A brief history of ‘near-sourcing’: how Allen & Overy has cut in London and grown in Belfast

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A very modern magic circle tale


Before the financial crisis, Allen & Overy offered 120 training contracts each year.

In the wake of the 2008 crash, the firm slashed its trainee numbers to 105.

Three years later Allen & Overy launched a “Legal Service Centre” in Belfast.

Then, in 2013, it cut TC numbers again — this time to 90.

Last month it reduced numbers further to just 85.

And then yesterday this news arrived.


Note that 70 of the 100 roles at A&O’s Belfast support office will be for legal staff, with a mixture of positions for law graduates and junior lawyers.

Allen & Overy pays London trainees £39,000 each year, while its newly qualified lawyers get £64,000. The equivalent figures for the firm’s Belfast trainees and NQs are undisclosed.