Allen & Overy is structured as seven global practices, each of which specialises in different aspects of international business. As a trainee, you will gain experience in at least three practice areas, including spending two of your training rotations or ‘seats’ in our core business areas of Corporate, Banking and International Capital Markets.
Lawyers and trainees work together across practice areas to develop solutions for our clients and it’s important, whichever area you go on to specialise in, to have an appreciation of the work of the wider firm.
Select a department to view snapshot of what our practice areas do, and for more details (including an updated view of the deals we are working on) please click here.
Our global Corporate practice advises clients on their most high-profile and complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. With almost 800 corporate lawyers worldwide, and 75% of those lawyers being based outside of London, the practice works together as one on behalf of clients who include many of the world’s leading corporations, financial institutions and government bodies – as well as smaller growing businesses.
Mergers and acquisitions underpin the practice but our lawyers also advise on all aspects of company and commercial law and corporate finance – including public takeovers, international equity offerings, private equity, joint ventures and strategic alliances, company establishment and corporate restructurings, and day-to-day corporate and regulatory advice.
Our ability to combine exceptional transactional skills with specialist expertise covering areas including antitrust, tax, intellectual property, employment, pensions and environment enables us to handle numerous issues that can arise in a single corporate transaction.
The strength and reputation of our Corporate practice is authenticated through a number of high profile deals about which you can find more information about the Corporate practice area on the main Allen & Overy website.
With over 1000 lawyers worldwide, we have one of the largest and most international teams of banking and finance lawyers of any global law firm. Few practices can match our top tier position across the full range of finance products.
We are at the heart of the world’s financial markets and have been instrumental in nearly all the major banking developments in the modern era. We count amongst our clients numerous global corporate and financial institutions that entrust us with the full range of domestic and cross-border transactions and rely on the depth and breadth of our expertise, intellectual rigour and proven track record of finding successful and commercially astute solutions.
Our banking practice is split into eight product lines: General Lending, Leveraged Finance, Investment Funds, Project Finance, Real Estate Finance, Structured & Asset Finance, Financial Services Regulatory, and Restructuring.
Notable transactions our banking lawyers have worked on recently, together with more information about the Banking practice area can be found on the main Allen & Overy website.
International Capital Markets
The International Capital Markets (ICM) practice comprises one of the world’s leading and most respected groups of lawyers. With over 400 lawyers, including over 80 partners, based in 44 offices across 31 countries, we have one of the largest teams of capital markets lawyers anywhere in the world. With such a deep team and global reach, international and industry-leading ‘first-of-a-kind’ transactions are our hallmark.
Our ICM practice covers the full range of capital markets products and includes specialists in debt capital markets, derivatives and structured finance, corporate trust and agency and securitisation. For each of these product areas, the group is consistently ranked in the top tier across all the major legal directories worldwide. Our clients include most of the major international financial institutions, the trustees of securities issues, issuers (corporate and government) and selling shareholders.
Integrated into our ICM practice is a group of US Corporate Finance lawyers who specialise in US securities law advice, enabling us to advise on US law aspects of transactions anywhere in the world. In addition, a number of our lawyers play leading roles in Allen & Overy’s cross-practice Islamic Finance group.
The past few years have been the most challenging in the history of the international capital markets and have required fresh thinking as the markets adjust to continually changing economic, political and regulatory conditions. For example, our ICM lawyers had significant roles in the ‘Private Sector Involvement’ transactions at the heart of Greece’s second bail out, and in helping clients deal with the fallout of the sovereign debt crises in Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal. We are working with our clients more and more on larger-picture and longer-term projects, often involving innovative technology, and not just individual transactions. Our capital markets lawyers regularly work alongside our regulatory, litigation and restructuring specialists – particularly important in light of recent market conditions – to develop innovative solutions for our clients, often incorporating complex financing techniques that lead the industry.
Recent ICM highlights and more information about the International Capital Markets practice area can be found on the main Allen & Overy website.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
It is no longer true that litigators are only called in when things go wrong. The traditional role of dispute resolution is changing. Businesses now need to identify potential areas for dispute at the earliest possible time, and put in place risk management strategies to protect their business and avoid conflict. So in addition to helping fight their corner, whether in court litigation, international arbitration, regulatory enforcement or mediation, we work at a strategic level with our clients to identify potential issues and manage their litigation risk. Our clients range from global financial institutions and major international corporates to governments, regulators and state bodies; part of our skill as litigators is carefully to match solutions to our client’s particular situation.
Our dispute resolution practice has an impressive track record of resolving the most complex and high profile disputes in the market. As a trainee, you will have the opportunity to work on an incredibly broad range of matters.
In addition to our overall Litigation practice groups of Banking & Finance, Arbitration, Commercial, Employment or Intellectual Property, we have specialist areas such as fraud, insolvency and insurance.
You will be researching points of law, drafting witness statements, attending trials at court or before arbitral tribunals and assisting in negotiating settlements between disputing parties. Trainees are encouraged to manage small matters themselves, with guidance when necessary and may conduct their own advocacy at hearings, if appropriate. Trainees can also become involved in pro bono work such as death row cases (namely working for Caribbean prisoners to try to get their sentences commuted), and working at the CAB and Battersea Legal Advice Centre.
Read about notable cases our dispute resolution lawyers have worked on recently together with more information about the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice area on the main Allen & Overy website.
Employment & Benefits
Our Employment & Benefits (E&B) group comprises some of the market’s leading practitioners across Employment, Pensions and Incentives, with over 180 lawyers located across 26 jurisdictions. Consistently highly ranked in the legal directories in each of the three areas, we offer high quality advice on issues such as boardroom disputes, employee discrimination, executive remuneration and tax issues, E&B issues in relation to complex transactions and pensions regulatory and disputes.
The E&B group works as part of an integrated team with our corporate M&A lawyers, not only in carrying out projects, but in winning them too, as most large scale M&A transactions involve significant E&B issues, which can often be critical to the outcome of a transaction.
Our Employment specialists are involved in all contentious and non-contentious matters including boardroom disputes, employee relations, HR policies and privacy, restructuring, and dispute resolution. The team assists clients before all national courts (as well as the European Court of Justice) for matters such as employment tribunals, compromise agreements, mediation, all types of discrimination cases, whistleblowing, as well as individual and collective labour conflicts.
Our Pensions specialists handle quality advisory and litigation work for both trustees and scheme sponsors.
Our Pensions team also takes the lead on our Pension Risk Group, bringing together specialists from derivatives, banking, regulatory and corporate to help our clients manage their pensions risk. On the Incentives side, our team offers expert advice on equity incentive plans, employment tax issues and corporate governance in the context of reward.
The team is renowned for being at the forefront of using innovative tools to assist clients to meet their needs and challenges on HR related matters including the development of the firm’s first practice specific App – the Little Red App. With a client centric approach, we cover not only standalone advisory and corporate transactional support but also provide clients with a more bespoke approach which includes providing training, regular legal bulletins and a broad range of value added services. We are committed to the development of best practice within all three areas and devote a considerable amount of time and resources to training our lawyers to ensure our clients receive the best, practical and robust advice.
You can read about the notable matters our E&B group have worked on and more information about the Employment & Benefits practice area on the main Allen & Overy website.
Our award-winning Tax practice offers clients a complete multi-jurisdictional tax advisory service, working closely with other practice areas to advise on the corporate tax implications of transactions and strategies. This means that the range of deals and the variety of work to which the Tax department is exposed is perhaps the greatest of any department in the firm.
You will learn not only about the work done by the Tax department but also about the work of other departments. With over half of our lawyers based outside the UK, you are certain to be working with international colleagues and clients on a regular basis.
Work in the Tax department is perhaps some of the most engaging, technical and challenging that you will be given. It is highly varied and can include attending client meetings, researching legal and commercial matters, attending conferences with counsel, reviewing and drafting tax clauses and preparing letters and applications to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
You can find more information about the Tax practice area on the main Allen & Overy website.
The real estate market is changing as it adapts to the economic climate. Clients need lawyers with technical expertise and a practical approach to meet the demands of the modern real estate sector. Our team thrives on complexity and innovation. Its legal expertise and market knowledge provide a tangible competitive edge for our clients. We don’t simply deal with the technicalities; we are fully committed to understanding our clients’ strategic drivers and the way their business operates.
We deliver an all-encompassing service to our clients, including construction, environment, sales and acquisitions, lettings and leasing, outsourcing, planning, real estate finance, real estate litigation and regulatory.
However, our partners and associates are not just skilled in real estate matters but have wide experience of indirect real estate acquisitions, real estate investment funds, joint ventures and negotiating corporate style documentation. It is our international reach and use of sophisticated structuring techniques for indirect as well as direct real estate investment that differentiates us from many of our competitors. This underpins our reputation as a high quality market leading real estate investment practice.
You can find more information about the Real Estate practice area on the main Allen & Overy website.