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Travers Smith LLP


Travers Smith LLP - London
  • 10 Snow Hill
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1A 2AL
  • Managing Partner Andrew Lilley
  • Senior Partner Chris Hale
  • UK  
  • Number of partners 64
  • Assistant solicitors 165
  • Other fee-earners  80
  • International  
  • Number of partners  2
  • Assistant solicitors 2

THE FIRM Travers Smith has spent the past 150 years quietly building a reputation for excellence. The key to its reputation is a partner-led approach and uncompromising focus on quality control. This, when allied to one of the highest retention rates in the City, means it is able to present clients with consistent teams of uniformly excellent lawyers. With around 300 lawyers, the firm’s size allows it to be entrepreneurial in approach and exceptionally efficient. It fights only the battles that are worth winning, focusing all the time on the results it can achieve for its clients rather than the points it can score. This approach has attracted a long and loyal list of clients.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Travers Smith is a full-service law firm. Technical excellence underpins everything it does, but the firm also strives to provide user-friendly legal advice that is relevant to clients’ needs. The firm acts for a number of publicly-listed and private companies, financial institutions and private equity clients, and other business enterprises involved in large and complex, UK and cross-border transactions. A corporate law firm, its business comprises the following main practice areas: banking, commercial (including IP and IT), corporate (corporate finance, private equity and investment funds), corporate recovery, employment, employee incentives, environment and planning, EU and competition, financial services and regulatory, litigation, pensions, real estate and tax.

INTERNATIONAL For its international and cross-border work, Travers Smith has always favoured close relationships with other premium quality independent law firms, deliberately avoiding formal networks and exclusive relationships. Instead, the firm has invested heavily in forming close ties with a number of carefully chosen preferred firms, ensuring its clients have the very best experience and expertise at their disposal.

RECRUITMENT Travers Smith is always looking to recruit people from all backgrounds, with academic excellence and sound judgement who take their careers, but not themselves, seriously. The firm’s training philosophy is that skill and expertise are best acquired through practical experience complemented by carefully targeted formal instruction. Great emphasis is placed on ensuring that trainees are actively involved in a broad range of work and the firm regularly wins awards for its training programmes. Graduate applications are made to Graduate Recruitment Manager Germaine VanGeyzel at www.traverssmith.com/graduaterecruitment.

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate/Commercial/Financial Services 40%
  • Banking/Corporate Recovery 12%
  • Litigation 12%
  • Real Estate 10%
  • Employment 10%
  • Tax 10%
  • Pensions 6%
  • Banking Jeremy Walsh
  • Commercial Tom Purton
  • Corporate Finance Neal Watson
  • Corporate Recovery Jeremy Walsh
  • Employee Incentives Mahesh Varia
  • Employment Tim Gilbert
  • EU/Competition Nigel Seay
  • Financial Services & Regulatory Margaret Chamberlain
  • Investment Funds Sam Kay
  • IT/IP Dan Reavill
  • Litigation Stephen Paget-Brown
  • M&A Spencer Summerfield
  • Pensions Paul Stannard
  • Private Equity Philip Sanderson
  • Real Estate Julian Bass
  • Regulatory Investigations Stephen Paget-Brown, Margaret Chamberlain
  • Tax Kathleen Russ


Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An energetic team with recognised capacity acting for borrowers and sponsors. Active on complex acquisition and leveraged financings, and experiencing an increase in borrower-side distressed and non-distressed refinancings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "They are very heavy-hitting lawyers for the mid-market; very bright and able partners as well as non-partners."

Commercial awareness: "Strong presence in private equity, which has given us insight into the sponsors we're working with on the transactions and what we can expect."

Client service: "Incredibly efficient and responsive; service level is incredibly high."

What's new? Charles Bischoff was made up to partner.

The team was appointed to the RBS Transactional Panel.

Work highlights Acted for Silverfleet Capital on financing arrangements for its acquisition of A/S Cimbria.

Advised ICG as sponsor on the acquisition of ATPI, which included drafting the senior and mezzanine facilities agreements.   

Notable practitioners 

Matthew Ayre is a highly active and well-regarded partner who is noted as being "incredibly good at negotiating points that clients think are important and getting them won." He recently advised Silicon Valley bank on debt facilities it extended to Francisco Partners in connection with the take-private of Kewill.

Department head Jeremy Walsh is a skilled acquisition finance and debt restructuring practitioner. He recently spearheaded the team's work on financing arrangements for Silverfleet Capital's purchase of A/S Cimbria.

Clients highlight Andrew Gregson as being "really good to work with and very commercially minded." He acted for Jake Acquisitions on the refinancing of Mayborn Group, and for Phoenix Equity Partners as sponsor on financing for the purchase of Gall Thomson Environmental. He is described as "very calm and considered."

Significant clients Bridgepoint, Carlyle, Silicon Valley Bank, Exponent, RBS.  

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for High-quality banking litigation practice with a solid reputation. Involved in large and complex matters and has the capacity to act against banks when there is no conflict.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are very well managed and organised, able to deal with cases that involve significant volumes of documentation. Highly commercial and pragmatic." 

Work highlights Acted for Sebastian Holdings in London and US proceedings against Deutsche Bank in a damages claim for breach of duty and breach of agreements arising out of losses from derivatives transactions.

Acted in the Commercial Court on behalf of the Argentine Republic in connection with actions brought by vulture funds and enforcement of New York judgments relating to default under bonds.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Stephen Paget-Brown is favourably described as "very dedicated" and "very practical." He has significant experience handling professional negligence claims, insurance disputes and fraud matters.

Robert Fell has a strong track record advising a broad range of clients in the sector including investment banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions.

A "superb practical lawyer," Andrew King was the lead partner on the Sebastian Holdings case. He has notable expertise in the banking and insolvency fields.

Significant clients Rosneft Oil, RBS, Santander, Nomura, Macquarie Bank.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 60 other lawyers

What the team is known for Praised for its high-quality service to new and repeat clients on high-end and mid-market M&A transactions. Mining, infrastructure and IT-related deals are particular strengths.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The Travers Smith team handled our transaction with great skill, patience and dedication."

Responsiveness: "They are prompt with their responses and inspire confidence with the quality of advice they give."

Pragmatic advice: "They are very professional, provide excellent service and are very much aimed at getting the job done."

What's new? New clients or panel wins include Steribottle, ZM Capital Advisors, Pathfinder Minerals, API Technologies.

Work highlights Advised NDS Group on the position of its senior management on the sale of the company for USD5 billion to Cisco Systems.

Represented Metric Property Investments on its £811 million merger with London & Stamford Property by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Represented GlobeOp Financial Services and its management team on a £566.48 million recommended offer for its share capital by a company backed by Texas Pacific and subsequently by SS&C Technologies.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Hale is "terrific" and "highly practical," and "returns my calls very quickly," impressed sources say. He advised CPA Global on its sale to Cinven.

Philip Cheveley is "available, responsive and practical, but with a firm grasp of the underlying legal issues and we get accurate, competent advice from him," clients say. He recently advised Canaccord Financial on the £253.3 million takeover of Collins Stewart Hawkpoint.

Andrew Gillen "explains matters very comprehensively" and is "able to provide solutions," clients say. He represented Force India Formula 1 in Sahara India Pariwara's USD100 million investment in the team.

Richard Spedding is "highly proactive," "highly attentive" and "competent and capable." His clients include a number of quoted companies, hedge funds and investment banks.

Spencer Summerfield is "highly experienced, commercially focused and very helpful during at times heated negotiations," enthusiastic clients say. He advised India Hospitality on its acquisition of Adelie Food for INR18 billion.

Significant clients Macquarie Bank, London Mining, Challenger, API Technologies, Marwyn. 

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offering partner-led representation to employers across a range of industry sectors. Equally proficient in overseeing both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're really sound in terms of providing you with a balanced perspective. They don't just quote the law at you, they help you to apply it."

Bench strength: "They field an excellent employment team to manage complex disputes."

Work highlights Successfully assisted Raytheon Systems in connection with a substantial whistle-blowing claim brought by a senior employee.

Aided Quest Diagnostics in its successful defence of claims brought by a former employee relating to unfair dismissal and racial discrimination.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Andrew Lilley maintains an active presence within the marketplace. "Andrew has gravitas and people listen to him with good reason," notes one source who also praises his propensity to "take a constructive approach in order to help all parties reach an amicable resolution."

Siân Keall is often retained in an advisory capacity by leading corporate clients. Those surveyed cite her "tactical approach" and her commercial acumen as two of her major strengths.

Noted for his commercial approach to matters, Tim Gilbert is head of the employment department. He recently represented Quest Diagnostics in a complex tribunal claim brought by a former employee.

Ed Mills's practice spans the gamut of employment law and he is comfortable when acting for clients on either contentious situations or in an advisory capacity. He led on the Raytheon Systems matter.

Significant clients Virgin Active, BNP Paribas Real Estate, 3663, Deloitte, Rugby Football Union.

Environment - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Advises clients on EU-wide product stewardship, focusing on issues such as WEEE, REACH and packaging regulations. Also handles transactions and contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They were thorough and timely, they delivered within the deadlines, and every element they agreed to was delivered." 

Breadth of services: "A powerful team covering lots of areas; they have good expertise in areas such as REACH, producer responsibility and CRC."

What's new? Doug Bryden was promoted to partner in July 2012.

New clients include Aviva Investors.

Work highlights Advised Specialized Bicycle Components on REACH and packaging regulations across several EU member states.

Notable practitioners  

New partner Doug Bryden leads the firm's London environment team. Sources extol his strategic vision for the team and note that "he has highly developed commercial awareness." Sources say: "He is a really intelligent guy and a charmer."

Owen Lomas is a consultant at the firm and "one of the giants" of environmental law, according to sources. He has advised Avnet on WEEE and packaging regulations on an international basis. Sources say: "He is a highly commercial and seriously astute lawyer."

Significant clients Nike, Phoenix Capital Partners, Macquarie Bank, WSP Environmental, Liberty Minerals and Mining.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts for claimants and defendants in a range of civil fraud proceedings. Equipped to handle cross-jurisdictional issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their lawyers are all user-friendly and pragmatic. Very good, very easy to deal with and very client-focused."

Team strength: "Consistent quality across the board." 

Work highlights Instructed to advise Pathfinder Minerals on a complex mining dispute involving allegations that licences were fraudulently transferred from a subsidiary of Pathfinders to an organisation under the control of its directors.

Continued to represent the directors of the Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund in the defence of claims arising from the fund's collapse.

Notable practitioners  

Sources characterise Stephen Paget-Brown as a "decisive and commercial" litigator who is dedicated to client service. His recent experience includes advising on multi-jurisdictional freezing orders. 

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Advises businesses operating in financial services, e-commerce and retail on IT projects. Also acts for suppliers of technology as well as customers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Global reach: "We wanted a firm with international capacity, and are very pleased."

Work highlights Advised investment management firm Brewin Dolphin on the outsourcing of its front and back office systems.

Advised Shazam on an internal review of its compliance with user data regulations and on how new revenue streams can be created using new technology.

Notable practitioners  

Dan Reavill is probably best known for his IT work in the financial services sector, but he advises clients from all manner of industries. One source said they instruct him for "more complicated and larger contracts," and that he "works to understand the relationship with the suppliers but is protective of us."

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department 
- 6 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A high-quality London offering, supported by strong international relationships. Well known for banking expertise as well as broad experience across general commercial litigation matters. Illustrious roster of blue-chip clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "Consistent quality across the board and they get some really high-quality work." 

Client service: "I have found them to be very down to earth, highly competent and reasonable." 

What's new? Mueller Industries is a new client for the team.

Work highlights Acted for Pathfinder Minerals on a dispute over the ownership of mining concession licences in Mozambique, a matter involving complex parallel proceedings in England and Mozambique.  

Defended Mueller Industries against contribution claims brought by two defendants in a cartel damages case.  

Notable practitioners

Stephen Paget-Brown is the recipient of significant positive commentary this year, with interviewees noting his "excellent availability and responsiveness," as well as his "clear and effective advice."

Sebastian Holdings lately instructed Robert Fell on complex litigation against Deutsche Bank, regarding losses derived from exotic derivatives transactions. He is identified as a "good lawyer and a good tactician," who is "good at marshalling the way things operate."

Andrew King is praised for being "very hard-working and very client-focused." One interviewee elaborates: "He's also a very bright intelligent lawyer with a lot of experience in commercial litigation." 

Highly experienced litigator Jonathan Leslie is picked out by market observers as a valuable member of the team. He has gained considerable experience across the spectrum of commercial and corporate disputes.

Toby Robinson was the lead litigation partner acting on behalf of Mueller Industries on defending sizeable contribution claims from defendants in a cartel damages claim.

"Very impressive litigator" Caroline Edwards is described as very solid and hard-working by sources. She has acted for London Mining on a series of commercial disputes.

Significant clients Argentine Republic, Rosneft, Sebastian Holdings, London Mining, Merlin Entertainments.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well regarded for advising trustees of large funds, but also acts for sponsoring employers. Often works in collaboration with other departments such as banking, corporate finance, outsourcing administration, derivatives and dispute resolution to provide unified advice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "Travers Smith gives detailed advice on all aspects of pension scheme operations performed to a tight timescale." 

Communication: "The firm speaks a language we find easy to understand. "

Pragmatic advice: "Members are practical and pragmatic."  

What's new? Susie Daykin and Daniel Gerring were both recently promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Akzo Nobel on entering into a £1.45 billion longevity assurance policy with Swiss Re subsidiary ReAssure. The transaction will hedge the longevity risk associated with 17,000 pension scheme members.

Advised the trustee of Unilever UK Pension Scheme on the closure of the final salary scheme to new accruals and the switch to a two-part scheme combining a defined benefit career average plan and a defined contribution investment plan.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Stannard has recently advised clients such as the trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme and the trustees of the AXA UK Group Pension Scheme. "He combines an encyclopaedic knowledge of pensions law with a firm grasp of the commercial environment," according to interviewees. 

Peter Esam acts for clients such as Unilever UK Pension Scheme and GE Pension Trustees. "He writes very good notes and presents well," says one client.

Philip Stear is noted as an extremely intelligent lawyer and is praised for being "able to simplify incredibly complex legislation." Recent work highlights include acting on the Akzo Nobel pension scheme longevity swap.

Susie Daykin recently advised Associated British Foods Pension Scheme on automatic enrolment. Sources describe her as "very focused and detailed," and as having a "very good theoretical and practical knowledge."

Peers recognise Daniel Gerring as a "bright young partner." He has recently co-led on matters for clients such as AXA UK Group Pension Scheme and Mirror pension schemes.

Significant clients AXA, British Steel, Unilever, Akzo Nobel, BAE Systems.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-8 partners
-20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts predominantly for lenders and real estate funds on investment and development financing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very commercial. They tell you what you need to do and then deal with the rest. The accessibility to partners is excellent."

What's new? Charles Bischoff was promoted to the role of partner. He has specialist experience in funds and acquisition finance.

Work highlights Acted on the financing of two hotels at the Olympic Park for Patron Capital.

Advised joint venture partners AREA and London Square on their £100 million acquisition and development of Farm Lane Fulham, a residential development.

Notable practitioners 

Jeremy Walsh is a key contact here.

Significant clients Helaba, Santander, Meyer Bergman, Mountgrange, Natixis. 

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a range of real estate services, often acting for real estate funds and on corporate occupier work. Active in the London investment market and in distressed property portfolio management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm is highly experienced, with an excellent client focus. All the partners I have come across have been charming and a pleasure to deal with."

Responsiveness: "They all gave an extremely prompt and efficient service."

 Market standing: "Travers Smith has always been regarded very highly for over 40 years. They are a really nice firm to deal with."

What's new? Cording Capital is a new client.

Work highlights Acted for Jaguar Capital on the £165 million sale of 10 Queen Street Place to Tabung Haji.

Advised Blacks Leisure Group on the sale of assets out of administration, including over 300 stores.

Notable practitioners 

Julian Bass is head of real estate at Travers Smith. He acts on investment, development and management matters. Clients include Peel, Pinewood Shepperton and Mountgrange.

Anthony Judge specialises in investment, real estate recovery and finance for investors, property companies and fund managers. Meyer Bergman is a key client.

James Styles is "very good, knows what he's doing and has very good understanding," according to clients. He focuses on investment work for fund clients and corporate real estate. He recently acted for Lothbury Property on the letting of Rathbone Place to Sony and other occupiers.

Significant clients Woelbern Invest, Lothbury Property Trust, Meyer Bergman, Amcorp Group, Mountgrange.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Expertise in retail and pensions matters. Particular strength in representing both corporates and insolvency practitioners. Involved in numerous significant insolvencies on the UK high street.

Work highlights Advised Clinton Cards on its administration, including advice on handling and negotiating with lenders, and guidance on directors' duties.

Advised Blacks Leisure Group on its administration, including property and trading guidance.

Notable practitioners 

Head of department Jeremy Walsh has a diverse practice demonstrating expertise in both acquisition finance and debt restructuring. He was the lead partner on the Clinton Cards administration.

Significant clients KPMG, BDO, Zolfo Cooper, Bank of England, Bridgepoint Advisers.

Tax - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong focus advising on tax matters for an impressive private equity client base. Also houses notable expertise in the spheres of investment funds and property tax.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They were very efficient, timely people to deal with. Great in explaining complicated matters to me and to people on the other side of the table."

Work highlights Assisted Marwyn Management Partners on its sale of Marwyn Gaming to Merkur Casino UK, including providing advice on risk sharing and on potential tax reclaims from litigation.

Advised French company Groupe Ludendo on the tax implications of its acquisition of Hamleys.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Stratton handles a range of corporate tax matters, including major M&A for prestigious clients. 

Department head Kathleen Russ is notable for her concentration on the provision of tax advice to major private equity clients, including recent advice to ATPI (Jersey) on its acquisition of ATPI Cayman.

Simon Yates has "encyclopaedic knowledge" of the corporate tax market, with particular knowledge of property tax matters. He recently advised Groupe Ludendo on its acquisition of Hamleys.

Simon Skinner specialises in advising on tax matters in the private equity sphere and was recently part of the team advising on the sale for Marwyn Management Partners.

Significant clients Bridgepoint, The Peel Group, Phoenix Equity Partners, Exponent Private Equity, The Carlyle Group.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Retains its position as a key player in the AIM market, with a stable of leading clients who are active in the area, especially in the financial services and oil and gas sectors. Also offers clients the benefit of strong in-house US securities expertise.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They're a very close-knit partnership and they've always got some very accessible, well-rounded, bright lawyers that are assigned to our matters."

Partner involvement: "Partner contact and a proactive nature for solving problems as well as lightening our load."

Pragmatic advice: "Resourceful and keen to do the deal pragmatically."

What's new? William Howard and Lucie Cawood were both promoted to partner level, strengthening the firm's overall corporate finance offering.

Work highlights Acted for AIM-listed London Mining with regard to a new share offering, for the purpose of raising funds to finance a mine in Sierra Leone.  

Advised Panmure Gordon in connection with software provider WANdisco's admission to AIM. On admission the company had a market capitalisation of £41 million.

Notable practitioners  

Spencer Summerfield is described as "very commercially understanding, and very pragmatic." He has a wealth of experience in the area, and was the lead partner on the aforementioned London Mining deal.

Andrew Gillen acted for JAB Holdings in connection with a £1.2 billion placing of shares in Reckitt Benckiser Group. Commentators admire that he "always fights his client's corner very hard." 

Sources credit the "excellent and incredibly diligent" Aaron Stocks with always being readily available and "prepared to expand the scope of what you'd expect from your lawyers."

Significant clients Volex, Cenkos Securities, Peel Hunt, Hirco, London Mining.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded team focused on business-critical commercial contracts. Expertise includes supply chain agreements, outsourcing and co-operative arrangements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The quality of the lawyers is excellent and the service is hands-on. A lot of activity from partners."

Client service: "Their work is excellent. Attention to detail is excellent. Customer service is excellent and readily available."

Commercial awareness: "High-quality, pragmatic, efficient and well suited to our business needs."

What's new? Plumbee is a new client.

Work highlights Advised Martin McColl Retail Group on the renegotiation of UK-wide supply and distribution agreements covering cigarettes, alcohol, food and confectionery.

Acted for Element Six on worldwide and EEA region agency and distribution agreements for the sale of synthetic diamond products. Also advised on the outsourcing of a sterilisation manufacturing process and on research and development agreements.

Notable practitioners

Tom Purton is highly regarded and widely recognised by peers in the commercial contracts space. He recently acted for Shepherd Neame on its brewing, packaging, marketing, distribution and licensing agreements. Clients say he is "tremendous. He really is top-rate."

Richard Brown handles contractual arrangements, joint ventures and outsourcing for clients in the media, sports, leisure and other sectors. Recent work includes advising Plumbee on its joint venture with Sportingbet to create a pay-to-play casino, lottery and game platform.

Significant clients TSL Education, Macquarie Bank, Pinewood Studios, Pret A Manger, Channel 4.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assisting private equity-backed corporations with the implementation of both domestic and international share schemes. Clients are drawn from across multiple industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "The firm has vast experience of the employee share schemes field as well as knowledge of the various tax considerations."

Client service: "They were helpful, responsive and flexible."

Commercial awareness: "Commercial, in both written and verbal communications."   

Work highlights Advised Google on the share scheme aspects of its acquisition of Quickoffice.

Assisted The Carlyle Group with the share plan implications of an MBO of Nature Delivered.

Notable practitioners 

Mahesh Varia heads the department and continues to draw praise for his "helpful and knowledgeable" approach to instructions. "He's outstanding," reported one client; "we have the highest level of respect for him and confidence in the advice he provides."

Significant clients Pret A Manger, Canaccord Financial, Kier Group, London Mining, Barclays Wealth Trustees.  

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners 
- 19 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Highly regarded practice on the non-contentious regulatory side, with proven strength in alternative fund management and financial market infrastructure. Also offers notable expertise in contentious regulatory matters, with a number of experienced practitioners active in the area.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "They are very helpful in acting very quickly and giving practical advice that we can actually implement easily." 

Responsiveness: "They are extremely responsive - I never feel abandoned."

Work highlights Advised Canaccord in connection with the regulatory aspects of its £235 million acquisition of Collins Stewart Hawkpoint, including the regulatory capital structuring.

Notable practitioners  

Margaret Chamberlain wins praise from sources who find her "very concise, very considered and very calm." She offers a wealth of experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has recently been involved in several Section 166 investigations on behalf of clients. 

Mark Evans wins praise for the fact that "he understands the provenance of the rules, and the history and policy behind the rules, as well as the black letter law itself." Interviewees also credit him with providing a "faultless, top-end service." He is widely regarded as a leading figure on non-contentious regulatory matters.

Jane Tuckley is viewed as "a trusted adviser who thinks about me and my business and not just about her bills." She is noted for her non-contentious expertise and is regularly involved in matters on an international level.  

Tim Lewis is well regarded for his capacity to advise on regulatory capital issues, wherein he regularly assists the BVCA. He is also a specialist in alternative investment management funds.

Sources appreciate that Philip Bartram's advice is "always backed up with good reasoning and commercial awareness," and also highlight that he is "able to describe things from a practical point of view." He is highlighted for his non-contentious regulatory expertise.

Stephen Paget-Brown co-heads the department alongside Margaret Chamberlain. Recently he has been particularly active in FSA investigations and is commended by interviewees for his experience in matters related to market abuse.

Significant clients AIG Asset Management, Bain Capital, Standard Bank, Apollo Global Management, Bridgepoint Capital.

Franchising - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Enviable retail sector client base. Advises on cross-border franchising agreements for both franchisors and franchisees.

What's new? New clients for the practice include Caffè Nero, Patron Capital and Cycas Hotel Partners.

Work highlights Acted for clothing retailer LK Bennett in connection with franchise operations in the Middle East.

Advised Patron Capital and hotel management company Cycas, in connection with management agreements for Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites.

Notable practitioners

Tom Purton leads the firm's commercial, IP and IT practices. Sources note his good commercial sense and impressive knowledge of franchising practice.

Significant clients Pinewood Studios, Vestey Foods Group, SSP Group, Prêt à Manger, Moto.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Invites mandates from leading private fund managers and investors, concentrating largely on the mid-market. Regarded as a solid presence on the regulatory side, offering guidance to alternative asset managers on complex regulations such as the AIFMD.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Approachable, professional and timely."

What's new? The team has gained new clients OXIP, AGC Equity Partners, Mosaic Property CEE, Siren EP and Syndicate Resources.

Work highlights Acted for Abris Capital Partners on the final closing of its second private equity fund, targeting EUR450 million.

Advised Metric Property Investments on the merger of two UK REITs, in a transaction worth £800 million.

Notable practitioners  

Samuel Kay receives glowing reviews from market commentators, who note his "impressive industry knowledge and experience." He is also praised for his flexibility and international outlook: "He can operate cross-border and around the clock."

Significant clients LDC, Benson Elliot Capital Management, GCP Europe, Elysian Capital, Aberdeen Asset Managers.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A growing profile in broadcasting, film and television. Looks after a sophisticated client base on all manner of commercial and corporate matters, with a particularly strong understanding of digital content exploitation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We appreciate their seminars and talks as well – always worthwhile and a real value-add."

Commercial awareness: "The lawyers integrated well into our business and provided an invaluable service to the legal team and the company as a whole."

Work highlights Advised YouView, a joint venture between the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, BT, Arqiva and Talk Talk, on pre-launch issues affecting its new television platform.

Advised Channel 4 on its recent acquisition of additional Freeview broadcasting capacity.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Brown specialises in commercial, IP and corporate transactions, very often on behalf of broadcasters and media organisations. One client said he "is always easy to get hold of and has a good understanding of the challenges facing our business."

Benjamin Chivers is an associate who has already impressed many of the firm's flagship clients with his insights and hard work. His advice is all the more valuable since he came into private practice from an in-house position at a new media company. 

Significant clients Avail TVN, Pinewood Shepperton, talkSPORT, On Demand Group, Shazam.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 

- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Excellent record in representing customers and suppliers in business process and IT outsourcings. Key strengths include acting for clients from the financial services, distribution, retail and media sectors. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have excellent industry experience under their belts."

Work highlights Represented Brewin Dolphin in an IT outsourcing of front and back office systems to two vendors.

Advised NFT Distribution on the renegotiation of its outsourcing arrangements with Sainsbury's. 

Notable practitioners  

Tom Purton advises clients including TSL Education and 1st Credit as well as other notable names in the financial services sector.

Dan Reavill has an excellent track record in IT outsourcing projects, most notably the Brewin Dolphin transaction outlined above.  

Significant clients Select Service Partner, STA Travel, Shepherd Neame, Charterhouse Print Management, Firstsource. 

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Brings together the expertise of pensions and dispute resolution lawyers to offer clients a full service. Experienced in a wide range of contentious pensions issues, including professional negligence arising in a pensions context.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Travers Smith has extraordinary strength in depth."

Clients praise the support leant by the firm's highly regarded non-contentious pensions team.

Work highlights Acted for the trustees of the Lehman Brothers' Pension Scheme in litigation concerning how financial support directions made against Lehman companies rank as priorities in insolvency.

Acted for the trustees of the ITN Pension Scheme in proceedings brought to clarify the interpretation of scheme rules regarding spouses' pensions.

Notable practitioners  

Senior counsel Mark Hall is noted for his involvement in a number of significant pensions cases. One commentator says: "He's a very thorough and sensible litigator."

Significant clients AXA UK Group Pension Scheme trustees. 

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 40 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises many large UK and international private equity houses on high-end and mid-market deals. Sources speak highly of its expertise on highly complex transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are very commercial and help us to solve our business problems. They are able to think creatively about issues."

Technical ability: "The structuring was very complicated and they did a terrific job."

Client service: "They deliver a very good service and are very responsive."

What's new? New clients include Avail Media, Crystal Motor Group, Leeds Equity Advisors, Pure Gym and Top Right Group.  

Work highlights Advised NDS on the position of its senior management team after the USD5 billion sale of the company to Cisco Systems.

Represented Silverfleet Capital in its EUR137 million acquisition of A/S Cimbria.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Hale advised 3i on the £1.54 billion acquisition of Network Finland and Heat Finland. He heads the corporate team.

Paul Dolman is "incredibly commercial," and is praised by clients for his personable manner. His highlights include advising Clessidra SGR on its EUR300 million acquisition of Euticals.

"Bright lawyer," Helen Croke is "tenacious," "thinks out of the box" and is "highly focused on getting the deal done," impressed market sources say. She advised BTMC Bidco, backed by Intermediate Capital, on the tertiary buyout of ATPI from Equistone Partners Europe.

Ian Shawyer is "able to mix clear legal advice with common sense," and "understands problems and offers solutions," satisfied clients say. He is a regular choice to advise management teams, investee companies and institutional investors on a range of transactions.

Edmund Reed is commended by clients for his "commercial, 'can do' approach." He has an active practice advising private equity houses on transactions.

Significant clients Bridgepoint, Lyceum Capital, Silverfleet Capital, Exponent, Arle.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Praised for its strong understanding of the retail industry, offering experts in commercial contracts, franchising, corporate transactions, IP and brand protection. Also noted for its involvement in significant corporate and real estate transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are very professional, very good lawyers, and provide thought-out advice that is consistently well presented."

Responsiveness: "They are really open, give clear advice, are very responsive, engage with us really well and are always thinking ahead."

What's new? New instructions from Taylor Street Baristas, Bounty UK and Le Chameau.

Work highlights Advised Clinton Cards on its highly publicised administration and the administrator, Zolfo Cooper, on property issues relating to its 800 stores.

Advising L K Bennett on its franchise agreements in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar, as part of its international expansion project.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Purton leads the retail group and is the key contact.

Significant clients L K Bennett, Pret A Manger, Musto, John Lewis, Martin McColl.