David Morley

David draws on his own experience as a successful leader and 40 years in the legal profession to provide pragmatic and credible insight into leadership of professional firms. His mission is to help leaders of professional firms successfully address difficult challenges, bring people with them and drive their firm forward.

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Beyond the norm

David challenges the status quo – the norm is not enough, improvement is always possible. He drives progress with imagination, courage and dedication to quality.

Mutual trust and confidence

David believes in the value of long-term relationships built on mutual trust and confidence. His approach is based on shared dialogue to draw out ideas and develop thinking.

Inclusiveness and integrity

David respects every person as an individual and treats everybody equally, with fairness and decency, no matter who. He believes in opportunity for all.


David is authentic and open. He is passionate about making ideas and insight accessible and aspires to global reach and impact.

Photo of David Morley
Photo of David Morley

Key achievements

  • Winning three successive leadership elections, David led Allen & Overy LLP between 2003 and 2016. 

  • Under his leadership, Allen & Overy’s revenues doubled from £652 million in 2004 to £1.31 billion in 2016. 

  • In the same period, profits increased by 175%, including seven consecutive years of revenue and profit growth post 2008/9 financial crisis.

  • Made counter-cyclical investments in growth, opening 18 offices worldwide after the 2008/9 financial crisis.

  • Led a large-scale restructure during the 2008/9 crisis (now a Harvard Business School case study).

  • As a practitioner, led some of the world’s largest financing transactions for banks and major corporates, raising billions in finance.

  • As a consultant, has advised leading law firms and their leadership teams on three continents.

In the media



Joined Allen & Overy


Made Partner


Global Head of Banking


Elected Global Managing Partner (CEO)


Elected Global Senior Partner (Executive Chairman)


The Times Newspaper 'Ten Most Influential UK Lawyers' 


American Lawyer Magazine Top Big Law Innovators of Last 50 Years Award


Financial Times Special Achievement 'Most Innovative Law Firm Leader' Award


 Legal Week 'Senior Partner of the Year' 


Accredited as Meyler Campbell business coach


Chair, litigation funder Vannin Capital (acquired by Fortress)


Chair, Allen & Overy Leadership Centre


Founded David H Morley LLP Strategy and Leadership Consulting


Chair, Elaghmore Private Equity Fund

Personal life

David has been married to Sue, also a lawyer, for over 38 years. With their four children Emma, William, Tom & Rachael and their respective partners, they are a close knit family often enjoying holidays together.

David has always strived to maintain a pragmatic balance and enjoys an active, outdoor life, riding in cycle challenges around the world. For business, his base is the City of London but his home is in Dorset where he plays an active role in the local community as chair of Sandbanks Community Group.

David is ambitious and driven to excel in all areas of his life. From an unassuming background with strong family values, he is grounded and accessible, engaging his audience with thought provoking questions and stories.

He has a natural ability to bring people together and make them feel listened to and supported. He uses tact & diplomacy to build consensus and find a way through seemingly impossible situations and entrenched opposition.