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Exclusive: Jones Day demotes at least four London partners
15 January 2016
London office has demoted at least four partners to counsel.
RollOnFriday has been given four names, one of whom was only made up to partner in 2012, so hasn't even been given a decent stab at the role. Another resigned from the firm after being made down. And it's possible that more partners have been hit but the firm is refusing to comment.
Jones Day has plenty of form on this. It made down
three London partners
in 2013 and
at least five in 2009
. On each occasion the firm refused to explain why it felt the need publicly to shame the partners rather than keep them on the letterhead and reduce their profit share, like every other firm in the City. As it is the former partners will have to hand back their business cards, change their email signatures and explain to their colleagues, families, friends and clients why they have been demoted. Nice touch Jones Day.
How it might look.
The firm refused to comment, again. So draw your own conclusions.
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Please keep it nice. Thanks.
'Hasn't even been given a decent stab at the role' He's had 4 years! How long do you have to wait before partners become effective?!?
I was there - it pays well, everyone got their own office (even trainees), there was an inordinate amount of debauchery and a sociopathic streak in the partnership.
But on the down-side, they are pretty ruthless with those upon whom blamed is (often unfairly) pinned when mistakes are made (and the lack of supervision and PSLs means that happens pretty frequently).
Bad nobs, Jones Day!
Debauchery seconded. Alongside some pretty phenomenal drinking habits.
Legal skills less impressive.
I work at Jones day and agree with comments below. Except that even their salaries now are not an attraction any more - 1-3 pqe in transactional teams get paid around the same as you would at magic circle (inc bonus). Jones day does not have a bonus system. And the partners who are home grown are just an abomination. The only reason they are still at Jones day is because nobody else in their right mind would hire them (and the legacy sexual harassment suits they would bring with them). @anonymous user - everybody shares offices now except partners.
Hear hear. Jones Day lawyers are known City-wide as a pissed-up rugby team pretending to offer legal counsel. Some of the partners I had the (dis)pleasure to work with on deals were genuine sex pests, who should have been locked up ages ago.
All round an incredibly hyped-up and unremarkable firm. Thank God I'm out.
Jones day has a listening problem - it relies too much on the BS London partners feed back to Washington and NY and (of all places) Cleveland), and far lesser on the experience of junior lawyers who have their finger on the pulse. The London managing partner is too chicken to run an engagement survey amongst associates and trainees for fear of the ugly truths that will tumble out in the open.
@16:14 and @22:56
Couldn't agree more. Can't wait until I can get out.
I'm also ex-JD (seems to be a few of us around...). There was definitely an emphasis on heavy drinking at the firm - though we were never pressured into it if it wasn't our thing. I can see how people on the periphery of that 'drinking culture' might have felt unwelcome or somehow sidelined. It is also changing. The old guard are moving on, and the firm is modernising - slowly, but it's happening.
It's also a bit much to say that they aren't good lawyers. For all their quirks and oddities, it produces some great solicitors. It isn't surprising that their competitors would like to spread it about that they are a 'pissed up rugby team, just pretending to offer legal counsel'. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. By and large they seem to secure great clients who keep on coming back - so they are doing something right. And as this thread proves, once you've trained at JD you don't struggle for future employment.
A bonus system for associates wouldn't hurt.
In fairness, the legacy Jones Day partners who joined Tudor Street from Bucklersbury House were a fairly mild-mannered lot; it was the Old Bailey crew who were the serial adulturer, Maserati- and Porsche-driving, Friday liquid-lunch hard-drinking old-school London Solicitors who were/are the real players/characters/rainmakers/sociopaths/alcoholics/mentalists/liabilities/sexual harrassers*. I was at Gouldens and I know that the hotels around Old Bailey in those days did a fairly brisk trade in day rooms...
*delete as applicable depending on point of view
@10:17 - the only comment written from inside JD's office premises. Slow clap HR
Taking a step back from culture issues in the comments above, it is quite telling that Jones day is simply not able to retain lateral partner hires beyond 2-3 years across its non- US offices. The reason insiders don't realise the extent of the attrition problem is because it isn't widely discussed in the media or within Jones day itself (you wouldn't know a partner has left until you turn up one day and find an empty desk or if you are part of the inner circle where these rumours are discussed). Each individual case could be different but the main problem is that as an institution Jones day is not an easy place to integrate / progress in because of the lack of institutional clients outside the US, the firm's secrecy on all major and minor issues (for instance why is trainees'/ associates' utilisation a state secret!!!) and the fact that across wide swathes of functions (HR, marketing, associate development, commercial awareness, client management, office support, document management, IT, internal communications), Jones day appears to outsiders like a 20th century law firm - definitely not a slick, modern, dynamic and nimble organisation. Transparency is a blasphemous word at JD and the secrets are tumbling out as more outsiders come and experience the shock and awe that is The "Firm". Besides if there are career Jones Day partners who haven't left the US JD universe or legacy Gouldens etc for decades, how would you know what is best practice outside!
Demotion must be part of their recruitment website, no? It is so promising for the young 'uns to see their future in the crystal ball. Just wow! Brilliant management 101 stuff. If the management wasn't concentrated in one person, and the firm had the gumption to listen to everybody's ideas, they wouldn't have so many grumpy comments on this chain. I would say to Jones Day hire a consultant to fix all the broken structures in the firm, modernise it, start behaving like a global law firm that you claim to be ("One firm worldwide" seems more like a fervent prayer rather than the firm's tagline). That will be 1000 quid for the free advice. You are welcome Steve brogan
Surprised Jones Day didn't get the Goulden* Turd this year !
Jones Day is, for all the rather odd people running it, the mysterious trap doors for those who become persona non grata, the debauchery (!) and its strange internal "culture" generally, a great place to be a trainee. The non-rotational seat system is brilliant - it means you can have basically an uninterrupted 2 years of experience before you qualify (provided you do the SRA requirements for the other bits you need alongside).
Lateral hires seem to get lured in by big money, but it's true that they don't stay - there's more churn than Associated Dairies, particularly when they realise how precarious their position is (even if they get a partnership).
Whoa trainee talk! Trainees are the biggest beneficiaries of JD's dysfunction. Not being attached to departments means trainees frequently hide in their corners, shirk work and avoid anybody who dares demand higher standards from their work (as pointed out above utilisation rates are a secret so you can't challenge trainees on their capacity). The quality of work product from trainees is appalling and their attitude off-putting but I don't blame them - they work in a firm with no precedents or knowledge notes, no know-how lawyers, no structured training system, no appraisal system, no supervision and no sense of responsibility towards teams.
Very true. Did a vac-scheme there last summer, and trainees were actually boasting about dodging work.
Huge precedent bank, quarterly appraisals, not molly-coddled and given proper responsibility early on, each trainee gets a partner and 2nd year trainee mentor, flexible training system and no archaic sense of hierarchy that dogs many other firms.
Let's all get a grip and put this gossipy rumour mill to rest shall we?
p.s. a scorned vaccy never forgets and never forgives - move on.
Totally agree with last comment. Nicest place I have ever worked at. Friendly and relaxed but everyone works hard. All the trainees I have seen and worked with, work very hard and do have regular appraisals. If Jones Day is such a bad firm to work at why is it always in the Top 10 of best firms?? Love it here. Love the people, love the atmosphere.......to all the JD haters and people with a grudge......DO ONE!!!!!
At comment above - are you joking about the huge precedent bank or is there a secret stash that has never been revealed to the rest of the firm!!!!
There is a huge precedent bank - it just hasn't been updated since 2005 when the last PSL left...
A lot of scorned lovers here. Great firm and some of the smartest people in the city - with a personality too!