The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
City law 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 part of Travers Smith’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
Advised Micro Focus International on its proposed $8.8bn merger with HP Enterprise’s software business segment; acted for Carpetright plc on its recent financial and operational restructuring by way of inter-linked CVA and £60m equity fundraising; provided regulatory input for TA Associates on its acquisition of a £26bn global fund management business from Old Mutual Wealth; represented various Hewlett-Packard group companies (HP) in $5bn fraud proceedings in the Chancery Division, which arose out of the $11bn acquisition of Autonomy Corporation by HP in 2011; acted for finnCap (as NOMAD and sole bookrunner) in PROACTIS’ $132.5m acquisition of Perfect Commerce by way of a reverse takeover
Burger King; Caffe Nero; Cath Kidston; Jack Wills; Pret A Manger; Pure Gym; Racing Post; Shazam; Sky plc.; Zoopla
At Travers Smith, trainees get their teeth stuck into ‘challenging and complex work for blue-chip clients and market-leading individuals’. Many respondents had been won over by the ‘welcoming vacation scheme’ which showcased both the firm’s ‘collaborative atmosphere where everyone is willing to help each other’ and the ‘considerate people who generally have a great sense of humour’. A unique room-sharing arrangement whereby partners share offices with other fee-earners ‘allows lawyers at every level to give you work and see what you’re capable of’. It follows that ‘partners really care about our professional development rather than treat us as replaceable minions’! As an added bonus, an impressive salary is on offer, which has earned Travers Smith a Lex 100 Winner medal. That said ‘the hours can be long and unpredictable’ which results in a ‘lack of work/life balance at times’. But the firm is ‘good at noticing if you are busy and accommodating you’, and ‘everyone is extremely grateful’ for hard work so that ‘long hours do not go unnoticed’. Although there were complaints about ‘the loos in certain departments’, trainees appreciate getting ‘greater exposure to more demanding and intellectually challenging work’ and learning through ‘formal training sessions as well as informal discussions with supervisors’. ‘Successfully negotiating an investment management agreement with the head of legal at an international investment bank largely on my own’ was a best moment, whilst ‘missing out on evening plans and having to work late’ was a low point. To work at a firm which ‘combines friendliness and a pleasant working environment with high-quality work’ yet ‘lacks the arrogance of some of its competitors’, apply to Travers Smith.
A day in the life of...
Priya Bansal trainee solicitor, Travers Smith LLP
Departments to date: Finance and tax
University:King’s College London
Degree:French and Spanish
9.00am: I arrive at work and head straight down to our subsidised canteen to grab a coffee and some breakfast. The canteen is a hub of activity at this time in the morning and I catch up with various colleagues from different departments across firm before heading up to my desk. At my desk, I chat to the senior counsel and associate with whom I share a room about what we got up to over the weekend before checking my emails, and planning my day ahead.
9.30am: We have been drafting documents for a share offer for one of our clients. This morning, the Partner and associate working on the matter and I have a call with the CEO and CFO of the client in order to finalise the documentation. During the call, I take notes and I help to answer any questions that come up in relation to the documents that I have been helping to draft.
10.30am: After the phone call, we decide what each of us needs to do next. We are working towards a tight deadline as we are looking to take the finalised documents to the client this afternoon. I get to work making the amendments we discussed on the call to our documents, before sending the finalised documents to our print room to produce.
1.00pm: As it’s such a sunny day, a few other trainees and I choose to get food from the canteen to take away so that we can eat out on the grass by Smithfield Market. This is a good opportunity to get some fresh air after a busy morning.
1.40pm: When I get back to my desk, I respond to any emails which have come in while I was at lunch. Our finalised documents are back from print room, and the associate and I hop in a taxi to deliver them to the client.
2.15pm: We arrive at our client’s offices and have a quick tour of the office before talking the client through the documents we have brought over. I am able to talk to the client about the documents I helped prepare and give my input along with the associate. The client was impressed with the documents we produced, which made our hard work worthwhile.
3.00pm: An email has come in from our corporate team asking that we arrange for some stock transfer forms to be stamped. An associate has asked me if I have capacity to draft a letter to the Stamp Office. I draft the letter and, once the associate has checked it over, I arrange for the letter and the stock transfer forms to be sent for stamping.
4.30pm: I have been asked to help out with the dragons den workshop that we run as part of our vacation scheme. I head to a meeting room with a team of 4 vacation scheme students where I help them prepare their business plan ahead of presenting their ideas to some of the graduate recruitment partners. We have a lot of fun coming up with a business name and logo before getting into the detail of the plan. After 45 minutes of preparation time my group, along with the other groups of students, present their plans to the partners. I really enjoyed taking part in this activity and getting to know the vac scheme students better.
6.30pm: I return to my desk, and respond to a few emails from overseas counsel who helped us with international advice for the share offer documentation.
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 head over to Battersea where I play hockey with the Travers Smith team. It’s a great way to get to know people across the firm, and to unwind at the end of the day.
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, dispute resolution, employment, finance, financial services & markets, incentives and remuneration, operational risk & environment, pensions, real estate, restructuring & 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 trainees 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: Benefits include private medical and permanent health insurance, life assurance, health screening programme, on-site physiotherapy, dental insurance, pension scheme, cycle to work scheme, subsidised café/restaurant, gym membership and season ticket loan.
Sponsorship:GDL and LPC fees, plus maintenance grant of £8,500 in London.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 83
Other fee-earners :205
Total trainees: 48
Trainee places available for 2020: 25
First year: £45,000
Second year: £50,500
Newly qualified: £78,500
Apply to:Germaine VanGeyzel, Graduate Recruitment Manager.
When to apply:By 31 July 2019 for training contracts commencing in September 2021 and March 2022.
What's involved:Two interviews for training contracts. One interview for a vacation scheme place.
Summer:17 – 28 June 2019; 1 – 12 July 2019; 14 – 26 July 2019 Application deadlines is 31 January 2019.
Winter: 10 – 21 December 2018. Rolling application from 1 October 2018.