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Allen & Overy (A&O) is revamping its assistant secondment programme for financial institutions as it moves to rejuvenate its banking department.
Banking managing partner Chris Rushton, senior partner Mike Duncan and head of global loans Stephen Kensell are understood to be setting up a committee of partners to oversee the business case of its secondment scheme.
A&O seconds associates to dozens of banks every year, but the initiative comes at the same time as the magic circle firm attempts to strengthen its relationships with key clients such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays - in particular Barclays Capital.
An A&O partner said: "Because [associates are] a scarce resource, we have to use that resource properly. It's a relationship of mutual benefit and secondments need to reflect that. We need to have more discipline in the process. We want to maximise the benefit for us and also for our clients."
One in-house banking lawyer said: "It doesn't surprise me they're doing it. The banks are now asking for so many secondees because the business guys want them in their execution teams and the legal teams want general cover."