Founded in 1930, Allen & Overy boasts some 521 partners and over 2,800 attorneys working in a total of 43 offices in major centers worldwide. In the United States, the firm's New York and Washington, D.C. offices serve as the hub from which the worldwide US Law Group continues to grow. In 2012 we were named the most innovative law firm in Europe by the FT. We are the only firm to have won this twice and to be ranked in the top three of the FT Law 50 since it began in 2006.” Our lawyers were ranked in Band 1 and 2 in 201 categories across all Legal 500 Directories, the highest of the global elite group of international law firms Additionally, since 2009 we have seen a 35% increase in our number of offices, with the most extensive global coverage in our peer group.
The strength of our business is based on global insight, local depth, creative thinking and a high performance culture. Together with our people, these qualities open doors for us and for our clients, giving us the confidence to tackle challenges, to evolve and to thrive.
The Global U.S. Law Group
Our U.S. Law Group comprises more than 350 U.S.-qualified lawyers who operate principally from our offices in Hong Kong, London, New York, Washington D.C., and Sao Paulo. We also have U.S. lawyers working in the following offices: Amsterdam, Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. However, on any given transaction where there is a need for U.S. law advice, our lawyers can, and often do, find themselves working in any one of dozens of countries. We have a presence in all of the world's leading financial centers.Our U.S. law practice is almost entirely international, principally involving cross-border transactions where an element of U.S. law is involved. Our work in emerging markets is particularly noteworthy, and our U.S. Lawyers often advise Central Banks and Governments not just on matters of law but also on policy. We provide counsel in the broadest sense, and our U.S. lawyers frequently devise new legal strategies for clients all over the world.
It is also an extremely successful practice. Our string of international awards bears testimony to our success, and we continue to attract new and prestigious clients. In 2012, we advised 76% of the top 100 companies on the Forbes 200 list of the world's biggest companies and in the past three years we have acted for 87% of these companies.
As for the selection process, the first round normally proves difficult for those not prepared. Insiders warn that although one person conducts the first round interviews, the screening process is rigorous, so be prepared.
Second rounds involve three to four interviews, with a lunchtime or coffee/tea session as well. While the first round focuses on credentials, for the second round, "personality will carry the day." Regarding questions to expect, one New York insider gives the following perspective: "It's left to each interviewer, but I would ask fairly standard questions seeking to find out why interviewees wanted to work for an international firm, their views on working overseas, whether they knew anything about Allen & Overy, and whether or not I thought they were someone with whom I should like to work."
Another contact, admits to having "a fairly aggressive interview technique." That contact continues: "Firstly I ask what the candidates know about Allen & Overy and what they think that we actually do for a job. The purpose of this is to see how seriously they take the interview and to make sure that they have done some research on us."
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."
Diversity & Inclusion:
We want to recruit the most talented and ambitious people, irrespective of differences such as education, religion, nationality, gender, social background or sexual orientation and we want to bring together people with different but complementary skills, ideas and experiences.
In the U.S., we support the recruitment and retention of minority candidates by sponsoring several student organizations and recruiting at various minority job fairs, including the Northeast Regional Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Job Fair, the 1L NYC Metro Area LGBT LeGaL Career Fair, Lavender Law, and the Annual National BALSA Convention. We also support a Women's Action Committee and Diversity Committee in New York and Washington, D.C. by sponsoring events and networking opportunities for our lawyers throughout the year.
We recognize that while we recruit high numbers of women, like all law firms we have more work to do in order to retain talented women at more senior levels and specifically in our partnership. One way we do this is by offering a flexible approach to partnership, allowing for partners to work part-time. This gives both men and women a genuine opportunity to adjust the hours they work, while continuing to progress as a partner. In addition, we have conducted research to help us identify the key decision-making stages for female associates and understand what motivates them to stay with the firm. As a result we are putting more emphasis on training, focusing on skills and the other capabilities needed for senior associates to progress to partnership. We also provide training on bias and cultural awareness to our recruitment and selection panels and to senior management.
Click on the following link for more details on Diversity & Inclusion.
Partners v. Associates? Not at all
Allen & Overy associates around the world give the highest marks in this category. In New York, a banking contact reports that "there is not that much hierarchy - partners are very approachable and friendly. A colleague in that department agrees that partners are "generally great." Across the pond, reviews are no less glowing. "There is very little partner vs. associate divide," says one U.S. qualified attorney in London. Another attorney agrees that "partners are very approachable and respectful." Still another concurs, and offers the following perspective: "[Partners] talk to me respectfully; I cannot imagine working with someone here who would raise his or her voice to me or get huffy."
Big firm, big hours
Not everyone takes exception to the hours regime. "I have very rarely had to cancel week evening plans as a result of work," says a New York associate, who confides "leaving around eightish most evenings." One lawyer, who reports 60 hour weeks on average, recounts the following: "The worst weeks I've ever had at Allen & Overy were 80 hours. That lasted for about five weeks, at which point one of the partners told me I was working too hard and was going to burn myself out. He put another associate on my deal to help me so that I could take better care of myself."
Training is another Allen & Overy strength, according to our contacts. Says a New Yorker:"As a trainee in London there are high levels of organized training, and also in New York. On-the-job training is also good with people ready and willing to answer my questions." "Outstanding formal and informal training," agrees a London contact. A U.S. qualified Londoner calls Allen & Overy's training opportunities "stellar" and notes firm-wide presentations, lectures by Oxford and Cambridge professors, biweekly group meetings (where associates give 45-minute presentations), regular two-hour training sessions in derivatives and securities law with partners, language tutorials, courses on topics such as public speaking and financial statement analysis, and a four-week long finance immersion course. Another contact in London praises "away days and corporate retreats," and "a large library as well as smaller specialized libraries throughout the firm."
Note that training opportunities in New York and London might outshine opportunities elsewhere. One associate, for example, reports that "being an expat in Italy means access to New York and U.K. training is more difficult than London or New York, where it is continuous."First-year associates attend a multi-day intensive training program tailored specifically to new associates’ issues. The course emphasizes both theory and practical exercises, and covers a wide range of topics including securities regulation, tax, accounting, and legal opinion practice. Entry-level associates in the New York office usually rotate through two departments for six months each during their first year at the Firm.
Allen & Overy offers a variety of training programs designed to help associates quickly realize their full potential. Opportunities include regular lectures on legal developments by partners, department-specific training sessions and practice area meetings. In addition to legal education, our program includes training in language, negotiation techniques, legal writing, and presentation skills.
We have a specialized intranet site that provides extensive and easily-accessible information, web-based platform offering CLE credited videos, and know-how to all of our lawyers world-wide. Allen & Overy holds annual U.S. practice offsite events, at which lawyers from all offices meet to network with colleagues and discuss strategies and future prospects for the practice.
All of their U.S. lawyers attend a series of CLE lectures, which take place throughout the year, covering advanced and specialized topics such as transaction structuring, regulation of the internet, drafting techniques, and accounting issues relevant to lawyers.
Allen & Overy also offers a three tier Business Skills Program that can be taken over the course of your time at the firm. The program aims to increase your knowledge capacity beginning with firm strategy, market position, communication skills, commercial and business understanding, and progressing up to understanding business issues from the client's perspective, strengthening your network and client relationships, and raising your profile.
Below is a list of Allen & Overy's primary practice areas in the U.S.
Banking & Finance (Asset and Structured Finance, Bank Regulatory, Global Loans, Insurance, Leveraged Finance, Project Bonds)
Capital Markets (Debt and Equity Capital Markets, Derivatives and Structured Products, Investment Funds and Structures, Securitization
Corporate/M&A (Antitrust, Corporate Governance, Employment and Benefits, Intellectual Property, Mergers and Acquisitions, Outsourcing, Private Equity)
Environmental (Climate Change; Carbon Trading, Environmental Compliance (E.U., U.S.), Environmental Disputes)
Financial Restructuring & Insolvency (Bankruptcy Court Proceedings, Out-of-Court Restructuring, U.S. Chapter 11, U.S. Chapter 15, Cross-Border Restructuring, Insurance Insolvency)
Litigation (Antitrust, Complex Corporate Litigation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Intellectual Property, International Arbitration, Internal Investigations, Professional Liability, Regulatory and White Collar Defense, Securities Litigation, including, Class Actions Defense)
Projects (Project Finance, Energy and Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships)
Real Estate (Acquisitions and Sales, Joint Ventures, Private Equity Fund Formation and Investment, Real Estate Finance, Workouts, Distressed Real Estate)
Regulatory (Anti-Corruption/Anti-Bribery (Ethics, FCPA, OFAC, Sanctions), Financial Services Regulatory, Asset Management, Banking, Commodities and Futures, Derivatives, Regulatory examinations and inquiries, Political Law)
Tax (Corporate Finance, Cross-Border Tax Planning, Complex Financial Products,Fund Formation and Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions, Spinoffs and Divestitures, Real Estate, Tax Controversy)
Please click on the following link for more information on Areas of Expertise.