Allen & Overy Training Contracts & Interview Questions

Law Training Contract Application Specialists

Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

The application window for Training Contracts at Allen & Overy is mid-September to mid-December.

Firm Overview

Allen & Overy LLP, known as A&O, is a Magic Circle firm that consistently ranks amongst the world’s top 10 law firms by revenue. It has 44 offices across 31 countries, covering Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East.

It has 580 partners and more than 5600 staff across the globe. Equity-partners’ salaries can reach two million pounds per annum.

It has differentiated itself from other firms by offering part-time work to partners as early as 2010, and being a strong advocate of LGBT+ rights in the workplace.

The firm describes its primary focuses in brief as banking and finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, and IP.

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

As it stands, the training program consists of four six-month rotations, or seats, which will see you move through a number of different departments in the firm. In each, you will sit with an associate, or a partner, who will be responsible for supervising you as you learn and grow in the firm. A&O has a dedicated human resources team who care for their trainees, and they are there to support you as you decide on your seats. There is a wide range of seats available across practice areas. You are able to choose seats, meaning that you can focus on areas that you find especially interesting – assuming that the business is in need of trainees in those areas. Expect core areas in which you will spend at least two seats to be Banking, Corporate (including Pensions) and International Capital Markets. You will also be able to take a secondment abroad – taking advantage of the firm’s many international offices – or spending time with a client in-house.

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

The firm currently operates an SJT, for which you can find additional information on their site. Following successful completion of the SJT and pre-interview phase, you would be invited to an assessment day. The focus of this is your interview with a partner at the firm. Prior to this, you will be provided a case study. You will have around half an hour to assess this case study, after which you will be interviewed by a partner. You will need to also provide a fifteen minute presentation on the case study.

This is described as being very time intensive – you need to assess the information in the booklet you are provided, use this information to create the presentation, and ensure that you are au fait with the information in general so that you are able to handle the interview questions. You will be able to re-read elements of the booklet if absolutely necessary.

An example of a case study from previous interviewees is a pharma company buying a smaller startup. You would not need specific knowledge on pharma to handle the case study, if it were in this field. Instead, you would need to understand general concepts like balance sheets, debt vs equity funding, etc. 

Considering questions on the case study, previous examples include:

– Please can you calculate the value of the target company?
– What are the potential legal issues that arise as a result of the target company’s patents?
– Can you give an overview of the commercial problems associated with the target company’s leases?

You will have a secondary interview with an HR representative who will ask more general questions and also cover SJT scenarios.

Further questions that are known to have been asked during the HR / SJT interview:

– When have you been innovative?
– When have you shown cultural awareness?
– When have you worked as part of a team?
– What would you do if you have a flight to catch in the morning and work to get done tonight but a partner asks you to attend a client dinner?
– Imagine that a fellow trainee became aggressive at a company event and began to disturb others that you worked with. How would you respond to this situation?
– You are a trainee, recently moved to another team by an associate. You don’t know why you’ve been moved, and are not familiar with the new team or their work. What do you do?
– How would you try to make a client presentation innovative?

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