Allen & Overy boosts its European offices

Allen & Overy is relocating three of its London banking partners to boost its Paris and Frankfurt offices.

Peter Hockless, banking partner at A&O, set up the firm's Paris office in 1989 and is returning to join the banking department's two partners.

Heather McCallum and George Link, both banking partners, are moving to A&O's Frankfurt office, bringing the number of partners there to three.

Stephen Denyer, European regional managing partner at A&O, says the moves are part of a strategy hatched a year ago when it broke off its alliance with Gide Loyrette Nouel, which handled the firm's banking work.

He says: “We will continue adding to the Paris office – I would like to end up with about five or six banking partners and 30 or so associates.”

He says he will not be adding any more banking partners to the Frankfurt office.

The moves come two weeks after A&O added four lawyers to its Hungarian office. These included Peter Danko, former head of legal at investment bank ING, who became head of the banking practice.

Denyer denies that with all the relocations happening in banking, the firm is neglecting its other areas.

He says: “I think that would be a false assumption. We have made other significant appointments in our Frankfurt office, specifically in our capital markets area.”

Denyer adds: “We will be concentrating on our core areas which are banking, corporate and capital market.”