Incoming Travers chief to shake up firm’s sector focus

Travers Smith is set to expand the use of its sector focus in a move that could see the firm add natural resources to its current roster of five industry groups.

Chris Hale
Chris Hale

Newly appointed senior partner Chris Hale, who was instrumental in launching the industry approach in 2011, is currently at the advanced stages of a review of the strategy that will conclude in two to three months’ time before he takes the helm from Chris Carroll on 1 July (6 February 2013).

This is likely to result in an expansion of its emphasis on the initiative, which has to date largely only focused on one group, leisure.

Alongside leisure, the firm chose retail, financial services, infrastructure and media for its five-sector strategy, which involves partners and associates becoming more educated in their specialist area in a bid to improve client service.

However, up until now, it has only been trialling a fully fledged sector approach for leisure, although others have had attention too.

It is now aiming to roll the approach out more deeply in the other sectors and potentially add a sixth, with natural resources among the lead candidates for inclusion.

Key clients in the sector include London Mining, which the firm advised on a $90m equity offering to fund an iron ore project in Sierra Leone last year, as well as on its 2009 IPO on Aim, with corporate partner Spencer Summerfield leading on both occasions.

Hale is planning to put the sector initiative at the heart of his strategy as senior partner amid attempts by the current corporate head to focus the firm’s business development methods under his leadership.

He commented: “It [the approach] means a small group spends time understanding a sector, reading the main journals relevant to it, attending key conferences and finding out the important trends. This should help us provide an even better service and better advice to our clients in these particular areas.”