About Travers Smith
It is not just law at Travers Smith. We treat our clients’ business as our business, their dispute as our dispute, their challenge as ours.
We act for publicly listed and private companies, private equity and financial sponsors, and other business enterprises involved in large and complex UK and cross-border matters, transactions and disputes.
Our clients know that, wherever in the world their ambitions lie, we will work as part of their team to get things done. And they know that we will do so in a straight-talking and open way.
Diversity and independence of thought are key to our success. We know each other well and we know that we get the best results when we act as a team – not just within our individual departments, but right across our firm where we welcome views from everyone.
What we do
Our business comprises the following main practice areas: Competition, Corporate M&A and ECM, Dispute Resolution, Derivatives & Structures Products, Employment, Finance, Financial Services & Markets, Funds, Incentives & Remuneration, Operational Risk & Environment, Pensions, Private Equity & Financial Sponsors, Real Estate, Regulatory Investigations and Tax, and Technology & Commercial Transactions.
What we look 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; who are self-motivated and have a healthy sense of humour.
A law degree is not a necessity – over 40% of our trainees have non-law backgrounds.
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 and unparalleled opportunities to learn by osmosis from some of the most senior people at the firm. 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, you will rotate through four different legal departments. Trainees spend six months in one of our corporate departments, with the rest of their training contract spread across the other departments. A large proportion of our trainees also spend one of these rotations in our Dispute Resolution or Employment teams. For the other two rotations trainees are asked to indicate a department of interest, which includes the opportunity to spend six months in the firm’s Paris office.
Travers Smith is a collaborative firm – we treat each other with respect and encourage our people to be themselves. We are very proud of the close-knit, supportive and non-hierarchical culture this creates.
When and how to apply
Apply online via our website at www.traverssmith.com for a vacation scheme this summer or winter to gain a training contract commencing in either September 2026 or March 2027.
This year we will largely recruit for training contract 2026 from our vacation schemes. Any spaces that are available after the vacation schemes will be filled by direct training contract applicants. This direct training contract process will open only to the extent there remain any available spaces after our winter and summer vacation schemes. Any updates will be available on our website and social media channels.
Our Vacation Schemes take place at three points in the year. One 1-week scheme in the Winter and two 2-week schemes in the Summer.
Vacation Scheme students will be paid £750 for completing each week.
The scheme will follow our internal programme, which includes a number of talks, workshops, and a negotiating exercise. There will also be department insights and close contact with trainees. The week is designed specifically for students to be given an authentic taste of a City lawyer's work. There are also working lunches and informal evening events.
The exact dates of each scheme are: 11 December – 15 December 2023, 24 June – 5 July 2024, and 8 July – 19 July 2024.
Applications will be opened on the below dates:
- Winter Vacation Scheme: 4 September 2023 and will close on 22 October 2023.
- Summer Vacation Scheme: 22 October 2023 and will close on 14 January 2024.
Interviews will only be allocated once all applications have been processed.
Please note our interview process will be held virtually and run by a senior member of our Graduate Recruitment Panel. For more information on the panel please visit out recruitment team webpage.
Benefits: Employees benefits are a crucial part of our employment value proposition. We have invested in a market-leading technology platform which enables trainees to have choice and flexibility, when selecting from a wide range of benefits and services, all of great quality and either entirely free because they are funded by the firm, or at negotiated, discounted rates, compared to what can be purchased on the high street. We recognise that employees will have different priorities and interests, depending on where they are in their careers, so there is choice and flexibility from the outset, in addition to a wide series of wellbeing related initiatives to support employees. Those that love to travel might prioritise how to use the 27 days' paid holiday and select our travel insurance. Those focused on ESG issues may be interested in our award-winning fully subsidised restaurant, our charitable giving options, environmentally conscious pension investments or electric cars. We also have really supportive family-focused benefits, including a comprehensive parental leave package and paid time off and access to paid benefits for family members. Whatever your interests, we continue to invest in the package so there is something for everyone and see this as pivotal to what is offered by the firm.
Diversity & Inclusion
Our approach to diversity and creating an inclusive workplace goes beyond just ticking a box. We value everything that makes us unique and we recognise that celebrating our differences helps make the firm a special place to work. With a focus on allyship and role modelling, we are committed to creating a fully inclusive workplace where everyone can be their authentic selves.
CSR Art Programme
The Art Programme is at the heart of our Corporate Social Responsibility work and underlines our CSR commitment from the moment someone steps into our offices. Delivered in partnership with The University of Westminster and The Royal College of Art, with support from Serpentine Galleries, our Art Programme supports emerging artists with the transition from student life to professional practice.
Our award-winning pro bono programme is designed to provide individuals, community groups, charities and social enterprises, both in the UK and abroad, with free legal advice and representation. The programme targets the most impactful partnerships and legal work in the following four sectors:
- Climate, environment, and sustainability
- Diversity, inclusion and social mobility
- Vulnerable groups (refugees, survivors of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking)
- Rule of Law