Allen & Overy launches office in LA and forecasts reduction in office space

updated on 24 March 2021

Magic circle law firm Allen & Overy expanded its offering with a new Los Angeles office earlier this month, after merger talks with international firm O’Melveny & Myers came to an end in September 2019 without a deal.

The move saw Allen & Overy recruit 19 lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, including six partners, who will focus on renewable energy work.

US Managing Partner Tim House said: “California has obvious attractions in connection with renewables, but the opportunity is far wider.”

He added: “The last year has reinforced our commitment to attracting talent in the key practices we are looking to build to serve our clients without a rigid attachment to location or physical offices.”

With 44 offices across 29 countries, the firm has also recently denied reports that suggest it will save more than £150 million by cutting back office space; however, it explained that the demand for physical office space will “reduce considerably” over the next few years as future working practices become more agile.

Future cash flows of £155.3 million were excluded from the firm’s lease liability in its annual accounts for the year ended 30 April 2020 but a spokesperson for the magic circle firm explained: “The amount reported is the value of the leases we do not expect to pay for and is, therefore, a purely hypothetical amount which has no impact on our income, cash flow or balance sheet.”