Travers Smith LLP - True Picture

A relaxed approach to a prestigious training contract isn’t a myth at Travers Smith, a City finance firm.

Travers Smith training contract review 2024

The Firm 

Imagine a firm that combines top-tier work with reasonable hours, and excellent training with a supportive culture. Seems too good to be true, right? Wrong, Travers Smith offers exactly that. “When I was applying for training contracts, I was looking for firms with elite work. That’s usually the US firms, but I was put off by the culture of those places” (read: long hours and a lack of formal training.) Luckily this interviewee came across Travers, where “the people just seemed so much more relaxed, and the application process was very different to other firms.” In what way? “You just have to send a CV and cover letter. There aren’t any psychometric tests or assessment centres, which I found quite liberating.”  

“After 20 minutes of talking about Beyoncé, he introduced himself as a disputes partner. That's when I realised how normal people are here.” 

Some interviewees found this relaxed approach to recruitment extended to the interview day itself: “I was super nervous, but I was greeted by the friendliest receptionist I’ve ever met, who calmed my nerves.” Another interviewee recalled the often-awkward lift ride: “I stepped in and someone started chatting to me about my weekend. After 20 minutes of talking about Beyoncé, he introduced himself as a disputes partner. That’s when I realised how normal people are here. Travers does amazing work for great clients, but it’s definitely not a ‘cold’ firm.” 

One of only three firms to be recognised as the crème de la crème by Chambers UK for commercial contracts, Travers has also earned a place at the top of the table for pensions and corporate/M&A: deals worth £100–800 million. Despite its prowess, Travers has just one UK office in London, and a single international outpost in Paris. In addition, Travers’ trainee intake is relatively modest, taking just 40 trainees a year. Coupled with a smaller trainee intake is a culture that values support and training. The firm is famous for its room-sharing arrangement, where trainees sit with their supervisor during their seat. In addition, the firm has billable hour targets rather than requirements, which meant senior lawyers weren't under hours-related pressure: “people are willing to spend time to explain things.”  

The Seats  

Travers offers a whopping 16 seat options: newbies do four six-month seats, and there’s the possibility of a corporate secondment to the Paris office. Before they start, trainees are informed about which seats are available, "after which you submit a ranking for all your seats.” HR uses these to put together a trainee’s seats, and trainees have two opportunities during their training contract to adjust their preferences. Overall, trainees were happy with the process. 

The firm’s private equity practice has been described as the “the heart of the firm.” Travers works with names like 3i, Bridgepoint and Inflexion, which it advised on the sale of Medivet to CVC Capital Partners. Trainees said the team does “M&A-type of stuff, acting for purchasers and sellers.” While deal values were confidential, think three commas to get a sense of the playing field Travers is in. Sources said when you’re “acting for the sellers in a deal, you’re doing due diligence looking for the holes buyers will look for,” with the process reversed when acting for the buyers.  

“You’re often liaising with other departments.” 

“You have your typical admin tasks,” a trainee said, “like first drafts of a due diligence report. You’re often liaising with other departments and are responsible for the document list, signing formalities… that kind of thing.” Sources added, “It’s quite a process-driven seat, and you’re drafting the same documents over and over again, but each deal requires a bit of nuance.” It’s worth noting the team has admin support to help with things like indexes for bibles. 

Dispute resolution“is a full-service team, so they purposefully don’t subdivide the group.” Travers recently secured a victory for Hewlett-Packard in a massive fraud case in which HP claimed it overpaid software company Autonomy a whopping $5 billion as a result of the misrepresentation of Autonomy’s financial performance. Autonomy’s former boss, Mike Lynch, was consequently extradited to the US to face criminal proceedings. However, it’s not all massive litigation, “it’s a really mixed bag,” sources said, and trainee experience varied depending on the case. Those working on the biggest cases will usually spend a lot of time reading about the ins and outs of the matter. On smaller matters “I attended meetings with the clients, took notes, and did research into the case.” Trainees noted “bundling is a classic trainee task,” while others cited lots of drafting opportunities. Unlike most firms, Travers does not have a billing requirement (!) 

Tech and commercial transactions (TCT) is split between data protection and IP and commercial contracts. Trainees technically spend three months in one, and three in another, (physically) sitting with a different partner for each. However, we heard “you work across both the whole time, the division is only really there in terms of who you’re sitting with.”In data protection and IP, “clients come to Travers to make sure they’re compliant with GDPR.” For example, the firm has been working with Samsung to facilitate the launch of new smart products and services, to ensure it’s compliant with new UK and EU legislation.  

In commercial contracts, “you’re doing a lot of corporate support, like due diligence.” The team works with exciting clients like Porsche, Itsu, Oxford University and Nuffield Health. The team recently assisted News UK on its contractual agreements with talkSPORT and the broadcasting rights to the FA Cup and Premier League. We also heard that “energy is huge at the moment, as are electric vehicles.” Trainees said the split seat “felt like a lot of movement, but you need it to understand the firm.” 

Travers’ employment team primarily deals with contentious issues, and has “quite a spread of work. There’s corporate support stuff, and we have quite a big investigations practice,” sources told us. Essentially, clients come to the firm saying: “‘We want to investigate this grievance. Can you do a fact-finding investigation?’” Names like Foxtons, Pfizer and Estée Lauder appear on the books. Travers has defended several whistleblowing and harassment claims for its clients; the group is currently representing AIG Asset Management in claims alleging race and associative disability discrimination, victimisation, wrongful dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages brought by a former employee. “Trainees take part in a lot of tribunals, which involves loads of bundling,” sources explained, but you’re also drafting forms like grounds of resistance (the respondent’s defence) and settlement agreements, and doing lots of research. In addition to the litigation, trainees are kept busy with some day-to-day advisory and redundancy work. 

“It was an incredible experience.” 

The real estate team deals with both commercial and contentious matters. On the commercial side of things, the team works on planning and construction, and “acts for big asset managers, care homes and care home REITs that are leasing out portfolios.” Speaking of which, the firm advised care home provider Hamberley on the sale and leaseback of six care homes, which included the sale of a state of the art neurological rehabilitation centre. “It’s been my favourite seat so far,” said one happy trainee. “I did a bit of everything. You’re often working with big property fund clients, which are constantly buying and selling.”

Sources said it was “a growing team. We have an arm which supports the corporate team, but it’s not a corporate support practice. It has its own work and clients.” Sources felt they had a lot of responsibility here. “I did a great deal of decent work,” remembered one trainee fondly. “It can be process-driven, but there’s quite a lot of scope to get your head into it. The University of Oxford is a client and I got to have a go at bespoke leases, where you’re thinking hard; it was an incredible experience.” 

Trainee Life 

While work can be intense, “people aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves, and you can get to know people with the room-sharing structure,” trainees reassured us. “It’s a nice place to work.” That said, the hours are on the higher side of the firms we survey: Travers trainees put in around 50 hours a week, compared to the market average of 45. Like any big city firm, “the hours are very team and business-dependent. On a deal that’s hotting up it can be fairly ugly, but if it’s quiet no one bats an eyelid if you’re leaving at a reasonable hour,” we heard.  

So what’s a reasonable hour? “I’m happy to leave at 5.30pm when it’s quiet. But my phone is on,” we heard. And when it does get ugly? “It can range to the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning, but it’s not forever.” And the salary? “At trainee level it’s fair, but possibly a bit below market at the NQ level.” It should be noted that trainees get a bonus, which isn’t the case at all firms.  

Trainees receive two weeks of training at the beginning of each seat, and this was unanimously praised by our interviewees.There’s an emphasis on “shaping your own career. I’ve told my team the type of work I want to do, and they’ve given it to me.” Sources also mentioned good relationships with their supervisors: “You feel really scared when you first start,” said one, “but because you’re physically sitting with them every day, it’s a lot more personal.”  

“You can be as sociable as you want to be.” 

Outside of work, “every department has its own way of doing things socially,” we heard. Some departments have a drinks trolley while others, like real estate, “were good at putting on quirky events, like cocktail-making.” Another noted that “the firm is moving away from a culture of going down the pub. Now we do different activities like Flight Club.” There’s also a Christmas dinner for the trainees, organised by the trainees. However, there’s no pressure to hang out with colleagues al the time: “You can be as sociable as you want to be.” 

Pro bono isn’t common at UK firms, but Travers is the exception to the rule. Trainees can volunteer to be put on a three-month rota at the Family Clinic or the London Clinic at Mile End. In addition, “every department has its own pro bono matters,” we heard, with some trainees working on litigation involving coffee farmers in Africa.  

Alongside its commitment to pro bono was a commitment to D&I, which trainees gave a cautious thumbs up to. “If you look across the City,” one source noted, “the profession isn’t doing very well. I’d say that Travers is doing better, but there is still work to be done.” Trainees noted that some departments didn’t have any female partners and, more generally, “there aren’t a lot of BAME individuals.” Insiders did note that “every year the trainees are getting more diverse. I’ve never felt excluded.” 

Qualification is a relatively straightforward affair. “You receive an email three months into your final seat and submit your top three rankings,” we were told. “You turn up to meeting two weeks later and they tell you if you got an offer and where it is.” In 2023, the firm retained 22 of 28 qualifiers.

Don’t travers(e) the Earth

“Most people have been here their whole career.”


How to get a Travers Smith training contract 

  • Vacation scheme deadline: 14 January 2024 (summer); 22 October 2023 (winter)        

Travers Smith has up to 40 training contracts on offer and typically recruits most of its trainees through the vacation schemes. The firm runs one one-week scheme during the winter, and two two-week schemes in the summer, offering 20 places on each. 

The application for the vac scheme begins with a covering letter and CV-style information, and the firm generally receives around 2,000 of these each year. “There are no psychometric tests or any of that rubbish,” one interviewee told us. Historically, prospective trainees needed a minimum of AAB at A level and a 2:1 degree (or 2:1 grades to date) to get a look in, but the firm told us that, while grades remain important, they use contextualised recruitment software and take into account mitigating circumstances, so this is no longer a hard requirement. 

Those whose applications impress – generally around 130 – are invited to a one-on-one partner or senior counsel interview. According to our sources, "the firm looks for people who can display structure and logical thinking, hold a debate and show they can think on their feet." 

From here, the firm chooses its vac schemers, who attend workshops, talks and also get to network and socialise with partners, senior counsel, associates, trainees and graduate recruitment at various lunches and evening events. 

A current trainee had this advice for impressing during the vac scheme: “Relax into the atmosphere and try to be enthusiastic." Another said: “Show that you're bright, ambitious and calm under pressure, but don't take yourself too seriously.” 

Those who still want to pursue a training contract after their scheme can resubmit their application for consideration where they are evaluated on their performance during their placement. 


Travers Smith LLP

10 Snow Hill,

10 Snow Hill,

Firm profile

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.

Training Programme

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 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.

Vacation schemes

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 the 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
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.


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.

Our business

• Bolstered our international asset management offering with the hire of Loïc Bacquelaine to our leading Financial Services and Markets Department to establish a Luxembourg desk within the team.
• Appointed Doug Bryden and Heather Gagen as Co-Heads of ESG and Impact, driving forwards the firm's focus and expertise in ESG and Sustainable Finance.
• Appointed Emily Clark as the firm's first Head of Asset Management, one of the firm's core areas of focus.
Promoted five new partners to the partnership reflecting the firm's acceleration in our three core areas of focus: the international alternative asset management sector, in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and in our global disputes and investigations work.
• Launched our market leading ESG and Sustainable Finance Academy - an internal training programme, for lawyers and business services, capitalising on the firm's existing breadth of expertise in the ESG and sustainable finance space to embed a deeper understanding across the firm of how ESG and sustainability issues affect clients' businesses.
• Launched a number of market-leading legal technology projects, developed by the firm's in-house team, which have created significant efficiencies and cost savings for our clients. Key projects have included:
o YCNBot– innovative opensourced alternative to ChatGPT, launched in collaboration with 273 Ventures. YCNBot allows companies to use ChatGPT, and its underlying technology, in a safe and secure way.
o Biblio– new online bible repository system which has involved the re-engineering of over 3,000 bibles to modern format, including a unique feature which allows hyperlinked indexes to our client's internal document management system.

Our clients

Maintaining strong client relationships, the firm has acted on a number of significant mandates this year. Highlights include:
International Asset Management
o Brookfield Oaktree Wealth Solutions on the launch of the Brookfield Infrastructure Income Fund in Europe and Asia Pacific.
o Bain Capital Credit on the successful $650m final closing of Bain Capital Credit CLO.
o Hunter Point Capital on a strategic partnership with Inflexion, a leading mid-market private equity firm investing across the UK and Europe.
o Trusted adviser to abrdn in relation to numerous secondary transactions.

Cross-border Mergers & Acquisitions
o Numis Corporation plc on their £410m recommended offer by Deutsche Bank, the largest bank in Germany.
o Financial advisory firm finnCap on its all-share merger with Cenkos Securities, that will create a leading provider in fundraising and advisory services for quoted growth and investment companies.
o SARIA Nederland B.V. on its £540m takeover offer for Devro plc, a leading manufacturer of collagen products for the food industry.
o Inflexion on the acquisition of dss+, a global business headquartered in Switzerland that supports clients to reduce risk, transform culture, maximize impact and improve sustainability by operating more responsibly.
o CGE Partners and Enhesa in relation to the exit of ICG and the minority investment by Bregal Sagemount in Enhesa.

Global Disputes & Investigations
o Hewlett Packard Enterprise on fraud claims amounting to US$5 billion arising out of the US$11 billion acquisition of Autonomy Corporation plc in late 2011. Heralded as the 'tech trial of the century', in January 2022 it was announced that HP had “substantially succeeded” in their claims. The level of damages to be awarded to HP is yet to be determined.
o A European truck manufacturer defending multiple damages claims brought before English courts (both as individual claims and collective proceedings) arising from the European Commission's Trucks decision.
o Global investment bank Nomura in relation to its appeal before the General Court of the European Commission’s infringement decision in relation to European Government Bonds, which will be one of the most significant European cartel case appeals of the year.
o Conducting multiple workplace investigations, including an investigation and cultural review following allegations of bullying against a senior executive at a FTSE250 company.
o EMIS, a leading publicly listed UK healthcare software, information technology and related services provider, in respect of the CMA’s in-depth Phase 2 investigation of its acquisition by UnitedHealth Group, a US multi-national healthcare and well-being company.

o Pay.UK on the biggest overhaul in UK payment systems this century: the New Payments Architecture, a proposed payment system for over £4.5bn of payments per day.
o RTGSglobal, a next-generation financial markets infrastructure provider, on various complex technology transactions underpinning the client's ground-breaking payment software that facilitates instantaneous currency exchange.
o Matterport, the global leader in 3D spatial mapping technology on a variety of matters including complex licensing and collaboration arrangements with Facebook and Amazon.

Our people
• Launched our inaugural international secondment programme strengthening ties with our international network – six lawyers from six different firms joined us through this programme.
Introduced our market leading Menopause Policy, including a number of paid for benefits, to provide support to people who are experiencing symptoms associated with the perimenopause and menopause whilst also supporting line managers by providing guidance.
Upgraded our Bonus Scheme offering, providing the firm with more flexibility to reward exceptional performance.
• Committed to taking on our first cohort of legal apprentices in September 2025 as part of the #CityCentury – a CLLS-led law firm collaboration bringing significant numbers of talented and committed solicitor apprentices into the City of London.
• Continuing our longstanding collaboration with Oxford Saïd Business School we facilitated a leadership programme for our Junior Partners with a renewed focus on inclusivity.

Our society and communities
• The multi award-winning Domestic Abuse Response Alliance celebrated the end of its first year of operation with the addition of three new firms, a pool of barristers, an expanded reach outside of London, as well as a resounding win for one standout case that resulted in 15 criminal charges being successfully brought against the father of an extremely vulnerable client, who we have supported for over 2 and a half years.
• Lawyers from every department have been involved in pro bono, working on c.100 matters in the past 12 months.
• We embarked on a new racial justice project with JUSTICE, involving over 50 lawyers across the firm, which examines the experiences of Black, Brown and racialised girls and women in the criminal justice system with the goal of improving their experiences and reducing discrimination.
• People from the firm have spent 568 hours volunteering at food depots for the Felix Project, helping The Felix Project distribute an additional 142,000 meals over that period.
• The firm successfully delivered firmwide mandatory D&I training for all staff and partners.
• Became Level 2 accredited under the Government's Disability Confident employer scheme.
• Partnering with Scope and implementing their "Get Inclusive" programme.
• As part of our wider work in promoting social mobility, we delivered a number of outreach programmes, in partnership with our clients, to schools across England aimed at upskilling young people and ensuring careers in The City are accessible to all.

Our sustainable future

• Since 2019, we have been reporting under the Government's Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting scheme (SECR) under Scopes 1&2, and in 2023 the firm took the bold decision to report voluntarily on its Scope 3 emissions, which includes any emissions that are created as an indirect consequence of the firm's actions, where the source of the emissions is not owned or controlled by the firm.
• In the last 12 months the firm has reported a recycling rate of 93% providing a CO2 saving of 220t, up from a 60.363t saving in the previous 12-month period.
Onboarded an ESG verification tool, EcoVadis, to ensure that diligence is carried out along our entire supply chain to identify, prevent, or stop Human Rights and Environment issues including climate change, which are aligned to global standards.
Heat free printing technology is now used throughout our buildings, and the new devices have seen a 94% reduction in energy compared to our previous devices.
• The firm sponsored beehive has produced its first 24 jars of honey, all used in our office café Brathwaite's.

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.

Supporting our people
We have six fully inclusive professional networks, each led by a partner to provide high level strategic input, connectivity and support for our people. These include:
- REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage)
- Faith Resources
- Gender Balance
- Enable (which focuses on accessibility needs)
- Social Mobility Group

A focus on role models
Role models have an essential role in helping create an inclusive culture. They demonstrate the importance of authenticity and positive value of diversity in all its forms. To celebrate and promote role models across the firm, we have developed the following resources:
- Female Role Models
- Telling Stories: Understanding Social Mobility
- Telling Stories: LGBTQ+ Role Models

A focus on allyship
Allies, or people who are proactive and understanding of the challenges affecting diverse groups of people, can be instrumental in driving positive cultural change. It is not the responsibility of people from minority groups to create a fairer society but rather that task sits on the shoulders of allies and people in positions of influence. Building upon this framework of engaging with the majority to help drive positive change for the minority and/or underrepresented, we have developed resources aimed at educating and empowering our people to be effective allies: What makes an effective ally?

Strategic partnerships
We have developed partnerships with other external networks and organisations aimed at promoting a culture of inclusion and mutual respect in industry and in the wider community, including; City Solicitors Horizons, Aspiring Solicitors, Rare Recruitment, Just Like Us, STRIVE, WCAN, BIUCAC.

Intersectionality: celebrating difference
By looking at our D&I initiatives through an intersectional lens, we are able to better examine the role people's multiple identities have in compounding inequality and discrimination, and to develop mechanisms to better promote inclusion. Some ways we have achieved this are:
- D&I Seminar programme: We programmed a series of seminars, events and podcasts involving speakers from as diverse backgrounds as possible to help provide an insight into the diverse experiences of people from minority and under-represented groups.
- D&I book club: We have recently launched a quarterly D&I-themed book club that is open to anyone across the firm. this book club will provide people with an opportunity to discuss the chosen text, as well as explore its associated themes.

Corporate Social Responsibility
From working with emerging artists to supporting refugees and asylum seekers, our award-winning CSR Programme is diverse, exciting and ever-expanding.

Working with local communities

We are committed to working with our local communities, developing meaningful ties with schools, universities and community groups and using our own influence and legal expertise to help give people better opportunities to access the legal profession. Highlights of our work include:

Raising aspirations
• Reading Partners: This scheme, which is aimed at improving literacy rates, involves people at the firm reading for an hour with a child aged 8-9 years old in Bangabandhu School in Bethnal Green.
• BEE Scheme: This scheme aims to improve financial literacy of pupils aged 10-11 years old in schools in Tower Hamlets.
• Legal Experts in Schools: This scheme involves people at the firm delivering 6 sessions to young people (aged 14-15) in St Olave's School in Elephant and Castle about legal matters which affect young people. The series culminates in a visit to the firm followed by a panel discussion to discuss City Careers.
• Digital Legal Experts in Schools: This series involves volunteers from the firm delivering sessions virtually to schools in social mobility "cold spots" in England.
• Economic Experts in Schools: This scheme involves volunteers from the firm delivering 3 sessions to young people (aged 14-15) from The Petchey Academy in Hackney to help boost economic literacy.

Widening Access
• Contextualised Recruitment System: This system, which we adopted in 2017, takes into account the circumstances and background of potential trainees and vacation scheme students. This enables us to identify high performing and driven candidates, and ensures applications are reviewed in light of their wider personal circumstances.
• GROW mentoring: This scheme provides mentors to aspiring solicitors form disadvantaged/under-represented groups to help them access careers in law. TS currently offer circa 30 mentors. We also sponsor the annual GROW awards, which celebrate the achievements of remarkable students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
• Articles: a development programme for 50 – 70 second year students from Black African, Black Caribbean and Mixed Race with Black African and Caribbean heritage.
• AS Foundation: We contribute financially to the ASF, which distributes hardship grants to aspiring solicitors from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Paid work experience opportunities
• City Solicitors Horizons: This scheme is aimed at students which are first generation to attend university. Students receive mentoring support from people at the firm, and an opportunity to attend a week of work experience.
• TS THRIVE: This scheme provides a week of work experience to young people (aged 16-17) from lower socio-economic groups.

Charitable Giving
We create meaningful, lasting and substantive partnerships with all the charities with whom we work. We provide substantial financial support to a nominated major charity partner (on a two year basis). Our current major charity partner is the Little Village, a charity which supports families with babies and children under five living in poverty across London. Alongside our major charity partnership, the firm supports 100s of other smaller charities via the Travers Smith Foundation.

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.

Pro bono

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:
1. Climate, environment, and sustainability
2. Diversity, inclusion and social mobility
3. Vulnerable groups (refugees, survivors of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking)
4. Rule of Law

Key pro bono clients include:
- Refugees at Home
- The Chancery Lane Project
- The Green Finance Institute
- National Centre for Domestic Violence
- The Howard League for Penal Reform
- City YMCA

Last year we launched the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance (DARA), which was founded by Partner and Head of Pro Bono, Sam Cottman, and in July 2023, DARA took on its100th case. DARA is an alliance of leading law firms who provide pro bono representation to survivors of domestic abuse in need of protective injunctions. DARA ended its first year of operation with the addition of three new firms (increasing the number to 10), a pool of barristers, an expanded reach outside of London, as well as an excellent result for one extremely vulnerable client, securing 15 criminal convictions against her father after over two and a half years of work. For more information see: DARA has won “Pro Bono Initiative of the Year” at The Lawyer Awards, "CSR Innovation" at the Innovation Awards, "Innovation in Responsible Business" at the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards Europe 2022 and the "ESG Initiative" Award at the Legal Business Awards 2022

This Firm's Rankings in
UK Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Banking & Finance: Borrowers: Mid-Market (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance: Fund Finance (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance: Lenders: Mid-Market (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance: Sponsors (Band 4)
    • Commercial and Corporate Litigation (Band 2)
    • Competition Law (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: £100-800 million (Band 1)
    • Employment: Employer (Band 3)
    • Environment & Climate Change (Band 2)
    • Information Technology & Outsourcing (Band 4)
    • Pensions (Band 1)
    • Real Estate: £50-150 million (Band 3)
    • Tax (Band 3)
    • Banking Litigation (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: AIM (Band 2)
    • Commercial Contracts (Band 1)
    • Employee Share Schemes & Incentives (Band 2)
    • Financial Services: Non-contentious Regulatory (Band 2)
    • Financial Services: Payments Law (Band 3)
    • Fraud: Civil (Band 5)
    • Investment Funds: Closed-ended Listed Funds (Band 2)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts: Up to £500 million (Band 2)
    • Retail (Band 4)
    • Retail: Corporate & Competition (Band 3)