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.

Above all else, Travers Smith is a collaborative firm.  We treat people with respect, allowing them to conduct business in the most effective way for clients.  This has led to a climate of shared knowledge and goals, supported by a friendly, engaging team spirit.

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 & markets, operational risk & environment, pensions, real estate, restructuring & insolvency and tax.

Trainee profile:

AAB and on track for a 2:1. A law degree is not a necessity – just over half the trainees who joined last year came from a non-law background.

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. 

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 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.

Work placements:

To give you a taste of life at Travers Smith, we run a number of two-week vacation schemes in the Summer and one in Christmas.

The Summer schemes are designed primarily for law graduates and penultimate year law undergraduates, whereas our Christmas scheme is primarily for non-law graduates and final year non-law undergraduates.

The vacation schemes are a chance for us to get to know each other, so working lunches, workshops and after-work events will be as important as the legal work you'll be doing. You'll also meet our current trainees who will give you an honest account of what it's like to practise law and what we're like as a firm.

During the fortnight, you'll work in two different departments and share an office with partners, associates and trainees. Typical tasks will include drafting letters, attending meetings or carrying out research with the help of our Research Centre.

There will also be a number of seminars and workshops not to teach you the black-letter law, but to give you an authentic taste of a City lawyer's work.

Students will be paid £330 per week.

When and how to apply:

When and how to apply: Apply online through cvMail via our website for a training contract commencing in either September 2020 or March 2021.   Applications open on 1 October 2017 and the deadline is 31 July 2018.

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.

Salary and benefits


  • First year: £43,500
  • Second year: £49,000
  • Post-qualification: £75,000

Benefits include private medical and permanent health insurance, health screening programme, virtual GP service, life assurance, pension scheme, cycle to work scheme (Cyclescheme), subsidised Café/restaurant, childcare vouchers, gym membership, season ticket loan.

Diversity and Inclusion

At Travers Smith, we understand that each one of us is different and we value and respect this: not just in relation to gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and faith, but also in terms of background, education, working style, gender identity and family or care responsibilities.

As a leading law firm, we’re committed to leveraging these differences in order to achieve the best possible results and most effectively serve our clients and communities. We’re also convinced that a genuinely inclusive environment, where all our people feel valued and where their differences are embraced is a crucial element in maintaining and further developing a high performing business and rewarding workplace.


London and 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. So, as a trainee here, you will certainly have an opportunity to get involved in international matters and to get to know contacts at clients and other law firms around the world.

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  • Graduate profiles

    • Luke Scott – Trainee solicitor,

      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... View profile

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