A&O moves to reverse poor assistant retention rate

Allen & Overy (A&O) is set to radically overhaul its partnership track after it emerged that the firm had an assistant turnover rate of 25 per cent during the last financial year.

HR director Genevieve Tennant is heading a review to explore alternative career paths for associates. A&O already has a role of ‘senior counsel’ in some of its overseas offices.

Although the review comes off the back of a triennial staff survey from last autumn, it has gained momentum in recent months as the firm battles to retain disillusioned assistants.

It also comes amid the creation of the new role of ‘associate director’ to reward talented non-legal staff. A&O plans to promote a handful of senior staff from the support functions, which comprise finance, HR, IT and marketing.