Travers Smith posts perfect 100% retention score

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All 21 qualifying trainees staying put

City outfit Travers Smith has unveiled a perfect 100% autumn retention score.

The firm — which has just two offices, London and Paris — today confirmed that all 21 trainees due to qualify this September had put pen to paper on permanent deals.

Six soon-to-be associates will join Travers’ private equity team, while corporate finance will receive four and dispute resolution two. Environment and operational risk; financial services and markets; finance; derivatives and structured products; tax; incentives and remuneration; investment funds; real estate; and commercial, IP and technology will gain one newly qualified lawyer (NQ) each.

As can be seen in Legal Cheek’s Most List, Travers NQs will start on a salary of £75,000, putting them on a pay par with their opposite numbers at a host of City players including Baker McKenzie, DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells. Travers’ trainees currently earn £43,500 in year one, rising to £49,000 in year two.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Travers — which offers up to 25 training contracts annually — is traditionally a strong retention performer, regularly posting results of 90% or above. In the last three rounds, the firm has marked up scores of 90% (18 out of 20), 94% (17 out of 18) and 94% (17 out of 18).

Today’s retention result comes on the back of an impressive set of financials. Earlier this month, Travers reported a 17.5% increase in turnover to reach £146 million, while profit per equity partner (PEP) swelled to £1.2 million — an uplift of 24.3%.

In our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, the firm secured A*s in four categories including training and partner approachability, and bagged the gong for ‘Best Law Firm for Peer Support’ at the Legal Cheek Awards earlier this year.

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Very impressive. Good batch. Wrap them up in cotton wool. Just cotton wool. Precious.



Surprised they weren’t snapped up by TOP £ MONEY $ US € LAW ¥ FIRMS



The recruitmet market is tough at the moment. Anyone who receives an offer is well advised to take it.






DWF have to the mid-sixties region



Good stuff! I am a soon to be trainee at the firm Hogan Lovells. I have great fascination with debt capital markets and banking litigation since I was 3. Do you think if I work hard, specialise in a high value area and perfect my interview technique that I could move to a big US shop like Kirkland/Cleary/Latham? Genuine question no trolls



It’s not funny when you name a very good international outfit. Shows you know very little about the legal profession, but good attempt at a well used legal cheek joke!


Infrastructure guru

I dealt with your shop recently. Some of your colleagues are absolute jokers. Feels like I was talking to a call-centre employee. Vindicates my decision not to apply for a job there years back, it’s not a good brand to have on your CV. Like putting a giant sh#t stain on the front page, or admitting to kiddy fiddling in the hobbies section.



HL or IM?



Can only be IM.

Infrastructure guru

Lol, of course IM

Taint Sack & Butts LLP

Several breakaway JD partners are already signed up to join me.


Travis Smith, London

One man went to mow… went to mow a meadow…

they sang at Travers Smith.

Yet it was not one man. Or one woman. It was 21 men and women with a bright future ahead of them.

Congratulations, comrades.


Confused Trainee

Kinda unrelated but I’m about to start my TC at a national/city firm: what are the best seat options to go for in terms of future opportunities?


Random passer-by

Good question, and one I wish I asked when I was a trainee. Go where the job is internally and also spend time in the department that is the strongest in the firm in the market generally. Don’t worry about personalities as such, just go where you are wanted as you can always move after qualification.



Tough question, as some areas that will make you very sought after later in your career (construction, for example) are difficult to get into at NQ level.

Litigation positions are very thin on the ground at all levels at the moment. Commercial Property remains one of the most sought after skill sets (but is very vulnerable to recession which is why there is a skills gap at present) along with Corporate and Private Client.


Dr Frankenstein

The best seat is a partner’s lap ;).



If you’re a bit of a nerd, tax!!! I know it sounds boring but hear me out.

It will be a varied seat between regulatory advice, corporate support if the City/national office has a busy M&A team, real estate support, and litigation.

You will meet interesting and inevitably sketchy clients who don’t want to pay tax or were caught not paying tax. It’s hilarious to watch them squirm and cry when judgement is passed or pay your firm eye-watering amounts to avoid/get out of trouble. Win-win. You also get to insult accountants on a regular basis.

If you qualify into a tax law department you will be a valuable asset whether you go solo practice or stay at a larger firm. You will be VERY well paid in ten years time. Many of your lawyer colleagues will make jokes at your expense but you will have more money than them and a secure career that will always be needed. Even if you don’t have a corporate tax practice and wind up doing taxes for wealthy individuals, which is normally the private client tax lawyer role in half decent London shops, you will be very well off.

Unlike other high-paying areas of law like international private equity deals at K&E, your services would be demanded all across England and Wales if the London life becomes annoying.



Ah Travers, home to the pretty Cantab grads. At least that was the case in the past.

I wonder if any of these retention rates are boosted by 1 year fixed term contracts that no partner intends to renew.


Truthful feminist

There is no such thing as a pretty Cambridge grad. Most have been uggos. The posh fitties tend to be provided by Exeter, Bristol and Newcastle. The more urban fitties come from Warwick, Manchester, Birmingham and KCL. Special mention to Cardiff for supplying a steady stream of hot Welsh blondes. I’ve never met a physically attractive woman with an undergrad degree from Oxbridge, Imperial or the LSE in law. Never ever.


JD Partner

Fancy a move to recruitment?


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