A&O ramps up New York presence

Allen & Overy is dramatically expanding its New York presence after ruling out a US merger in the near future.

The firm is leasing 135,000sq ft in a building in central Manhattan, with space to house 150 lawyers. The firm currently has just 45 lawyers in the city.

Managing partner of the office Carl Sheldon says: “We have aggressive growth plans in New York. We don't think that there's a desirable merger available in the short term – there may be opportunities in the future, but they will take a long time to develop.”

The 15-year lease for the new space phases in during the next two years, with the first 45,000sq ft floor being available towards the end of this year. Sheldon says the firm hopes to have 70 or 80 lawyers in New York by that time.

He says: “We are very tight for space in the building where we are now. We wanted to make sure we were in a position to hire without being constrained by physical space.”

The firm currently boasts nine partners in the city.