Counsel | Travers Smith
- State school educated
I studied Law at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, qualified as a solicitor at a magic circle firm and have worked at Travers Smith since 2013, during which (via two secondments – one to a Dutch law firm in Amsterdam and the second to a global retail and commercial bank) I have worked on exciting, cutting-edge and complex matters for large, international clients.
I feel lucky to have had such opportunities, especially considering my background: I attended a state comprehensive school (where progression to university was the exception rather than the norm) and sixth form college in rural south west County Durham and started my training contract in the City when successful, out gay role models in the professional services space were few and far between. At sixth form, I was lucky to have supportive teachers who had high aspirations for me and my peers, however, I realise this is not the case for everyone.
Despite some excellent initiatives being pioneered by City firms (including my own) which do a fantastic job of raising aspirations among school leavers and graduates, there is still so much more to do to communicate the message that you don’t need to come from a traditional background or have the “right” accent to have a successful and fulfilling career in either Law or the City. For those of us who are passionate about social mobility and recruiting the best talent despite background or family circumstances, we each individually need to do as much as we can to spread this message and, to the extent I can help aspiring lawyers, I am determined to do so.