Ibrahim Chaudhary

Associate

Overview

Travers Smith fast facts:

Name: Ibrahim Chaudhary

Job title: Associate

Department: Financial Services and Markets

University: LSE

Degree and subject: Law

Associate Ibrahim Chaudhary sits in the Financial Services and Markets team at Travers Smith. Here he reflects on why he chose Travers Smith and his typical day.

"My interest in Travers Smith was initially driven by the firm’s excellent reputation. During my vacation scheme, I was drawn to the firm’s distinctively friendly, approachable, and open culture. This combined with a smaller trainee intake and the room-sharing system convinced me that Travers Smith was the right place to build my career.

Travers Smith's position in the legal market is unique. The firm is at the cutting edge of legal practice in London. It is well documented that the firm resisted the trend to open offices in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Instead, Travers Smith maintained its two offices in London and Paris and organically built a thriving international practice through the careful cultivation of a network of relationships with other leading independent firms across the world. Travers Smith has successfully carved a niche in the legal market, providing a seamless and flexible international service to clients while also remaining at the forefront of developments in London.

I have had several highlights during my time at Travers Smith, including working on a complex partition demerger whilst I was a trainee in the Tax department. Since I qualified in March 2021, I have had numerous highlights including holding my first solo call as a qualified lawyer with clients and local counsel and speaking at client presentations.

The Travers Smith Culture

Travers Smith is a great firm for trainees. First, the room-sharing system allows trainees to learn directly from senior associates and partners and contributes to a culture that is non-hierarchical and collegiate. This structure supported me to develop the "softer" client-facing skills that are required to be a successful solicitor. Secondly, the Partners at Travers Smith take a proactive approach to training, and I always feel comfortable asking them for help. Finally, the smaller intake means that you are given greater responsibility to develop and hone skills at an earlier stage in your career. In many cases, there will likely only be a single trainee assisting on any given transaction or matter.

The firm takes pride in the fact that it leads and sponsors, many pro bono schemes. Travers Smith Lawyers regularly volunteer at legal advice clinics (both general and family law-specific clinics). During my time as a trainee, I regularly volunteered at the General Legal Advice Clinic in Bethnal Green. The firm also partners with local schools as part of the BEE scheme (Business, Enterprise and Employability) which aims to promote financial literacy. As part of this scheme, I accompanied students on a visit to the Bank of England's Museum and helped them complete various activities.

Diversity and inclusion at Travers Smith contribute to the firm's vibrant and open culture. The firm maintains specific diversity-related network groups; the Faith Resources Group, the Gender Balance Group, the LGBTQ+ Group, the Enable Group and the BAME Group. These groups regularly meet and hold events, including firmwide initiatives which aim to increase awareness of important religious and/or cultural festivities.

My Travers Smith Journey

My journey to Travers Smith started in a galaxy far, far away (I grew up in Cheshire) and I fell into being a solicitor without ever planning to do so. I studied law at university purely out of academic interest and without any concrete plans for my career. At various points during my degree, I considered numerous careers including academia and even interior design. However, during my penultimate year studying law, like many of my fellow students, I decided to apply for vacation schemes. My experience on Travers Smith's vacation scheme stood out to me and convinced me that  I could thrive here.

During my training contract, I sat in the Financial Services department and I particularly enjoyed my time there. The Financial Services team has an incredibly varied practice area, which encompasses not only traditional asset management advisory work and financial market infrastructure work but also contentious regulatory matters. I was most attracted to the fact that the department works on market-leading matters and regularly contributes to regulatory change projects. Financial services is an area that is constantly evolving, which presents a unique challenge that, together with the breadth of the department's practice areas, appeals to me.

As a newly qualified Associate, I am still developing a specific area of expertise; however, to date, I have mostly worked on matters which involve advising alternative asset managers on sustainable finance related issues (including EU initiatives such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation.

My Typical Day

I usually aim to arrive in the office at around 9:15 am. After checking my emails, I start work promptly. A typical day involves progressing various workstreams in the background while also attending calls with clients. During these calls, I take a detailed attendance note together with a list of any follow-up actions.

After work, I spend time going on leisurely walks by the river, visiting museums and reading. I am an avid traveller and enjoy exploring little known destinations. On weekends you are most likely to see me brunching, lunching, picnicking and then dining my way across London. 

My Top Tips for Applicants

  • As trite as it might sound – be yourself and do not be afraid to ask questions. If you are reading this, you are likely to be interested in a career practicing law in the City and are searching for the right firm for you. Many firms appear superficially similar from the outside and the only way to truly distinguish between them is, in my view, to experience their work and culture directly. I would encourage you to engage with firms and be inquisitive. If you are looking for a firm that combines excellent training with a supportive and open atmosphere, then I would encourage you to apply to Travers Smith.

  • While no one skill defines a successful solicitor, some traits will support your success; attention to detail, time management, the ability to accurately summarise complex legal issues in a succinct and client-friendly fashion and an openness and willingness to interact with others."

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