Allen & Overy

The Legal Cheek View

It’s been a good year for Allen & Overy, with the firm topping the magic circle financial results growth league to boost profit per equity partner (PEP) by a whopping 26% to £1.51 million while lifting revenue by 16% to £1.52 billion.

Some of these riches have been invested in the future, with A&O’s big move this year having been the creation in its swish Spittalfields Market offices of a “tech innovation space” called Fuse where free dwellings have been assigned to a host of lawtech start-ups. As they wait in hope for a pay rise, trainees and junior lawyers at the firm seem mildly impressed with such developments. A sceptic on the inside notes: “A&O tries to be forward-thinking with mixed success”.

While there have been some major improvements, the Fourth Industrial Revolution apparently hasn’t yet reached a shop floor that is still in some cases grappling “with this new thing called 'email'”. Still, the firm scored an A* for its tech-savvy in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017 – so it’s obviously doing something right.

Under the bonnet Allen & Overy remains a traditional magic circle law firm. It’s huge (with a whopping 45 offices in 32 countries), has a longstanding reputation for representing the establishment (the firm’s co-founder, George Allen, famously advised King Edward VIII during the abdication crisis of 1936) and offers great perks.

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Key Info

Training contracts 90
Latest trainee retention rate 85%
Offices 44
Countries 31
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Quality of work
Peer support
Partner approach-ability
Work/life balance
Social life

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.


Average arrival time 9:10am
Average leave time 8:43pm
Annual target hours 1,750
Annual leave 25 days


First year trainee salary £42,000
Second year trainee salary £47,000
Newly qualified salary £78,500
Profit per equity partner £1,510,000
GDL grant £8,000
LPC grant £7,000

Allen & Overy reduces its GDL grant to £7,000 for those studying outside of London.


UK female associates 48%
UK female partners 20%
UK BME associates 18%
UK BME partners 8%