Why A&O

It’s time to find out what you’re made of.

Who are A&O?

We’re a pre-eminent global law firm, operating in over thirty countries around the world.

We’re the only firm to have featured in the top five of the Financial Times Innovative Law Firm Awards every year since its creation, and the only firm to have won it four times. Last year we worked for 87% of Forbes’ top 100 public companies and we promoted 24 new partners around the globe.

This phenomenal success is built on the work of talented and motivated people who thrive in a supportive and collaborative environment, dedicated to delivering an exceptional standard of work for our clients. We’re ambitious and forward-thinking, committed to growing our business and meeting the future head-on. We’re not afraid of change, and we believe in challenging the status quo.

Forward thinking

Our track record of innovation is second to none. From our expansion into new jurisdictions, flexible working for partners, and our alternative resourcing options such as Peerpoint and aosphere, we are setting the standard for what a global law firm should look like. We’re determined not just to be at the forefront of developments, but to set the pace and lead the way.

We’re proud to have the resources, the passion and the mind-set to build solutions for the future, whatever it may hold.


What we do

It’s time to stand on a bigger stage.

With thousands of people in over thirty countries all over the world, we’re a business doing work of global significance.

We’re one firm structured as seven global practices; over half of our transactions involve three or more jurisdictions, and nearly three-quarters of the work we do draws on the resources of two or more of our offices.

Throughout our eighty-six year history, we’ve led the market by finding new ways of meeting the challenges that our clients face. To deliver the standard of support that they expect, we have a world-leading base of expertise and a range of tools – such as our Legal Services Centre and our network of over 150 Peerpoint consultants.

Wherever your ambitions lie, we can provide you with the scope to develop your career and the challenges to help you realise your full potential.


As part of our global Corporate and M&A practice, you’ll advise leading corporations, financial institutions and government bodies on all aspects of commercial law and finance. Mergers and acquisitions is the bedrock of our work but you can expect to tackle everything from public takeovers and international equity offerings to joint ventures, corporate restructurings and day-to-day regulatory matters. Our lawyers combine excellent transactional skills with specialist expertise in areas such as antitrust, tax, employment and pensions.

Insight: Electricity generation in Africa

We supported the Africa Finance Corporation and the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund on the establishment of a joint venture to generate 1,575 megawatts of electricity.

As a corporate lawyer at A&O, one thing that truly excites me is the variety and range of work that I can be involved in and the initiatives I can take.

Karishma NaravaneAssociate

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With over 450 lawyers based all over the world, our ICM Team is one of the largest in the global legal industry. We enjoy a top-tier position across the full range of capital markets products, and we’ve played a big part in almost every major development in our field. Rapidly changing economic, political and regulatory conditions have made the last few years challenging, and we’ve helped clients address the fallout from several sovereign debt crises. As our focus shifts towards big-picture, long-term projects, we increasingly work with colleagues from other practice areas to develop innovative solutions that incorporate complex financing techniques.

Insight: MarginMatrixTM

We developed a market-leading IT solution to help our clients comply with the mandatory variation margin rules that now apply to the USD500 trillion OTC derivatives market. MarginMatrixTM covers regulatory requirements globally, template development, data collection, data scrubbing, negotiations, automatic drafting, delivery of legal opinions and the import of data back on the client’s systems for business as usual. MarginMatrixTM provides process efficiencies and economies of scale that no individual client could match on its own. We acted for eight global investment banks, and between them these eight clients have required over 25,000 negotiations.

Everyone at A&O takes real pride in doing their job well. It creates an inspiring atmosphere.

Francesca BennettsAssociate

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Our banking practice has played a leading role in almost every major development in the modern financial markets and, with over 1,000 lawyers worldwide, it’s one of largest in the industry. Few firms can match our top tier position across the full range of finance specialisms. Join us and you’ll work at the heart of the world’s financial markets, advising leading global businesses and institutions on complex transactions and drawing on your experience to deliver commercial advantage for your clients. 

Insight: British American Tobacco

We assisted the lead banks on a USD 25 billion acquisition loan facility for British American Tobacco, to back the USD 49.4 billion acquisition of the 57.8% stake in U.S. peer Reynolds American Inc. which it did not already own. This was the largest deal in the European syndicated loan markets in 2017.

Working as a finance lawyer at the market-leading finance firm gives you exposure to a quality of work that is unrivalled among our competitors.

David VarneAssociate

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Employment & Benefits

Our Employment & Benefits group is made up of over 180 lawyers, including some of the foremost names in the field, and aims to be the global market leader. We offer advice on matters including boardroom disputes, restraint of trade issues, discrimination, whistleblowing, pensions and executive remuneration and tax, assisting clients before the Employment Tribunal and High Court. Our practice covers non-contentious advisory and M&A support work, and we also work closely with our contentious regulatory colleagues in relation to employee investigations and misconduct in the financial services sector.  If you join us you’ll do high-profile work for household-name clients, in a practice and a firm with a peerless reputation.

Insight: Public restraint of trade dispute

We recently acted for GSK on its high-profile dispute with AstraZeneca over GSK’s recruitment of the Global Head of Pharma. This was the first time two pharmaceutical companies had entered a public restraint of trade dispute. 

People issues are at the top of board agendas, and our clients come to us for strategic insight and guidance on the most sensitive and complex HR matters.

Sarah HenchozPartner

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Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice handles some of the world’s largest and most complex financial and commercial crises. Its traditional role in dispute resolution is changing though, with an increasing emphasis on identifying and avoiding conflicts before they happen. Become part of one of the world’s leading litigation practices and you’ll advise global financial institutions, major corporates, governments, regulators and state bodies, supported by cutting-edge technology and world-class training.

Insight: The Black Sea pipeline

We worked with South Stream Transport, part of Gazprom, in an ICC arbitration with Saipem relating to a gas pipeline from Russia under the Black Sea into Europe. The case was one of the largest construction arbitrations of recent years.

I really enjoy the fight of litigation; strategy, tactics, intensity and especially the highs\lows of winning and losing.‎ There's no feeling quite like it.

Brandon O'NeilSenior Associate

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Real Estate

A&O’s Real Estate team uses deep legal expertise and broad market knowledge to provide clients with competitive edge. Join us and you’ll help to deliver a full spectrum of services to developers, leading private equity and listed real estate funds and international real estate investors, from construction and sales to finance and litigation, as well as advising on indirect acquisitions and establishing investment funds and joint ventures. You’ll be part of a practice with international reach across our network and a reputation for exceptional work.

Insight: International acquisition

We advised a leading private equity real estate fund and their joint venture partners on their acquisition of a portfolio of shopping centres across Portugal, Spain, Poland and Germany.

No day in real estate is ever the same and you’re always learning. In a typical week I might carry out due diligence on a property, negotiate a lease, advise on the structure of a property transfer or work on a pan-European property acquisition.

Rebecca RawlinsonAssociate

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Our London-based Tax team works alongside colleagues in all jurisdictions to provide cutting-edge advice on the implications of transactions and strategies executed by some of the world’s largest companies and institutions. The work we do is some of the most technical and challenging in our industry; join the team and you can expect to build a broad base of legal knowledge, and to work with international clients and colleagues on a regular basis. 

Insight: A truly varied practice

Whether you are interested in M&A, capital markets, banking, real estate or litigation, the tax team sees it all.  We have a huge variety of work, from helping to structure corporate acquisitions for household name clients to advising on real estate investments in iconic London landmarks, working on innovative capital markets transactions, or litigating against the tax authorities. Add to this the fact that tax law is constantly changing, and life is never dull.

One of the most rewarding things about working in the tax team is the amount of collaboration involved – both within the team and with our colleagues in other departments or jurisdictions. Everyone has an important role to play and these relationships help us deliver the high quality work our clients demand.

Esther LemmonSenior Associate

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What we look for

Wondering where you’re headed next.

We welcome people who are brave, entrepreneurial and agile. People who aren’t afraid to go beyond their comfort zone, and want to work at the forefront of their profession. You should be ready to embrace change, have a talent for problem-solving, and be keen to develop broad commercial awareness outside your chosen specialism.

There’s no such thing as a typical Allen & Overy candidate. We’re open-minded and are interested in people who share that quality. We also mean it when we say your university and degree subject doesn’t matter – almost half of our trainee population are from non-law backgrounds and we do not have a shortlist of preferred universities.

We’ll look for the following skills and attributes throughout our selection process:

Commercially Aware

Understand business

Spot opportunities and anticipate challenges

Develop subject expertise

You’re fascinated by the business and commercial world in which our clients operate, anticipating the impact that decisions and outcomes will have on them.

Keen to Learn

Thirst for knowledge

Creative approach to problems

Analytically minded

You love reading around a subject and finding innovative solutions to problems. You’re quick to identify patterns and trends, and you know how to put your knowledge to practical use.

Quick to Adapt

Driven and motivated



You aim for great results, and you don’t give up until you achieve them. You respond positively to sudden changes of direction and unexpected challenges.

Effective in a Team

Team player

Build strong relationships

Effective explaining and listening

You value the relationships you’ve built with your colleagues and you want to support them. You’re always ready to collaborate where it’s needed, as well as share knowledge to help the team. You articulate your ideas clearly, and you’re receptive to new ones.

Well Organised

Prioritise effectively

Excel under pressure

Think ahead

You’re good at dealing with competing demands on your time. You know the difference between urgent and important, and you keep track of deadlines and expectations.


All candidates must:

  • Be on track for or have achieved a minimum of a 2:1 (or equivalent) in their first degree in any discipline, and we ask you to provide all of your degree module grades on the application form (regardless of whether they count towards your degree)
  • Have achieved AAB (340 UCAS points) at A-level (or equivalent), and this must be achieved in three A levels taken in the same year and excludes General Studies

Please note we do consider mitigating circumstances when reviewing applications.

Interview adjustments

If you consider yourself to have a disability and would like to discuss any additional requirements that may need to be made during the selection process, please email Ben Moult from the graduate recruitment team at ben.moult@allenovery.com to discuss your query in confidence.


Our culture

It’s time to find common ground.

We work to attract, develop and keep the very best people – and we don’t take them for granted.

All kinds of people work at Allen & Overy, but we have a few things in common. We’re united by ambition and drive, and by the restless pursuit of excellence in everything we do. We foster a working environment based on collaboration and mutual respect, where everyone is trusted to do their very best work.

As important as that work is, we know that it’s also important for our people to have a life beyond it. Everyone at A&O is given the space and encouragement to pursue their interests and access to clubs and events where they can discover new passions. They can also take part in our programme of pro bono and community work that complements their skills and ambitions.


Fuse is Allen & Overy's tech innovation space. It's where we bring together technologists, lawyers and clients to deliver practical solutions to the legal, regulatory and business challenges that we all face. It’s part of A&O’s Advanced Delivery initiative, designed to both develop the legal market and meet the changing needs of our clients.


Pro bono / Citizenship

Find out what you’re really made of.

With unrivalled depth of expertise and a presence in over thirty countries, we’re in a position to effect positive change on pressing issues all over the world, and help find solutions to society’s most serious problems. Our pro bono and community work is focussed on two major themes – access to justice and access to education and employment – adapted to the needs and priorities of local cultures.

Last year 44% of our lawyers took part in pro bono work to a value of GBP 16.4m – but we try and use the skills of all of our people to their greatest effect, whichever part of the firm they’re from and whatever their area of expertise.

Our people are encouraged to get involved as much as possible in volunteering, to take on responsibility, and to

use it as an opportunity to develop their client-facing skills.

They’ve worked with global human rights organisations like INTERIGHTS and with Reprieve, fighting the death penalty and indefinite detention without trial. Qualified lawyers and trainees also advise at evening clinics in legal centres across London on a rota managed by a committed team of PAs. The opportunities to progress, both personally and professionally, are endless.

Find out more.

Our approach to diversity & inclusion

At A&O we recognise that people are different, in ways that we can see and ways that we can’t. We think that is a good thing. As well as creating a rich working environment that makes our work more enjoyable, the business benefits are clear. Being diverse and ensuring that we are inclusive helps us to attract the best people, innovate and understand and relate to our clients.

Wim Dejonghe Senior Partner

Our approach