Allen & Overy
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Allen & Overy LLP (informally A&O) is an international law firm. It is a member of the UK's Magic Circle of leading law firms. In 2019, Allen & Overy advised on more transactional deals than any other law firm in the world and was one of two firms to have surpassed the US$1 trillion mark in terms of deal value, totalling US$1.16 trillion. As of 2019, Allen & Overy is the world's 10th largest law firm by revenue.
|Headquarters||One Bishops Square, London, England E1 6AD|
|No. of offices||44 worldwide in 31 countries|
|No. of lawyers|
|No. of employees||approximately 5,500|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Revenue||£1.77 billion (2020/2021)|
|Profit per equity partner||£1.9 million (2020/2021)|
|Date founded||1 January 1930|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Allen & Overy was founded in the City of London on 1 January 1930 by George Allen and Thomas Overy, formerly partners at Roney & Co. The main purpose was to build a commercial practice. The firm's reputation was made as a result of George Allen's role as adviser to King Edward VIII during the abdication crisis of 1936. By the time World War II broke out in 1939, Allen & Overy had firmly established itself as a leading City law firm.
Over the years, Allen & Overy has been involved in many developments in the legal field. Such work has included advising on the first hostile takeover in the City of London and acting for S. G. Warburg & Co. The firm arranged the first Eurobond (issued by Italian motorway group Autostrada) in the 1960s. The Eurobond transaction significantly diversified Allen & Overy's practice from a purely commercial into commercial and financial firm. Through the 1970s the firm's finance and corporate practice grew in the UK and internationally.
In 1996, non-UK clients contributed more to Allen & Overy's revenue than UK clients. In 1998, non-UK clients contributed two-thirds of revenue.
In 2000, Allen & Overy merged with part of the Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg offices of Loeff Claeys Verbeke.
In May 2004, the worldwide partnership of Allen & Overy converted to a limited liability partnership, Allen & Overy LLP, which works together with associated undertakings in some jurisdictions to form a worldwide legal practice. In July 2008 Allen & Overy broke the £1 billion turnover mark, and, for the first time, over half of its turnover was generated outside London.
In 2009, following the Global Financial Crisis, Allen & Overy completed a redundancy programme which saw 400 partners and staff lose their jobs globally. As well as cutting 47 partners, the firm cut around 200 fee-earners and 200 members of support staff, half of which were based in London. Allen & Overy de-equitised a further 35 partners. In the same year, Allen & Overy demerged its private client department, which became Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.
In 2014, Allen & Overy became the first Magic Circle firm to establish an office in sub-Saharan Africa when it opened an office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- aosphere. aosphere is an online subscription business.
- Fuse. Fuse is a technology innovation space where technology companies, Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists and their clients can collaborate to “explore, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions”. Fuse was launched in September 2017. Technology startups that have formed part of Fuse include data extraction and machine-learning software providers, Kira Systems and Neota Logic, as well as Bloomsbury AI, a natural language processing software provider. Bloomsbury AI was acquired by Facebook in 2018. Facebook uses its software to address content issues, including fake news. In September 2017, content aggregator Vable was selected as one of the first seven companies to benefit from the innovation space.
- Legal services centre. In 2011, Allen & Overy opened a legal services centre in Belfast, one of the first law firms to do so. In 2020 Allen & Overy opened an additional legal services centre in Johannesburg.
- Peerpoint. Peerpoint is a contract lawyer service platform.
Diversity and inclusionEdit
In 2018, the firm has faced criticism over diversity and gender pay gap Externally, the firm states: "Allen & Overy's strategic priorities are to achieve better gender balance at its top levels and to promote greater LGBT+ inclusion."
- Gender. In 2010, Allen & Overy announced that it was offering full equity partners the option to work part-time. The move was hailed as a 'watershed moment' for the legal sector. It is believed to be the first scheme of its kind by any major international law firm.
- LGBT+. Allen & Overy's LGBT+ network, A&Out, which was launched in 2016, supports its members by hosting a variety of events that aim to raise awareness of LGBT issues, and to allow members to network. Allen & Overy was ranked in the top 100 of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2018, an audit of workplace culture for LGBT+ staff in the UK. In 2017, Allen and Overy advised Stonewall on the Alan Turing law on a pro bono basis. The Alan Turing law is an informal term for the law in the United Kingdom, contained in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which serves as an amnesty law to pardon men who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts.
The table below sets out a history of Allen & Overy's leadership:
|Election||Managing Partner||Senior Partner|
|1994||John Rink||Bill Tudor John|
|1999||John Rink||Guy Beringer|
|2003||David Morley||Guy Beringer|
|2008||Wim Dejonghe||David Morley|
|2012||Wim Dejonghe||David Morley|
|2016||Andrew Ballheimer||Wim Dejonghe|
|2020||Gareth Price||Wim Dejonghe|
Some of the firm's notable alumni include:
- Marike Paulsson – Director of the University of Miami's School of Law International Arbitration Institute.
- Steven Schuit – Dutch law professor, Nyenrode Business University.
- John Dewar – UK law professor and the Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University.
- Nick Laird – Northern Irish novelist and poet.
- Steuart Walton – American heir, attorney, pilot, businessman and philanthropist.
Politics and governmentEdit
- Ferdinand Grapperhaus – Dutch politician and Minister of Justice and Security.
- Annagrazia Calabria – Italian politician.
- Patricia Ceysens – Belgian politician.
- David Wootton – British lawyer and politician. He was the 684th Lord Mayor of London, from 2011 to 2012, and Alderman of the Ward of Langbourn.
- Sir Christopher Walford – a British lawyer and politician. He was the 667th Lord Mayor of London, and the seventh solicitor since records began in 1730 to become Lord Mayor. He also became the fifth person in A&O's history to receive a knighthood.
- Heath Tarbert – Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Investment Policy.
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- "The job came about through serendipity. During World War I, Allen served in France and saved another officer... That officer was Walter Monckton, a leading barrister... Monckton and Allen subsequently struck up a friendship and it was this relationship that would give Allen & Overy its big break over a decade later." 'A brief history of Allen & Overy'
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- Association, American Bar (1 April 1993). "ABA Journal". American Bar Association – via Google Books.
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- "Allen & Overy – What The Lawyer Says".
- Journal, Konstantin Richter Staff Reporter of The Wall Street. "Allen & Overy Takes on 140 Lawyers From Belgium's Loeff Claeys Verbeke".
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- "Allen & Overy half-year results up 11 per cent". The Times. UK. 8 November 2008.
- "A&O redundancy programme ends with 400 layoffs - The Lawyer - Legal News and Jobs - Advancing the business of law".
- "Law firm Maurice Turnor Gardner launches". 1 May 2009.
- "Allen & Overy expands into sub-Saharan Africa". Financial Times.
- "The Magic Circle packs tight in 2018 results as A&O follows peers with modest growth - Legal Business". 6 July 2018.
- "Facebook buys AI startup in Allen & Overy's incubator".
- "Eight tech start-ups set to join Allen & Overy's hipster-esque 'Fuse' innovation hub". Legal Cheek.
- Thompson, Barney (26 June 2018). "Flexible upstarts win in-house legal teams' trust". Financial Times.
- "Global 20: Allen & Overy - Law360". www.law360.com.
- "Latest Allen & Overy figures show 39% gender pay gap". www.ft.com.
- "Creating a better gender balance - Diversity and inclusion - Allen & Overy". www.allenovery.com.
- Tyler, Richard (31 May 2018). "Allen & Overy to let partners work part time penalty-free" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Promoting LGBT+ inclusion - Diversity and inclusion - Allen & Overy". www.allenovery.com.
- "Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality".
- "The Full List: Top 100 Employers 2018". 24 January 2018.
- "Gareth Price elected as global managing partner - Allen & Overy". Allen Overy. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)