Ashley Varney

Lawyer, Allen and Overy

“Being at A&O and working for one of the world’s leading international law firms is an exciting first step of my legal career and I would encourage other New Zealand law graduates to also consider a career at A&O.”

What did you study and where? 

BA/LLB(Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington.

What career steps have you taken to get to where you are now? 

Similar to many other law students, I assumed that I would start my legal career in New Zealand working for a large domestic firm, before moving overseas after two or three years. All of that changed once I began to research A&O’s graduate programme and realised that the move to an overseas, international firm could be done straight out of law school.

What do you enjoy most about working at Allen and Overy?  

A&O’s graduates are given the option to start in March or September of each year, with each intake receiving comprehensive firm-wide training during their first few weeks. A&O makes a point of investing in its graduate talent, offering graduates the choice to rotate throughout different practice areas before choosing a team to settle in.  The graduate rotation program has broadened my skillset and exposure, and also allowed me to foster a range of connections across the A&O network. 

What is unique about working at Allen and Overy? 

In Sydney, A&O has smaller teams than most competing law firms which allow junior lawyers the opportunity to have direct contact with clients and work closely with partners who are leaders in their practice areas. The greater autonomy and responsibility given to junior lawyers is invaluable in expanding comfort-zones and fast-tracking professional development. The size of A&O and its position as a leading international law firm also provides great training opportunities and resources, both locally and internationally.

Did anything surprise you while working at Allen and Overy? 

The support from A&O makes it extremely easy for graduates of New Zealand universities to be admitted as a lawyer in New South Wales. My professional studies course was paid for by A&O and I was given study leave so that I could travel back to New Zealand to attend the mandatory on-site days. Upon admission in New Zealand, I simply had to fill out some forms back here in Australia and became an Australian qualified lawyer within a matter of weeks (all thanks to the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act).

What is your advice to other students who would like to work with Allen and Overy?

I have been in Sydney for three years now and couldn’t speak more highly of my experience here. Being at A&O and working for one of the world’s leading international law firms is an exciting first step of my legal career and I would encourage other New Zealand law graduates to also consider a career at A&O.

 

“By joining a firm with such deep international ties, you will be engaged on the most significant deals across all of our practice areas” 

About the Firm

Global coverage in today’s market does not simply mean having offices in important cities around the world. For us, it means combining our international resources and sector expertise to work on cross-border transactions directly in the markets and regions important to our clients. For you, it means wherever your ambitions lie, we can provide you with the opportunity and the scope to have a career more fulfilling than you can imagine.

Drawing on Allen & Overy’s rich history as a global leader for 90 years, our Australian team, located in Sydney and Perth, marks its 11th year in the Australian market in 2021.

We are 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. By joining a firm with such deep international ties, you will be engaged on the most significant deals across all of our practice areas.

Working at the Firm

From the moment you join the firm, you’ll be involved in helping our clients to protect and grow their assets. You will get involved in cross-border deals including inbound investment by international clients and outbound investment by Australian clients; international disputes and regulatory reviews; project financing for projects both in Australia and around the world; and international bond programs. Clients increasingly expect global service providers and Allen & Overy is currently one of the only firms in Australia able to provide a fully integrated domestic, regional and global offering.

We focus on innovative and expert legal solutions across a broad range of areas: mergers and acquisitions; private equity; capital markets; regulatory and funds; anti-trust/competition; litigation and dispute resolution; banking and finance; infrastructure and projects; energy and resources; communications, outsourcing and technology and tax.

Our lawyers work closely with our Advanced Delivery & Solutions teams, which operate at the interface of technology and resourcing – harnessing our legal and market expertise to solve client challenges. AD&S is a promise that we will always deliver our expertise in the most efficient and effective way, so our clients can strike the optimal balance between cost, quality, speed and risk.

Opportunities for students

Our Sydney 2021/22 Summer Clerkship will take place from 29 November 2021 to 4 February 2022.

2021/2022 Summer Clerkship Opening and Closing Dates

Applications open in 8 June 2021 and close in 14 July 2021.

2021/2022 Summer Clerkship Intake

Our clerkship intake is based on business needs. In previous years we have taken on around 10 Summer Clerks (in 2020/21, 3 were from New Zealand).

After becoming a clerk, what are the prospects of obtaining a graduate role?

We have previously offered all summer clerks a graduate role. We base our decision on good performance during the clerkship program.

What specific qualities do we look for in a potential clerk?

We’re open-minded and interested in people who share that quality. Beyond strong academic performance, we want to see evidence of teamwork, motivation and drive, communication skills, planning and organisation, critical thinking, commercial awareness and commitment; both to a career in law and a career with Allen & Overy.

 

Location: In Australia, we have offices in Sydney and Perth. Over 40 offices around the world.
Areas of expertise: Our Australian practice has four core groups: Banking & Finance, Corporate, Litigation and International Capital Markets. Within these, the practice areas are diverse including Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, Projects, Structured Products, Funds, Competition, Tax, Energy & Resources, International Arbitration and TMT
Staff: In Australia 160; Globally 5,550
Contact: australianrecruitment@allenovery.com

 

 

 

  

Property Lawyer

Aubrey Pigneri