By DebbieH 29 Jan 2013 7 min read

Working for Jones Day

Jones Day is the eighth largest law firm in the world by revenue and employs around 2,400 lawyers in total. It was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1893 and has grown to become a highly regarded international law firm, best known for its work in competition law, restructuring, real estate, global disputes, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This is a heavyweight firm in the global business world – Jones Day says it now provides counsel for approximately half of the Fortune 500, for example.

The London Office, on Tudor Street, EC4, was founded in 1986 and expanded significantly in 2003, when Jones Day merged with City firm Gouldens. With more than 200 fee earners in the centre of the City, the London Office is an integral part of this global Firm. Principal areas of practice in London include M&A, capital markets, private equity, banking and finance, business restructuring, investment funds, litigation, intellectual property, tax, and real estate. There are also teams of lawyers involved in areas such as competition, environmental, employment, and pensions law.

Jones Day London is part of the firm’s European network, which includes offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich and Paris, and also is fully integrated into the Firm’s global network of offices worldwide. During the 1990s Jones Day saw rapid expansion to many established and emerging financial and business centers both in the United States and abroad, including into Hong Kong, Brussels, Tokyo, Taipei, and Frankfurt.

In 2011, Jones Day established an associate relationship with Alsulaim Alawaji & Partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Alkhobar.

One firm, worldwide approach

Jones Day operates a “one firm, worldwide” approach which means all clients worldwide can benefit from the extensive multidisciplinary international experience and resources from around the world whenever required.

Its active pro bono practice enables Jones Day lawyers to contribute their legal skills in service to the London community. As a member of LawWorks, Jones Day acts for non-profit organisations on small community projects, as well as for venerable charitable institutions such as the Royal Academy of the Arts.

Jones Day also works closely with Waterloo Legal Advice Centre, “to which we provide financial, administrative, and organizational support”. On an ongoing basis, the firm’s London lawyers advise individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal counsel, and do not qualify for Legal Aid, on everyday legal matters, thereby helping them turn their lives around.

Key facts

Location: London
Number of UK partners/solicitors: 53/90 (+12 non-UK-qualified)
UK partners who trained at firm: 45%
Total number of trainees: 28
Extras: Pro bono – LawWorks, FRU, Waterloo Legal Advice Service, Lawyers Without Borders

Jones Day’s notable clients
• General Motors
• Procter & Gamble
• Time Warner Inc.
• Macy’s.

What’s it like to work for Jones Day?

Salaries here are excellent, and the firm is still paying its new initiates among the highest starting salaries in the City – £41,000 to start, rising every six months to around £50,000 for newly qualified.  Trainee retention is historically  high, and the firm likes to promote from within – the last set of partners all trained with the firm.

Jones Day’s slogan ‘One firm, worldwide’, seems to genuinely influence the firm’s approach to business. The idea is that there’s a seamless service across all borders, and in practice that means trainees and solicitors can expect to work closely with overseas colleagues, very much co-operating with colleagues across borders.

Unusually among City firms, Jones Day offers a non-rotational training contract. Trainees don’t do seats, but instead,  are immediately given their own office and are expected to tout for work from different departments. According to feedback from trainees, this launches them into the deep end, but also allows them access to plenty of varied work.

The firm’s full-service offering gives trainees a range of practices to take work from. London is roughly 25% litigation; 25% corporate; 20% banking and finance; 20% property; and 10% ‘other’, including energy, construction, competition and IP.

The firm’s values are listed as:
• Integrity in dealing with clients, courts, and among its own employees.
• Teamwork is regarded as central to the business
• Personal accountability for every decision and action on behalf of clients.
• Competence marked by creativity and judgement.
 Dedication to clients’ interests and an ‘intensity of effort’ which separates the firm’s lawyers from others in the profession.
 Independence which enables the firm’s lawyers to advise what is in the best interests of clients.
• Courage in representing clients in hostile environments.
• Determination to provide quality legal services to clients with efficiency.
• Commitment to the firm as a professional endeavour.

Salary at Jones Day London: 

  • 1st seat trainee:     £41,000
  • Salary (NQ):             £72,500
  • Salary (1PQE):         £77,500
  • Salary (2PQE):        £85,750
  • Salary (3PQE):        £94,000

A culture of respect

These characteristics attract a particular kind of lawyer to Jones Day, the firm says. According to its corporate website: “We seek lawyers who are concerned not with maximizing their individual position in the Firm, but with delivering the best service possible to our clients, with colleagues whom they value and respect. These lawyers take great pride in their work, they lack pretension, and they show respect and consideration to everyone in the Firm – partners, associates, and staff alike.”

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