Chloe Budd

NQ associate


Travers Smith fast facts:

Name: Chloe Budd

Job Title: Associate

University: Cambridge

Degree and subject: BA Land Economy

Current department: Competition

Chloe Budd is a newly qualified lawyer in the Competition department of Travers Smith. Here, she reflects on how Travers Smith’s supportive culture has accelerated her development.

"Travers Smith is a brilliant place to train. The small intake size helped me to make friends and settle in quickly. The room-sharing system allowed me to access high-quality work earlier, gave me opportunities to build trust with senior lawyers, hone my soft skills and develop a personal style. Finally, the absence of billable hour targets means that people on your team have an interest in sharing work and their knowledge with you. This structure, and the Firm’s supportive culture, accelerate your professional growth.

My Travers Smith journey

In September, I qualified into the Competition team. I love the versatility the work offers, allowing me to engage with advisory, transactional, and contentious matters. I chose this practice area because it challenges me intellectually every single day. The highlight of being a trainee at Travers Smith is the opportunity to watch clever, driven people at work and I have learned much of what I know about the law from watching and engaging with my colleagues. The non-hierarchical nature of the Firm means that you are involved in every aspect of a deal or case, and you share in the victories that your team achieves. The partners and senior associates do not put you in a box as a trainee but meet you where you are in terms of your ability. The essence of Travers Smith's culture is supportive while driving you to achieve more. 

I began developing the analytical skills I need for my job during my degree at Cambridge. When I arrived at University as an undergraduate, it became clear quickly that my experience to date only equipped me to regurgitate the views of other people. I learned that I needed to question my thought processes and be evaluative in my approach to problems and the literature I read. This is a very important part of my job today. At University, I also learned how to take constructive criticism and use the feedback to improve myself (how do you think I found out I wasn't thinking critically?!)

Outside of work I like going out for nice dinners and watching the Real Housewives. Oh, and a glass of wine. Sorry, not sorry!

My typical day

The most important part of your job as a trainee is managing the project you are working on. Whether that is maintaining a solid documents list on a transaction, managing a conditions precedent process, or ensuring court deadlines are met. Those things came first for me as a trainee and continue to drive much of my work as an NQ. As a trainee in Competition, I regularly worked on research projects whether related to niche points of law or market definitions and was often able to take on drafting in advice notes and in court submissions.

Being a trainee is challenging. There are no entirely straightforward transactions or cases, and it is difficult to find your feet in such a fast-paced profession. The biggest challenge I have faced during my training contract was the transition to a year of remote working as I moved from my first to my second seat in the Dispute Resolution department in March 2020. The way the Firm supported its juniors during such a difficult time is indicative of how I have been supported when it comes to day-to-day challenges. I had daily catch-up calls with my supervising partner, who continued to set me interesting tasks and offer feedback. The Firm provided me with all the equipment I needed to do my job well. By the end of my second seat, I felt that I had learned just as much as I did in my first seat.  

Pro bono work is also a very important part of Travers Smith’s identity. I had the most amazing time supporting Colours Cayman in its application to intervene in judicial review proceedings in the Cayman Islands, which in short was geared towards supporting the right of LGBTQ+ citizens to marry in the Cayman Islands.. I never imagined I would be involved in international public law issues that go to the heart of a cause I believe in during my City law career, and it was a privilege to be involved in such an important project.

My top tips for applicants

  • Don't be too hard on yourself, the right opportunity will come along in time.

  • You do not need to be a marathon running, Financial Times reading, espresso drinking law robot to get a great training opportunity.

  • Step into every room, approach every piece of work and enter every meeting putting your best foot forward. Confidence is crucial to being successful."

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