Allen & Overy

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Allen & Overy LLP
Allen and Overy.svg
HeadquartersOne Bishops Square, London, England E1 6AD
United Kingdom
No. of offices44 worldwide in 31 countries
No. of lawyers
  • Partners: Approximately 554
  • Associates: Approximately 2,768[1]
No. of employeesApproximately 5,500
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key people
  • Wim Dejonghe
    Senior Partner
  • Gareth Price
    Managing Partner
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svg £1.77 billion (2020/2021)
Profit per equity partnerGreen Arrow Up.svg £1.9 million (2020/2021)
Date founded1 January 1930; 92 years ago (1 January 1930)
  • George Allen
  • Thomas Overy
Company typeLimited liability partnership

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.[2][3] As of 2019, Allen & Overy is the world's 10th largest law firm by revenue.[4]


Allen & Overy was founded in the City of London on 1 January 1930 by George Allen and Thomas Overy, formerly partners at Roney & Co.[5][6] 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.[7] By the time World War II broke out in 1939, Allen & Overy had firmly established itself as a leading City law firm.[5][6]

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.[8][9] 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.[10]

In 1999, Allen & Overy hired a team of banking and finance lawyers in Paris from its then ally, Gide Loyrette Nouel.[11][12]

In 2000, Allen & Overy merged with part of the Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg offices of Loeff Claeys Verbeke.[13]

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,[14] and, for the first time, over half of its turnover was generated outside London.[15]

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.[16] In the same year, Allen & Overy demerged its private client department, which became Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.[12][17]

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.[18]

A 2021 assessment singled out Allen & Overy among law firms as engaging in the most transactional work for fossil fuel companies.[19]


  • aosphere. aosphere is an online subscription business.[20]
  • 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”.[21] Fuse was launched in September 2017.[21] 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.[21] In September 2017, content aggregator Vable was selected as one of the first seven companies to benefit from the innovation space.[22]
  • Legal services centre. In 2011, Allen & Overy opened a legal services centre in Belfast, one of the first law firms to do so.[12] In 2020 Allen & Overy opened an additional legal services centre in Johannesburg.
  • Peerpoint. Peerpoint is a contract lawyer service platform.[23]


Allen & Overy has 44 offices in 31 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.[24]

Diversity and inclusion[edit]

In 2018, the firm has faced criticism over diversity and gender pay gap[25]


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

Election Managing Partner Senior Partner
1994[12] John Rink Bill Tudor John
1999[12] John Rink Guy Beringer
2003[12] David Morley Guy Beringer
2008[12] Wim Dejonghe David Morley
2012[12] Wim Dejonghe David Morley
2016[12] Andrew Ballheimer Wim Dejonghe
2020[30] 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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Allen & Overy LLP - True Picture - Chambers Student Guide". Chambers Student.
  2. ^ "Allen and Overy; Features". Refinitiv and Dealogic. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  3. ^ "2018: The magic circle will be no more - The Lawyer - Legal News and Jobs - Advancing the business of law". 2 September 2013.
  4. ^ "World's largest law firms". Spearswms. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b "The History of Allen & Overy: 1930 – 1971 - Adam Smith, Esq". Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Allen & Overy LLP-Company".
  7. ^ "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'
  8. ^ Burn, G. (19 April 2006). The Re-Emergence of Global Finance. Springer. ISBN 9780230501591 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Association, American Bar (1 April 1993). "ABA Journal". American Bar Association – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "The History of Allen & Overy: 1971 – 1998 – Adam Smith, Esq".
  11. ^ "Allen & Overy recruits Gide Loyrette partners to boost Paris bank practice – The Lawyer - Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs". 15 December 1998.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Allen & Overy – What The Lawyer Says".
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "The Times: Allen & Overy's £1billion turnover confirms London as centre of the legal world". The Times. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Allen & Overy half-year results up 11 per cent". The Times. UK. 8 November 2008.
  16. ^ "A&O redundancy programme ends with 400 layoffs - The Lawyer - Legal News and Jobs - Advancing the business of law".
  17. ^ "Law firm Maurice Turnor Gardner launches". 1 May 2009.
  18. ^ Binham, Caroline; Blas, Javier (8 October 2014). "Allen & Overy expands into sub-Saharan Africa". Financial Times.
  19. ^ Thomas, David (19 August 2021). "Top law firms taking on more fossil fuel work as planet warms - report". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  20. ^ "The Magic Circle packs tight in 2018 results as A&O follows peers with modest growth - Legal Business". 6 July 2018.
  21. ^ a b c "Facebook buys AI startup in Allen & Overy's incubator".
  22. ^ "Eight tech start-ups set to join Allen & Overy's hipster-esque 'Fuse' innovation hub". Legal Cheek. 25 August 2017.
  23. ^ Thompson, Barney (26 June 2018). "Flexible upstarts win in-house legal teams' trust". Financial Times.
  24. ^ "Global 20: Allen & Overy - Law360".
  25. ^ Thompson, Barney (6 September 2018). "Latest Allen & Overy figures show 39% gender pay gap". Financial Times.
  26. ^ Tyler, Richard (31 May 2018). "Allen & Overy to let partners work part time penalty-free" – via
  27. ^ "Promoting LGBT+ inclusion - Diversity and inclusion - Allen & Overy". 20 September 2021.
  28. ^ a b "Vote for the PinkNews Award for Business Equality". 9 October 2017.
  29. ^ "The Full List: Top 100 Employers 2018". 24 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Gareth Price elected as global managing partner - Allen & Overy". Allen Overy. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]