The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy has offices across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and is recognised globally for its work in finance and projects. The firm's client base includes governments, financial institutions and international conglomerates across the full range of legal services. Allen & Overy won Legal Innovator of the Year and Competition Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2017.
The star performers
Acquisition finance; Asset finance and leasing; Bank lending - investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial litigation; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Debt capital markets; Derivatives and structured products; Employment; Environment; High yield; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); Islamic finance; Oil and gas; Pensions; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Property finance; Rail; Securitisation; Trade finance.
Advising Computer Sciences Corporation on the IT and outsourcing aspects of the client's £11bn merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company's services business; worked for three different syndicates of banks on the Islamic Ijaara financing of twelve A330s and eight A320 aircraft to IAFC for lease to Saudi Arabia Airlines; represented semi-submersible accommodation provider, Prosafe SE, on the successful restructuring of its NOK 1.3bn and $288m bank facilities; acted for lead managers including Goldman Sachs on a €1bn notes issue by Nykredit Realkredit; acted for Société Générale in the refinancing of the construction costs of the Passante di Mestre toll road around Venice.
Angelo Gordon; Barclays; Bombardier; Cairn Capital; Credit Suisse; DVB Bank; Excelerate Energy; Fox Entertainment; Network Rail; Shell.
Recognised as a 'Magic Circle firm which is respected around the world', it is easy to see why the current trainees were attracted to Allen & Overy. Those surveyed commended the firm's 'strong practices across the board', especially the 'dominance of the finance practice'. The 'very good pastoral care' and 'prestige of the deals' make for some 'top-quality training', with colleagues described as 'passionate and intelligent without being overly competitive'. Stand-out moments include 'signing a multi-billion Euro deal in a matter of weeks' and 'being involved in some huge transactions and reading about them in the FT'. A truly international firm, it comes as no surprise that trainees are quick to praise the 'amazing international opportunities' which have earned Allen & Overy its Lex 100 Winner medal in this category. Correspondingly, 'going to New York for my final seat' was a clear highlight for one trainee. The firm's Legal Support Centre in Belfast was consistently applauded for the assistance provided to trainees, allowing them to 'generally do more interesting work since our time is not taken up with as much due diligence and document review'. As is to be expected in a City firm of Allen & Overy's status, the hours can be 'long and unpredictable' and 'sustained periods of late nights' can 'make it difficult to plan events outside of work'. However, many trainees were quick to point out that this was 'worth it for the training experience, client contact and level of responsibility'. If a firm which has a 'unique combination of world-class work', a 'genuine commitment to a friendly and encouraging atmosphere' and 'an unparalleled drive to make its trainees into the best lawyers around' appeals to you, take a closer look at Allen & Overy.
A day in the life of...
Harriet Rugg-Easey trainee, Allen & Overy LLP
Departments to date: Securitisation, IP litigation, structured asset finance
University:University of Manchester
8.30am: My day invariably starts with a coffee, which I pick up from our sixth-floor café and drink at my desk while I check my emails. If I've got items on my to-do list left over from the previous day then I look them over and prioritise them so I can hit the ground running.
9.30am: I go to our regular team catch-up meeting. At the moment I sit in the structured asset finance group in the banking department. We discuss the projects that are currently live - mostly shipping and aircraft financing, but also a couple of niche assets like smart meters and satellites.
10.30am: I act as a mentor for Smart-Start, which is a work experience programme for A-level students who are interested in City careers. This morning we're running a commercial awareness session with some of these students in the office so that they can get an insight into the working environment.
12.30pm: I'm working on the sale of a portfolio of aircraft from one aircraft leasing company to another. Our client is the purchaser and is securing a loan from a Middle Eastern bank. It's interesting work because it involves Islamic financing structures. I'm liaising with counsel on both sides of the deal, and because we're near closing, this means a lot of back-and-forth, so it's important to stay on top of the correspondence.
1.45pm: I go to the café on the tenth floor to meet up with some other trainees for lunch. Depending on how much time I have, I head to a lunchtime gym class (total body circuits) so that I'm energised for the afternoon.
2.30pm: One of the great things about the SAF team is the opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of work. My supervisor is an expert in shipping finance, so I'm doing due diligence on a portfolio of shipping loans to turn them into a security - a tradable asset.
3.45pm: I jump on a conference call with a client, a large bank, about a financing deal for the purchase of two new aircraft by a European airline. Although I'm a trainee I'm given the responsibility of running aspects of the deal and playing a key role in the delivery. Here I'm working on the conditions precedent process, making sure the documents are in place to get the deal signed off.
5.00pm: I catch up with my supervisor to talk about the projects I'm working on; although he's a partner, and usually very busy, he always tries to make himself available. Sitting with him is a great opportunity to witness the business development side of the firm, which I wouldn't normally have much exposure to.
6.30pm: There's no face-time culture at A&O and we're encouraged to call it a day as soon as we can. If things are busy I might find myself leaving later, but today I get out in good time.
6.45pm: Working near Spitalfields Market is amazing, and I usually go out for dinner with other trainees or meet friends from outside work. On Mondays I have Turkish lessons provided for me by the firm to prepare for my final seat, which is in the Istanbul office. I can't wait!
About the firm
Address:One Bishops Square, London, E1 6AD
Telephone: 020 3088 0000
Twitter:@allenoverygrads; Snapchat: AllenOveryGrads
Senior partner: Wim Dejonghe
Managing partner: Andrew Ballheimer
Total partners: 527
Other fee-earners: 2,800
Total trainees: 174
Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Belfast, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest (assosicated office), Budapest, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta (associated office), Johannesburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Riyadh (cooperation office), Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington DC and Yangon.
Who we are: Allen & Overy is a leading global law firm operating at the forefront of business and shaping the future of our profession.
What we do: We're structured as seven global practices. Our key areas are corporate, banking and international capital markets.
What we are looking for: Commercially aware and quick to adapt, our well-organised trainees are effective team players with an eagerness to learn.
What you'll do:Training is based on four six-month seat rotations tailored to their interests and aspirations, including a guaranteed 'priority seat'.
Perks: Working at Allen & Overy offers an exceptional range of benefits, including: season ticket and cycle-to-work loans, permanent life, health and business travel insurance, a health and wellbeing centre including in-house GP, physiotherapist, dentist and dental plan, an on-site fitness centre and sports hall plus in-house beauty and wellbeing therapies, as well as access to a wide range of discounted goods and services.
Sponsorship:We pay the full fees for GDL/LPC and a maintenance grant of £8,000 for both. Other sponsorship support is looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: No fixed quota
First year: £44,000
Second year: £49,000
Newly qualified: £81,000
Turnover in 2016: £1,520m (+16% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £1.51m (+26% from 2015)
Apply to:Graduate recruitment.
How: Online via website
What's involved: Online application, assessment day including presentation of commercial case study and interview.
When to apply:
Training Contract: For both law and non-law students the deadline is 31 December 2017.
Winter Vacation Scheme: By 31 October 2017.
Summer Vacation Scheme: By 31 December 2017.