.00pm:  We then send out the processed agreements to the client and their tax advisor for further review of the documentation.

3.30pm:  My supervising partner approaches me with an urgent request for a private equity client who has requested a bespoke due diligence questionnaire for a potential acquisition and would like a draft for review tomorrow. I am sent the information memorandum and access to the data room in order to familiarise myself with the target business and our precedent due diligence questionnaire as a base for my amendments.

7.00pm:  After looking through my to-do list and checking that I have finished everything that I had planned to do today, it is time to attend the monthly drinks evening for my department. Because of the nice weather, we're heading to the client dining room terrace for us to enjoy our drinks in the sun.

About the firm

Address:10 Snow Hill, London, EC1A 2AL

Telephone: 020 7295 3000

Fax:020 7295 3500



Senior partner : Chris Hale

Managing partner : David Patient

Other offices: Paris. Our international strategy has resulted in over 50% of our work now having a multi-jurisdictional aspect and in any year we will typically work with over 100 foreign law firms from around the world.  

Who we are: Travers Smith is an award-winning independent City law firm with a reputation for enterprising thinking and uncompromising quality in all of its chosen fields, and a focus on advising clients on international matters.

What we do: The main areas of our practice are commercial (including IP and IT), competition, corporate, employment, employee incentives, dispute resolution, finance, financial services and markets, operational risk and enviroment, pensions, real estate, restructuring and insolvency and tax .

What we are looking for: We'll give you responsibility from day one - you will quickly find yourself on the phone to clients, in meetings and handling your own work with all the guidance you need. As such the firm looks for people who can combine academic excellence with plain common sense; who are determined, articulate and able to think on their feet, and who take their work but not themselves seriously.

What you'll do:The firm's comprehensive training programme ensures that trainees experience a broad range of work. All trainee solicitors sit with partners and associates, which ensures a refreshing lack of hierarchy. During the two-year training contract, trainees spend six months in our corporate department and another six months in either the dispute resolution or the employment departments. The firm offers you a choice for your other two seats in two of our other specialist departments. Trainees may also have the opportunity to spend six months in the firm's Paris office.

Perks: Private medical and permanent health insurance, health screening programme, virtual GP service, life assurance, pension scheme, cycle to work scheme (Cyclescheme), subsidied café/restaurant, childcare vouchers, gym membership, season ticket loan.

Sponsorship:Payment of GDL and LPC fees, plus maintenance grant.


Facts and figures

Training contracts available for 2020: 25

Applications received pa: 1,000 


First year: £43,500

Second year: £49,000

Newly qualified: £75,000

Turnover in 2015/16: £120.4m Profits per equity partner: £1,011,000

Total partners: 77

Other fee-earners:204

Total trainees:50

 Application process

Apply to:Germaine VanGeyzel, graduate recruitment manager.

How to apply: Apply online through cvMail via our website at for a training contract. Once you've applied for a training contract, if you are selected for interview, this will be held at our London office with a graduate recruitment partner who will be aiming to find out more about you. If you are asked to attend a second interview, this will be with two graduate recruitment partners. After your interview a trainee will show you around the office and give you the chance to meet more partners, associates and trainees in the firm.

What's involved:Two interviews for training contracts. One interview for a vacation scheme place.

When to apply:

Training Contract beginning in September 2020 or March 2021: Between 1 October 2017 and 31 July 2018.

Winter Vacation Scheme: Rolling application from 1 October 2017.

Summer Vacation Scheme: By 31 January 2018.