CultureWednesday, 2 September 2015
We think that the firm has a culture that sets it apart from others. There's a relaxed and friendly working atmosphere which will strike you at once if you come for interview.
The firm is known for its lack of hierarchy. Everyone here is on first-name terms, unlike many of our competitors who tend to be more formal and a bit more hard-nosed. The way we work is informal so everyone at all levels gets to know each other easily and learns to share ideas and information freely. Uniquely, all partners share their rooms with other lawyers and all doors are literally, as well as metaphorically, open.
A lighter touch
We don't like red tape and bureaucracy. We don't want our lawyers to get bogged down in administration and forms; we want them to be free to concentrate on advising clients. Freedom from red tape allows us to be "light on our feet" in developing new opportunities for our business. We encourage our lawyers to identify and run with new ideas which complement our aims.
Absence of billing targets
We are virtually alone among City firms in not burdening our lawyers with such things as billing targets. We work hard because we have plenty of challenging work that we enjoy and because we take pride in what we do. This means that there is no unhealthy hoarding of work at any level. Everyone is happy to involve colleagues, to seek out those best able to handle a particular problem and to deliver the best advice to our clients. Teamwork underpins the whole ethos of the firm.
A balanced lifestyle
No, it's not 9 to 5. We all work hard but none of us wants to work 24 hours a day (and there is certainly no staying late to look good). We are serious about work but equally serious about living our lives. This means that if you have had to work around the clock or all weekend, we'll give you time to catch your breath before we ask you to get stuck into the next instruction. We do not need, nor do we wish, to squeeze every last drop out of you or out of our clients. We encourage and help all our staff to achieve a healthy balance between work and home life. Enjoyment of life at Travers Smith does not start when the work stops; it merely continues in another form. Out of hours, the firm fields teams in rugby sevens, men's five-a-side football, mixed hockey, softball, cricket, squash and golf against clients and other law firms. There is a Christmas party each year and each department organises its own parties on an ad-hoc basis. Our Corporate assistants also host an annual drinks party for clients.
Morale is something we take very seriously. You come first. This means that although our clients are important, we don't concentrate on them to the detriment of our staff. We recognise that if we don't look after you, then you will not be able or disposed to give of your best to them. Whilst some of the really big firms struggle to keep their fee-earner yearly turnover rate below 25%, ours is invariably below 5%.