The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Jones Day’s London office is its largest outside of the US. Established over 125 years ago, the firm is particularly experienced in advising on competition, M&A and government regulation matters, as well as in areas such as cybersecurity, life sciences and energy.
The star performers
Asset based lending; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Corporate tax; Debt capital markets; EU and competition; Fraud: civil; Intellectual property; International arbitration; IT and telecoms; Private equity: transactions – high-value deals; Private funds; Property finance; Public international law; Real estate funds; Regulatory investigations and corporate crime; Trade finance
Advised Goldman Sachs on the mezzanine financing of Blackstone’s €3.3bn acquisition of IVG’s German office portfolio; defended Celgene Corporation’s patents concerning its blockbuster anti-cancer drug, Revlimidin, against Accord Healthcare in three separate cases; advised L1 Retail (LetterOne’s retail investment arm) on the $1.77bn acquisition of Holland & Barrett from The Carlyle Group and The Nature’s Bounty Co; represented BioMarin Pharmaceutical in a patent dispute against Sarepta Therapeutics, resulting in negotiation of a license and settlement agreement; acted for Canyon Partners and Bain Capital Credit in their £525m sale of the QHotels portfolio to Aprirose
AlbaCore Capital; Aurelius Investments; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Blackstone; Goldman Sachs; Lone Star Funds; Macquarie Capital; Mastercard; Puma Energy; Total
The autonomy and flexibility afforded by Jones Day’s non-rotational training contract proved popular with trainees. ‘It is easier to seek out mentors and do more substantive work’ chimed one recruit, whilst another raved about ‘being treated like an associate from an early stage’ because ‘we have control (to an extent) over our workload, hours and capacity’. On the flip side, this can also mean that trainees are ‘very much on their own in terms of managing expectations’ because ‘you do not necessarily have the luxury of a partner or senior associate who keeps an eye on your workload and checks in’. One thing the firm does boast though is an impressive salary, which has earned it a Lex 100 Winner medal. Many respondents lauded the ‘friendly culture’ and ‘diverse and high-quality work’ experienced on the vacation scheme, which convinced them to join the firm. The ‘collegiate atmosphere’ and approachability of supervisors did not go unnoticed either, with recruits expressing their gratitude that ‘partners and senior associates are always happy to answer the simplest of questions’. There is no doubt then that ‘there is respect for trainees’ at the US firm, ‘rather than just being considered at the bottom of the food chain’. Best moments include ‘leading and attending client meetings pretty much on my own’, but responsibility occasionally brings less desirable instances of ’85-hour weeks’ and ‘being in the office at 5am’. For a ‘more holistic experience’ where trainees are given the opportunity to ‘see transactions from start to finish and from various angles’ in a firm with a ‘global presence, good pay and nice offices’, consider Jones Day.
A day in the life of...
Tanvi Mehta first-year trainee, Jones Day
Degree:History and politics
9.30am: I take the short stroll near the river to the Jones Day office from Blackfriars tube station, and grab a coffee and some breakfast from our in-house café. I am not a morning person, so I appreciate the 9.30 start at Jones Day, as opposed to the earlier 9.00 start most other City offices observe! I catch up on emails that have arrived overnight from some clients in the US and take stock of what needs to be done during the day.
10.00am: There is a conference call at 10.30 to discuss the conditions precedent (also known as the CPs) to a banking deal which I have been working on. The CPs are various requirements set out in the loan facility agreement that must be fulfilled before our client, the borrower, can receive the loan amount from the bank. At Jones Day, it is almost always the trainee’s job to keep track of the CP checklist and I have been responsible from the outset for liaising with the client, the bank’s lawyers, the insurers and other third parties to co-ordinate the CPs.
11.30am: After the call, I prepare a summary of the issues discussed during the call and send them to the client by way of an update. I also follow up on the outstanding CPs discussed on the call.
12.00pm: In line with the firm’s distinctive non-rotational training system, alongside my banking deal, I have been simultaneously working on a litigation matter which is set for trial in the High Court in a couple of weeks. This is my first time attending a trial, and I’m unsure what to expect, so I informally drop in on a junior associate in the litigation department to ask him for his advice and tips about how best to prepare for (and help project manage) that trial based on his prior experience as a Jones Day trainee. Jones Day has a relaxed and very non-hierarchical working atmosphere, so it is pretty usual for trainees and associates to interact casually and openly.
1.00pm: Feeling reassured after my conversation with the associate, I go downstairs to the Jones Day café to have lunch with some other first-year trainees. Since our entire cohort did the LPC together, eating lunch together is something of a ritual for us, and most of us try to do it as often as possible.
1.45pm: I attend the weekly meeting with the partner and associate on the litigation matter to discuss the status of the case. We decide that it is necessary to prepare an interim application regarding an outstanding issue, supported by a short witness statement. Since I have been involved in this litigation dispute since my first week of the training contract, I have worked closely with the associate and the partner and have a reasonably detailed understanding of the factual issues. The partner therefore asks me to prepare a first draft of the supporting witness statement.
5.15pm: I head downstairs to our in-house gym for the weekly ‘high-intensity interval training’ class at 5.30pm. The firm facilitates the provision of a personal trainer at the gym, and some of the trainees have joined together to set up this class with him. The class is a good way to clear my head after an afternoon at my desk and is a great break.
6.30pm: Feeling refreshed after the class and a shower, I go back to my desk to review the witness statement I have been working on and prepare a consolidated list of questions. I take them up to the partner’s office and she talks me through them and gives me comments on the sections I have prepared thus far.
7.15pm: To wind down the day, I make a to-do list for tomorrow based on that discussion and other emails I have received that afternoon. After checking with the associates that nothing further needs doing, I head out to meet some friends for dinner in Soho.
About the firm
Address:21 Tudor Street, London, EC4Y 0DJ
Telephone: 020 7039 5959
Fax:020 7039 5999
Partner in charge – London: John Phillips
Other offices: Continental Europe, Asia, US, Latin America, Middle East, Asia Pacific.
Who we are: Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 43 offices across five continents. The firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.
What we do: Our 200 London-based lawyers collaborate within the U.K. and across our worldwide offices, to guide clients through the most demanding and complex global matters, including cross-border M&A, real estate, and finance transactions, as well as regulatory issues involving the U.K., U.S., and other authorities.
What we are looking for: Successful candidates want to work on global deals and become part of our future – not just qualify with us; are predicted (or have gained) a 2(1) in any degree discipline; have strong intellectual and analytical ability as well as good communication skills; and demonstrate resourcefulness, drive and dedication. 60% of our current trainees are non-law graduates and 35% were graduates or postgraduates when they applied to us.
What you'll do:The firm operates a unique, non-rotational system of training in which trainees can work across different practice areas at the same time. This allows for early responsibility and faster development of potential.
Perks: Free gym, subsidised café, private healthcare, season ticket loan, group life cover, salary sacrifice schemes and personal pension.
Sponsorship:GDL and LPC paid, plus £10,000 maintenance grant per year of study. Fast-track LPC for sponsored students (mid-August to end-February) with a six-month gap before training starts in September.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 60 approx
Other fee-earners: 100 approx
Total trainees: 40 approx
Trainee places available for 2021: 20
Applications received pa: 1,800
Percentage interviewed: 15%
First year: £50,000 (2018)
Second year: £57,000 (2018)
Newly qualified: £105,000 (2018)
Apply to:Graduate Recruitment Manager
What's involved: Online application; academic reference; two-partner interview. (No assessment centre, psychometric testing or video interviews.)
When to apply:By 10 January 2019 for a 2018/19 placement and 2021 training contract. We expect to recruit all trainees from our placement candidates.
Spring:March/April 2019 (apply by 14 December 2018).
Summer:July 2019 (apply by 10 January 2019).
Winter: December 2018 (apply by 26 October 2018).
Diversity, inclusion and advancement at Jones Day
“With more than 2,500 lawyers across the world, our lawyers have a wonderful array of cultural, religious, and social differences. We offer an environment where all people have the ability to succeed based on their individual hard work and talent.”
Yvette McGee Brown, firm-wide partner-in-charge of diversity, inclusion and advancement
As a truly global institution with more than 40 offices on five continents, Jones Day's demonstrated commitment to diversity does not stop with recruitment. Many of the firm's practice and office leaders, and many of our most high-profile attorneys, come from ethnicities or backgrounds historically underrepresented in the legal profession. Globally, more than half of Jones Day's office and practice leadership positions are held by women and persons of color.
Jones Day is committed to making meaningful progress on diversity in the legal profession; to increasing diversity within the firm; and to recruiting, retaining and promoting the best attorneys and law students from all backgrounds.
Diversity makes Jones Day better – for our clients and for our lawyers.
In London, we have a number of affinity groups who arrange a mixture of social and professional events throughout the year. These include groups representing women, lawyers of colour, and LGBTQ+ lawyers and non-lawyers. Our London office played a significant part in producing (and now maintaining) the open-access international guide to same-sex relationships which the firm launched, and was recognised for, in 2015.
Since 2010, Jones Day has partnered with, and is a career sponsor of, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) which provides internships and training to top-calibre undergraduates from ethnic minority backgrounds. In London, several SEO candidates attend our placement schemes each year, and several of those have or will become our trainees.
In 2016, we launched our aspirational London Legal Apprenticeship Programme for high-achieving candidates who choose to avoid university debt but still want a career in law. Our programme provides an initial two-year paralegal apprenticeship and a further five-year solicitor apprenticeship (incorporating a law degree). Jones Day sponsors and supports the apprentices' study one day each week and pays them a regular weekly wage for their work at the firm.
Since 2016 we have also integrated Rare's contextual recruitment system into our London graduate recruitment to enable us to better recognise applicants’ potential in the context of their own socioeconomic, educational and personal background – particularly their school's average student attainment.
In 2015, we partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation and other charities and schools (Urban Hope, Pestalozzi, King Solomon Academy, Duke’s Academy) to provide Opportunity Access Support to aspiring students from low-income and under-represented backgrounds. Our Jones Day Aspiring Professionals Programme offers tailored work experience, careers advice workshops and university application workshops to large numbers of school students every year.
We are proud of our accomplishments and remain unwaveringly optimistic about the firm because of our people, who allow us to tap the true potential of our global organisation.
Learn more at Jones Day’s Diversity website – www.jonesdaydiversity.com