Mahmood Lone and Boyan Wells
Co-Chairmen, Alumni Network
This year we’ve seen the pace of technological change accelerate and the profound impact it’s had on every sector, including the legal industry. To explore this further, we’ve made technology and innovation the theme of this, the 12th edition of the Alumni Yearbook. In its pages you can read about how Allen & Overy is responding to these changes and embracing technological advances. For example through Fuse, A&O’s new tech innovation space in London, tech companies, our own team of lawyers and A&O’s clients collaborate to explore, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions using new technologies.
Technology is crucial to the growth plans of our office in Belfast and our global Litigation practice, and both are featured in this edition. We also hear from two of our alumni who have forged successful careers in new tech companies, and two others who published books in 2017, drawing on their personal interest in the future of science and technology.
Additionally, you’ll find articles on War Child and Justice Without Borders, two charities A&O is supporting.
It’s been another busy year for the Alumni Network. The network continues to grow – membership passed 10,000 earlier this year – and we are also delighted to welcome Jo Hughes to our team. Jo will be focusing on liaising with our Client Relationship Management team and bespoke events.
Many of you attended the Global Alumni Reunion, our biggest yet with more than 1,400 attendees in 13 locations around the world. We’ve also held a number of class reunions, bringing together trainee groups 15 or 20 years from when they started at A&O. We want to build on these successes, so if you know of any former A&O colleagues who haven’t yet joined the Alumni Network, or if you have suggestions for future alumni activities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also conducted our alumni survey in early 2017. Thank you to everyone who took part. Your feedback on what we do well and how we can improve is invaluable in helping us shape the future of the network. The results were very positive and an important reminder that the collegiate nature of A&O is crucial in what we do. Most respondents, for example, cited the people with whom they worked as the high point of their time at A&O, while more than half of respondents meet up with former A&O colleagues more than twice a year. In addition, more than 90% of respondents said they felt a sense of goodwill towards the firm.
We hope our Alumni Network activities and events go some way towards helping you maintain these relationships and allow you to build your own professional network within the A&O and alumni community.
Finally, we are delighted that the 2016 Alumni Yearbook received an ‘Award of Excellence’ at the Institute of Internal Communications Awards 2017. This was very much down to the hard work and ingenuity of Stella Ekkeshis, Jenny Enever and Pauline McFerran who, together now with Jo, make up our team. We are very grateful for all their efforts in helping us continue to grow and develop our Alumni Network. We hope you enjoy this year’s edition of the yearbook, and look forward to an exciting 2018 for the Alumni Network.
With best wishes,
Mahmood and Boyan
Co-Chairmen, Alumni Network