2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The sophistication of matters.”
“You work with incredibly bright and incredibly nice people.”
“BigLaw hours and expectations.”
“The offices are dated and boring (but we are moving next year, so that should improve!).”
About Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy stands as not only one of the U.K.’s most prestigious law firms—a pillar of the vaunted Magic Circle—but one of the largest firms in the world in terms of revenue. From two U.S. locations in New York and Washington, DC—and 155 U.S.-based attorneys—the firm continues to make its imprint on the American map.
Founders George Allen and Thomas Overy left a firm called Roney & Co. to open shop in London in 1930. It was George Allen’s representation of King Edward VIII during his 1936 abdication to marry American Wallis Simpson that really made the firm’s name (at the time, no scandal was bigger). In the decades that followed, A&O became one of London’s most prominent legal shops.
Today, A&O has offices and partners in more than 30 countries, and it has a network of associate firms that enable it to do business in 100 more nations. With around 550 partners and more than 2,000 lawyers, A&O is one of the largest law firms in the world. While the firm has a strong U.S.-based practice, the group border hops: A&O staffs U.S.-qualified attorneys in the U.S., the U.K., continental Europe, and Asia—the better to serve multinational clients.
As one would expect from a megafirm, A&O counsels in a wide variety of areas, from asset management and litigation to corporate and M&A to financial services regulation and regulatory compliance to securitization and tax—and everything in between. Given its international reach, it is no surprise that A&O is skilled in cross-border disputes—the firm is a regular among the top 20 in Vault’s International Practice Area ranking. The firm’s reach is particularly useful for its litigation practice, which counsels global clients in international arbitration, finance litigation, regulatory investigations—and much more.
Of course, you can’t talk about A&O without mention of its booming transactional practice. The firm has more than 1,000 lawyers specializing in banking and finance around the globe, making it one of the largest Banking and Finance departments of any law firm. The firm reaches across practice areas—including litigation, regulatory, and restructuring—to deliver innovative financial counsel. It’s no wonder the firm is among the top 25 in Vault’s Banking & Finance ranking.
On the M&A front, the firm advised on more than 274 global M&A deals in 2019 alone. Among its recent matters are advising 21st Century Fox in its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company, Atlantia in its takeover bid of Abertis, and Qualcomm in its acquisition of NXP Semiconductors.
The Right Direction
Allen & Overy has ditched annual performance reviews and replaced them with Compass, an innovative approach to performance and development that incorporates ongoing feedback rather than one yearly assessment. Associates receive real-time feedback via career conversations with partners. And the firm hosts a Compass app that allows attorneys to give and receive feedback at any time.
Feedback isn’t limited to associates, however. The firm offers a reverse mentoring program through which associates act as mentors to A&O’s Global Board members and senior leadership.
News & Awards
Allen & Overy advised on more deals during 2019 than any other law firm in the world. According to data from Refinitiv and Dealogic, A&O advised on 17 percent more deals than its nearest competitor across global DCM, ECM, M&A, loans, and project finance.
A&O announced new targets aimed at achieving greater ethnic diversity at every level of the firm and published its ethnicity Stay Gap. This follows leading diversity recruitment consultants Rare Recruitment’s analysis of the sector, which found that the average Black, Asian, and minority ethnic lawyer’s tenure at a law firm is around 18 months shorter than that of the average white lawyer.
Allen & Overy achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status for 2020. The Mansfield Rule Certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
- Represented Bank of China in connection with a USD465.85m loan to an international joint venture to purchase The Plaza Hotel and The Dream Downtown Hotel, two luxury hotels in New York City.
- Represented Carlyle Infrastructure Partners on the financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the redevelopment of Terminal 1 at JFK airport.
- Represented NEOM Company on the development of the estimated USD500bn NEOM giga-project on the Red Sea Coast in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, widely considered to be the most significant construction project currently in the market.
- Represented Santander on the world’s first public end-to-end blockchain bond.
- The Times Top 50 Employers for Women, 2020
- Top Legal M&A Adviser in Latin America by Latinvex, 2020
- International Law Firm of the Year at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Asia-Pacific Awards, 2020
- Law Firm of the Year - Debt Capital Markets at Legalcommunity Finance Awards, 2020
Why Work Here
See the Allen & Overy career's page for more information about how to apply:
Allen & Overy has it both ways
Allen & Overy associates frequently evoke not one but two elements of their firm's culture. "Reserved," says a member of the U.S. Law Group in London, "but friendly." Another U.S.-trained attorney in London calls the firm "relaxed and professional." In New York, an associate picks up the thread, labeling the firm "friendly and professional." Still another New Yorker describes the firm as follows: "Friendly, down-to-earth, welcoming, but hard-working and high-achieving."
Of course, there are those who choose to emphasize only one aspect. A contact in Prague focuses on Allen & Overy's business sensibilities, characterizing the firm as "very confident, quality-driven, service-oriented, and very devoted to clients." A U.S.-trained lawyer in London, however, accentuates the friendly, explaining: "In general terms, Allen & Overy is known outside the firm for how genuinely nice the people are. People are friendly and helpful, and there is the right balance between work and fun and social events."
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 610-6300
Senior Partner, U.S. and Latin America: Tim House
Managing Partners: Dave Lewis (NY), Jean Lee (DC)
Hiring Partners: Brian Jebb (NY), Sami Mir (DC)
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
2.5K - 3K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Mary Alex Hudson
Manager, Recruitment and Professional Development
No. of U.S. Offices: 2
No. of International Offices: 40
New York, NY
Ho Chi Minh City
Anti-Bribery and Corruption
Banking and Finance
Commodities Regulation and Enforcement
Corporate and M&A
Derivatives and Structured Finance
Employment and Benefits
Financial Services Regulation and Investigations
Leveraged and Acquisition Finance
Energy and Infrastructure
Restructuring and Insolvency
National Security and International Trade
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.