Employer profile

Travers Smith LLP

Updated: August, 2017

About Travers Smith LLP

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.

Competing directly with the largest City firms, we attract top-quality work but still offer a professional yet relaxed working environment providing the best of both worlds. It is this environment that has led to one of the highest staff retention rates in the City.

A very high proportion of our work has an international dimension and we accompany our clients to every corner of the globe. To do that, we have developed close ties with carefully chosen quality overseas independent law firms who share our specialist strengths and very demanding standards.

Travers Smith is defined by its independence, unique culture, deep commercial insight, progressive thinking and incomparable client experience.

What we do

The main areas of our practice are commercial (including IP and IT), corporate, employment, employee incentives, environment & operational regulatory, competition, dispute resolution, finance, financial services and markets, pensions, real estate, restructuring & insolvency and tax.

Who should apply

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.

A law degree is not a necessity – around half the trainees who joined last year came from a non-law background.

Training Programme

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. It also means that trainees receive individual and extensive training from experienced lawyers, and can look forward to client contact, and the responsibility that goes with it, from day one.

During the two-year training contract, trainees spend six months in corporate and another six months in a contentious seat. 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.

Travers Smith is a collegiate firm – we treat people with respect, allowing them to conduct business in the most effective way for our clients. This has led to a climate of shared goals, supported by a friendly and engaging team spirit.

Work Placements

Students spend two weeks with the firm; each week they are able to experience a different department, sharing an office with partners, associates and trainee solicitors.

The workload includes attending meetings, drafting documents and letters and carrying out research. We extend our internal seminar programme to include a number of talks, case studies and negotiating exercises specifically for students to give an authentic taste of a City lawyer's work. The timetable also includes a 'City tour', plenty of sporting and social activities such as softball and mixed hockey, 'working' lunches and informal evening events.

The firm looks for people who combine academic excellence with common sense; those who are determined and articulate, can think on their feet and take their work but not themselves seriously.

Recent work: Advising on the Hotel Chocolat IPO, advising Hostelworld on its IPO, advising Zoopla on the acquisition of price comparison website uSwitch, advising on the sale of the Gaucho restaurant group. Other clients range from Bridgepoint, JP Morgan, Macquarie, through to Shazam, Agent Provocateur, Revolutions Bars and Pret A Manger, the trustees of the Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme and The Pinewood Group.

Probono initiatives

  • The City Law School, Legal Advice Clinic
  • Family Law Clinic, University House
  • A4ID
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Project
  • Stonewall
  • Mind
  • Brighter Futures Zambia
  • Refugees at Home

Diversity access schemes

Rare Recruitment, Aspiring Solicitors, SEO, Bright Network, Stonewall, PRIME

At Travers Smith, we understand that each one of us is different.

We value and respect these individual differences, and not just in relation to gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and faith, but also in terms of background, education, working style and family or care responsibilities.

As a leading law firm, we're committed to leveraging these differences in order to achieve better results and to better serve our clients and communities. We're also convinced that creating an inclusive environment where all our people feel valued and able to bring their differences to work every day creates a more stimulating and rewarding environment in which to work. For more information please visit our Diversity and Inclusion section on our website.

Working with local communities

We have always believed it is important to conduct our business in a responsible, ethical and professional manner and we encourage all our staff to engage in our Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which supports charities, local communities, and not-for-profit organisations, as well as improving access to justice broadening the range of people who can access our legal skills.

  • Lawyers in schools
  • Prospects
  • Reading partners
  • BEE Financial Literacy Programme
  • Impetus: Private Equity Foundation

When and how to apply

Apply online for a training contract commencing in either September 2019 or March 2020. Applications open on 1 October 2016 and the deadline is 31 July 2017.

Once you've applied for a training contract, we'll take a close look at your application and contact your referees. After that, the first interview will be with a partner who will want to find out what sort of person you are.

Your second interview will be with two partners at our London office. A trainee will also show you around the office and give you the chance to meet a few other partners, associates and trainees.

Work sectors




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