Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy

Address: One Bishops Square, London, E1 6AD




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘I felt like people were being themselves in the workplace’; ‘the most global Magic Circle firm’; ‘best banking firm in the world, with a great international presence’; ‘competitive salary’; ‘great office’; ‘friendly culture’; ‘provides an optimal environment for you to showcase your skills’; ‘experience at interview’; ‘I really enjoyed my vacation scheme’; ‘forward-thinking’; ‘meeting trainees and associates at a campus event’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘The quality of the work’; ‘at times I have been doing junior associate-level work’; ‘the amount of support available to trainees’; ‘friendly, intelligent people that I work with’; ‘people eager to help your personal development’; ‘the facilities in the London office are exceptional’; ‘the rooftop bar’; ‘six-week qualification leave’; ‘the breadth of departments and offices’; ‘A&O encourages you to create links across the firm’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘Good trainee salary but stagnates at associate level’; ‘inability to make weekday plans’; ‘sometimes the feeling that we have little control over the training process’; ‘lack of transparency in respect of administrative decisions’; ‘very long working hours’; ‘the internal reviews’; ‘the work/life balance only seems to get worse as you progress’
Best moment? 
 '‘Attending an arbitration hearing’; ‘secondment to New York’; ‘working directly with a partner on a time-pressured signing and closing’; ‘being involved in market-leading deals reported in the news’; ‘signing my first big leveraged deal’; ‘attending a hearing at the Privy Council’; ‘high-quality research tasks’; ‘getting positive feedback from clients’; ‘closing my first deal’
Worst moment?
 '‘24 hours straight in the office’; ‘stress during a closing’; ‘the first month is pretty difficult as you don’t know how basic things work’; ‘working late on Christmas Eve’; ‘not getting on with my supervisor’; ‘finding out all the sleeping pods were full at 5am’; ‘a mid-seat review which I did not agree with’; ‘the mundane tasks in the transactional seats’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Desmond Hume (Lost) – has performed a number of impressive feats down the years yet still has flashes of inspiration regarding the future

The Verdict

The firm

Allen & Overy is a recognised global leader for its work in the finance and projects spaces. The Magic Circle firm has offices across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and routinely advises governments, financial institutions and international conglomerates across the full range of legal services. 

The star performers

Acquisition finance; Asset financing and leasing; Bank lending – investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Debt capital markets; Derivatives and structured products; Emerging markets; Employee share schemes; Employment: employers; High yield; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); Islamic finance; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Pensions (non-contentious); Pensions dispute resolution; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Rail; Securitisation; Trade finance; Water.

The deals

Worked for the lenders, including Bank of America, on the financing to support Royal Dutch Shell’s £47bn purchase of BG Group; advised the lending syndicate on the $75bn acquisition financing of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s takeover of SAB Miller; advised Barclays on the $6.5bn BHP Billiton multi-currency hybrid bond issue; advised Deutsche Bank on a €400m guaranteed notes offering; acted for Credit Agricole on the €1.25bn Alpha Trains structured financing.

The clients

Aviva; Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ; Bombardier; Four Seasons Health Group; Goldman Sachs; Lone Star; News UK; RBS; Saudi Electricity Company; Turkcell.

The Verdict

For those attracted by the ‘prestige and work that comes with being Magic Circle’, Allen & Overy takes some beating. The firm offers trainees the chance to work alongside ‘some of the brightest legal minds’ at the ‘leading firm in banking and finance law’. Though ‘at times trainees do repetitive tasks’, the ‘responsibility given to trainees’ ensures ‘opportunities to get involved with cutting-edge deals’ across ‘several world-leading departments’. Highlight moments enjoyed by trainees include ‘working on a large bank recapitalisation’ and ‘attending a roundtable discussion with a key client and having all my research presented’. The flip side to working at a leading corporate firm is ‘the unpredictability and length of the hours’, and this has resulted in ‘several very late nights in the run up to a closing’ and ‘trying to spot spelling mistakes in my own work at 2am’. Still, trainees report that the prestige of working on ‘high-profile deals’ regularly makes up for this, as does the trainee salary which is worth a Lex 100 Winner award. As one respondent commented, ‘we work on market-defining transactions, and it’s great when your mum and dad have heard of the clients you’ve acted for!’ There is a ‘steep learning curve’ at A&O, but the feedback consistently praises the ‘fantastic support’. A client secondment allowed one trainee to ‘see the commercial drivers behind deals’, while another respondent evaluated their international seat as an ‘amazing experience’ which showcased the ‘benefits of being part of such a seamless network’. For ‘access to market-leading deals’ at a firm with an ‘excellent reputation’ and ‘international outlook’, consider Allen & Overy.

 A day in the life of...

Shalina Daved trainee, Allen & Overy LLP 
Departments to date:  General securities group in the international capital markets department; banking, financial and regulatory litigation; and regulatory and asset management.
University:University of Nottingham; University of Cambridge 
Degree:BA Law with German – First Class Honours; LLM – First Class  

8.00am:  I take part in the ‘body circuits’ class at the gym in our building which is extremely well equipped. There is a wide range of classes and best of all, membership is free.

9.15am:  I pop into Lavanda – our subsidised Italian cafe/bar on the sixth floor-to get breakfast and a coffee and head to my desk to log in and read the FT’s  morning news roundup.

9.30am:  I attend our fortnightly departmental meeting where each member of the team presents the matters they are working on. This provides a good overview of the range of work the department deals with. One of the partners discusses a key sectoral development – today, on the regulation of payment systems in the UK.

10.10pm:  In light of ‘Brexit’, the prospect of the UK losing access to the single market and assuming ‘third country’ status, we are assisting clients with contingency planning. I read the advice that has come in from our European offices and identify potential gaps on which we require further analysis.

12.30pm:  All trainees in the department are tasked with keeping track of developments in financial services regulation. I am responsible for bank structural reform and bank recovery and resolution. I check weekly newsletters for any updates.

1.15pm:  A&O is set in an amazing location, right behind Spitalfields market and next to Shoreditch. There is a huge range of restaurants, cafes and bars on our doorstep. As it is sunny, a few fellow trainees and I head out to eat at one of the street food stalls in Spitalfields.

2.15pm:  We are working with the corporate department on an acquisition of a company which has entities all around the globe. We are responsible for obtaining regulatory approval of the transaction from regulators in each of the relevant jurisdictions. I prepare for our weekly call with counsel on the other side.

3.00pm:  We attend the conference call with the target company’s counsel. I am asked to lead on what is required from the other side for my allocated jurisdictions which include Denmark and Hong Kong.

3.30pm:  Following the call, I create an action list of what both sides need to follow up on prior to next week. I speak to Danish counsel in relation to the Danish Financial Services Authority’s requirements and call the client regarding outstanding information.

5.15pm:  As part of my pro bono project on the role of the rule of law in Parliament, the trainees and associate involved meet to discuss our findings and next steps. A fellow trainee and I have been invited to an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law meeting so it is off to the House of Commons next week! Allen & Overy has excellent global and local pro bono initiatives ranging from human rights work, advising at legal advice centres, mentoring programmes and working with children from local schools.

6.00pm:  We are advising an individual who wishes to set up an investment firm in a third country and provide its services to UK clients. I continue researching which of the investment firm’s anticipated activities would require authorisation in the UK and whether the investment firm falls within any exceptions or exclusions.

7.30pm:  I make a to-do list for the morning and, together with other trainees, head up to get dinner from the tenth floor restaurant which boasts views of the city skyline.

About the firm

Address:One Bishops Square, London, E1 6AD

Telephone: 020 3088 3399



Senior partner : Wim Dejonghe

Managing partner : Andrew Ballheimer

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Belfast, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest*, Budapest, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta*, Johannesburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Moscow, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Riyadh*, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington DC and Yangon. *Associated office  

Who we are: Allen & Overy LLP is an international law firm with approximately 5,200 people in 44 offices worldwide.

What we do: Clients include many of the world’s top organisations. We are renowned for the high quality of our banking, corporate and international capital markets advice.

What we are looking for: Candidates must be predicted or have achieved a 2(1) degree and 340 UCAS points (AAB), or equivalent, and have a genuine interest in law. Evidence of a global mindset, teamwork, resilience and commercial awareness are also important.

What you'll do:Trainees spend a year in at least two of our core areas of banking, corporate and international capital markets.

Perks: Working at Allen & Overy offers an exceptional range of benefits, including life insurance, pension scheme, an interest-free season ticket loan, on-site gym and sports hall, medical, dental and physiotherapy service, beauty treatment centre, dry cleaners, music rooms, multi-faith prayer rooms and two restaurants.

Sponsorship:We pay fees for GDL/LPC and a maintenance grant for the GDL (£7,000 outside London; £8,000 in London) and £7,000 for the LPC. Future joiners will study the bespoke A&O LPC (MA with business) at BPP in London.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: 90


Total partners: 530 (approx worldwide)

Other fee-earners:2,700

Total trainees:180

 Application process

Apply to:Graduate recruitment.

How: Online at

When to Apply:Both law and non-law students should apply from October 2016. Please visit our website for full details.

 Vacation schemes

 Allen and Overy offers 75 vacation placements across the year from all degree disciplines. For full details about eligibility requirements and application deadlines, please visit our website at