Allen & Overy

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Allen & Overy LLP
HeadquartersOne Bishops Square, London, England E1 6AD
United Kingdom
No. of officesover 40 worldwide in 31 countries
No. of lawyers
  • Partners: Approximately 590
  • Associates: Approximately 2,768[1]
No. of employeesApproximately 5,800
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key people
  • Wim Dejonghe
    Senior Partner
  • Khalid Garousha
    Managing Partner
Revenue £2.1 billion (2021/2022)
Profit per equity partner £1.82 million (2021/2022)
Date founded1 January 1930; 93 years ago (1 January 1930)
  • George Allen
  • Thomas Overy
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Allen & Overy LLP (informally A&O) is a British multinational law firm headquartered in London, England. The firm has 580 partners and over 5,600 people worldwide.[2]  In 2022 A&O reported an increase in revenue to GBP1.96 billion and is the second largest law firm headquartered in the UK by revenue.[3]


Bishops Square, Spitalfields

Allen & Overy was founded in the City of London on 1 January 1930 by George Allen and Thomas Overy, formerly partners at Roney & Co.[4][5] 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.[6] By the time World War II broke out in 1939, Allen & Overy had firmly established itself as a leading City law firm.[4][5]

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.[7][8] 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.[9]

In 1999, Allen & Overy hired a team of banking and finance lawyers in Paris from its then ally, Gide Loyrette Nouel.[10][11]

In 2000, Allen & Overy merged with part of the Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg offices of Loeff Claeys Verbeke.[12]

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,[13] and, for the first time, over half of its turnover was generated outside London.[14]

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.[15] In the same year, Allen & Overy demerged its private client department, which became Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.[11][16]

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.[17]

A 2021 assessment singled out Allen & Overy among law firms as engaging in the most transactional work for fossil fuel companies.[18]

On May 21, 2023, it was announced that Allen & Overy had agreed to terms in a merger with AMLaw100 member Shearman & Sterling, creating a megafirm estimated to have over 4,000 attorneys across 49 offices with a combined revenue of $3.4bn.[19] The combined firm will be known as Allen Overy Shearman Sterling (A&O Shearman).[20] The deal will be solidified on the basis of a vote and 75% approval from partners at both firms.[21]


  • Harvey. In February 2023, A&O started using generative AI tool, Harvey.[22] It is a platform that uses natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics for various aspects of legal work, such as contract analysis, due diligence, litigation and regulatory compliance.[23][24][25]
  • Markets Innovation Group (MIG). The Markets Innovation Group (MIG) is a team of lawyers and developers. Their projects include ContractMatrix, BrexitMatrix, IBORMatrix, and MarginMatrix.[26][27][28][29]
  • aosphere. aosphere is an online legal analysis business tool.[30]
  • 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”.[31] Fuse started in September 2017.[31] 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.[31] In September 2017, content aggregator Vable was selected as one of the first seven companies to benefit from the innovation space.[32]
  • Legal services centre. In 2011, Allen & Overy opened a legal services centre in Belfast.[11] In 2022 Allen & Overy opened an additional legal services centre in Johannesburg.
  • Peerpoint. Peerpoint is a contract lawyer service platform.[33]


Allen & Overy has 44 offices in 31 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.[34]

Diversity and inclusion[edit]

In 2018, the firm has faced criticism over diversity and gender pay gap[35]


The table below sets out a history of Allen & Overy's leadership:

Election Managing Partner Senior Partner
1994[11] John Rink Bill Tudor John
1999[11] John Rink Guy Beringer
2003[11] David Morley Guy Beringer
2008[11] Wim Dejonghe David Morley
2012[11] Wim Dejonghe David Morley
2016[11] Andrew Ballheimer Wim Dejonghe
2020[40] Gareth Price Wim Dejonghe

Notable alumni[edit]

Some of the firm's notable alumni include:




  • Steuart Walton – American heir, attorney, pilot, businessman and philanthropist.

Politics and government[edit]


  1. ^ "Allen & Overy LLP - True Picture - Chambers Student Guide". Chambers Student.
  2. ^ "About us". Allen Overy. 18 January 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  3. ^ "UK Top 50 Ranked By Revenue: Fee Income Surges Despite Headwinds". International. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b "The History of Allen & Overy: 1930 – 1971 - Adam Smith, Esq". Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Allen & Overy LLP-Company".
  6. ^ "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'
  7. ^ Burn, G. (19 April 2006). The Re-Emergence of Global Finance. Springer. ISBN 9780230501591 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Association, American Bar (1 April 1993). "ABA Journal". American Bar Association – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "The History of Allen & Overy: 1971 – 1998 – Adam Smith, Esq".
  10. ^ "Allen & Overy recruits Gide Loyrette partners to boost Paris bank practice – The Lawyer - Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs". 15 December 1998.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Allen & Overy – What The Lawyer Says". 19 April 2018.
  12. ^ Journal, Konstantin Richter Staff Reporter of The Wall Street (9 November 2000). "Allen & Overy Takes on 140 Lawyers From Belgium's Loeff Claeys Verbeke". Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^ "The Times: Allen & Overy's £1billion turnover confirms London as centre of the legal world". The Times. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Allen & Overy half-year results up 11 per cent". The Times. UK. 8 November 2008.
  15. ^ "A&O redundancy programme ends with 400 layoffs - The Lawyer - Legal News and Jobs - Advancing the business of law".
  16. ^ "Law firm Maurice Turnor Gardner launches". 1 May 2009.
  17. ^ Binham, Caroline; Blas, Javier (8 October 2014). "Allen & Overy expands into sub-Saharan Africa". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  18. ^ Thomas, David (19 August 2021). "Top law firms taking on more fossil fuel work as planet warms - report". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  19. ^ Sweney, Mark (22 May 2023). "Law firms Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling plan to merge in $3.4bn deal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  20. ^ Beioley, Kate (21 May 2023). "Allen & Overy and Shearman plan merger to create $3.4bn law firm". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  21. ^ Thomas, David; Merken, Sara; Thomas, David; Merken, Sara (22 May 2023). "A&O Shearman merger would be a blockbuster, but maybe not a harbinger". Reuters. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  22. ^ "Harvey | Generative AI for Elite Law Firms". Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  23. ^ "A&O announces exclusive launch partnership with Harvey". Allen Overy. 15 February 2023. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  24. ^ "Generative AI Is Coming for the Lawyers". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  25. ^ Beioley, Kate; Criddle, Cristina (15 February 2023). "Allen & Overy introduces AI chatbot to lawyers in search of efficiencies". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  26. ^ "Tom Roberts". Allen Overy. 13 October 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  27. ^ "Francesca Bennetts". Allen Overy. 1 November 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  28. ^ "David Wakeling". Allen Overy. 9 March 2023. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  29. ^ "Scaled solutions". Allen Overy. 15 November 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  30. ^ "The Magic Circle packs tight in 2018 results as A&O follows peers with modest growth - Legal Business". 6 July 2018.
  31. ^ a b c "Facebook buys AI startup in Allen & Overy's incubator".
  32. ^ "Eight tech start-ups set to join Allen & Overy's hipster-esque 'Fuse' innovation hub". Legal Cheek. 25 August 2017.
  33. ^ Thompson, Barney (26 June 2018). "Flexible upstarts win in-house legal teams' trust". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Global 20: Allen & Overy - Law360".
  35. ^ Thompson, Barney (6 September 2018). "Latest Allen & Overy figures show 39% gender pay gap". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  36. ^ Tyler, Richard (31 May 2018). "Allen & Overy to let partners work part time penalty-free" – via
  37. ^ "Promoting LGBT+ inclusion - Diversity and inclusion - Allen & Overy". 20 September 2021.
  38. ^ a b "Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality". 9 October 2017.
  39. ^ "The Full List: Top 100 Employers 2018". 24 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  40. ^ "Gareth Price elected as global managing partner - Allen & Overy". Allen Overy. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]