What you need to know about… Allen & Overy

January 28, 2022

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3 min read

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An intro to the firm

Just six years after its creation in 1930 by George Allen and Thomas Overy, Allen & Overy (A&O) established itself as a leading law firm and has never looked back. The firm boasts 44 offices in 29 countries with a trainee intake in the UK of 85 per year. Banking, Finance and Capital Markets are A&O’s specialties and yet they have Tier 1 rankings across the board in departments such as restructuring and dispute resolutions. Firm revenue rose 5% to £1.62Bn in 2020 despite COVID-19. Allen & Overy also has a strong reputation for pushing the boundaries of legal tech. To characterise the firm in three words, they are market-leading, international, and pioneering.

Its key strengths

Allen & Overy’s specialism in finance means they often advise key players in high-value corporate deals. For example, they acted as an adviser for the leading loan providers in LVMH’s £15bn acquisition of Tiffany & Co. Additionally, they were recently awarded Winning Loan Deal of the Year in the IFLR’s 2021 European Awards ceremony for their work on Tesco’s $3.4bn multi-currency reference free rate – A&O advised BNP Paribas and Natwest in the deal.

They have also worked on innovative loan agreements such as when they advised Banco Santander on the first end-to-end blockchain bond issuance. For the transaction, Santander was supported by start-up Nivaura, a regulated fintech company, which was also the first start-up to be invited to Allen & Overy’s Fuse Hub in 2017. The purpose of Fuse is to “introduce a culture of innovation in the legal sector”. Another example of an innovative deal is A&O’s work on the first ESG-linked loan in Turkey and the first to be made available to the bank Garanti BBVA, highlighting the cutting edge deals on which A&O advises. If it involves finance, loans or capital markets then Allen & Overy is a key player. It is no surprise that the firm boasts clients such as JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG to name but a few.

The firm also advises on deals including big corporates. In another win for the firm’s Tier 1 restructuring department, A&O recently advised on the £1.2bn Virgin Atlantic rescue deal, under which the airline agreed to a recapitalisation plan resulting in a financing package worth £1.2bn.

Training, training, training...

A&O’s award-winning training is equally as impressive as its success in the market. The training can be described as balanced, flexible and innovative.

The firm’s training programme strikes a formidable balance between support and autonomy. As well as frequent departmental training and updates (specific to one’s seat), trainees are free to attend client seminars delivered by the firm’s partners and associates, all of whom are leading practitioners in their fields. Alongside this, A&O is keen for its trainees to learn from ‘real-world experience’. By leveraging its wealth of international and secondment opportunities, from Dubai and Singapore, to Meta and Goldman Sachs, the firm trusts its trainees to use their initiative to deliver innovative solutions on client matters, enabling them to learn from the best whilst making a meaningful contribution to significant, cross-border work.

Furthermore, A&O offers plenty of opportunities to customise the training contract. Trainees can choose to be seconded to the firm’s aforementioned Fuse Hub where they can accustom themselves with developments in legal tech. Combined with the firm’s emphasis on individual responsibility, A&O trainees can therefore expect to become elite, well-rounded lawyers of the future as a result of a rich learning experience like no other.

Report written by Andri Boda

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