Jones Day

Jones Day

Address: 21 Tudor Street, London, EC4Y 0DJ




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘Suited to those who have experience from other industries’; ‘non-rotational training system’; ‘the atmosphere at the social events’; ‘impressive partners at interview’; ‘global presence’; ‘the work trainees get involved with provides exposure to a high level of responsibility early on’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘The respect with which you are treated as a trainee’; ‘the week-long new lawyers’ academy in Washington, D.C’; ‘feeling free to manage your own work’; ‘the quality of clients’; ‘sharing an office with a fellow trainee’; ‘the ease with which you can build relationships with lawyers at all levels of qualification’; ‘the lack of hierarchy’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘Not having the experience to know when you should not take any more work on’; ‘appraisal process’; ‘the pay is starting to lag behind other US firms’; ‘occasional lack of support’; ‘feeling a little lost when there is no work’; ‘lack of secondment opportunities for trainees’
Best moment? 
 '‘Being personally rung up by the CEO of a client to congratulate me on a negotiation’; ‘key role in a big M&A deal’; ‘completing my first deal on my own’; ‘following a certain litigation matter from the beginning to the end’; ‘a completion in Vienna’
Worst moment?
 '‘Reviewing a prospectus until 4am’; ‘the periods where you are searching for work’; ‘eating lunch at the desk has to be the most miserable thing’; ‘having two or three associates expect the majority of my time on any particular day and trying to make it work’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Eli Gold (The Good Wife) – charismatic and confident, and means business

The Verdict

The firm

Jones Day employs over 2,500 lawyers in 44 offices around the world, marking it out as one of the world’s largest law firms. The firm is a popular choice for blue-chip companies seeking advice on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including M&A, investment funds and restructurings. The firm’s London office is its largest outside of the US and opened in 1986. 

The star performers

Asset based lending; Bank lending – investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Competition litigation; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Corporate tax; Derivatives and structured products; EU and competition; Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Fraud: civil; International arbitration; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Private equity: transactions: Mid-cap deal capability; Private funds; Property finance; Real estate funds; Trade finance.

The deals

Advised Amdipharm Mercury on its $3.5bn divestiture by Cinven to Concordia Healthcare; advised Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund on the sale of Wightlink Ferries to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners; defended MasterCard in the interchange fees litigation; assisted BNP Paribas with its acquisition of a £15bn equity derivatives portfolio from RBS, which involved a review of 900 transactions; advised Bité Finance on its outstanding €200m senior notes.

The clients

AB Electrolux; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Blackstone; CBRE; Goldman Sachs; Greystar; Inflexion; Paperlinx; The Riverside Company; Standard Bank.

The Verdict

The ‘non-rotational training scheme’ is the stand-out reason current trainees chose to pursue a training contract with Jones Day. The US firm has an ‘individual and entrepreneurial approach to the training contract’ which offers a different experience to the rest of the market. Trainees can test the water in a ‘lot of different departments without the commitment of a six-month seat’ so you ‘never risk not getting the seat you want’. The ‘unique training system’ allows trainees to ‘take control and tailor’ their own training which is ‘exciting, but clearly not for everyone’. It is also notable that many trainees who chose the firm completed their ‘vacation scheme here and loved it’, and the firm is a Lex 100 Winner in this category, securing a second win for social life. Trainees are not ‘spoon-fed’ but have the ‘liberty’ to take ‘significant control over which department and individuals’ they want to work for. The ‘biggest challenge of this system is to ensure you get a structured training’ so you must ‘remain pro-active in seeking the appropriate training and ask relevant questions’. Trainees grumble about the normal training contract problems such as ‘late nights’, ‘hard days’ and ‘creating bundles’. Top trainee moments include the ‘week-long trainee trip to Washington DC for the new lawyers’ academy’, ‘running an entire project for a bank under supervision of a partner’ and ‘a completion in Vienna’. The firm has a ‘fierce global presence’ with 44 offices worldwide from Tokyo to Madrid. Self-starters looking for a variety of departments and a different approach to training should take a closer look at Jones Day.

 A day in the life of...

Katie Brown first-year trainee, Jones Day 
Departments to date: 

8.30am:  I cycle into work and arrive early to catch up on things before the office gets busy. I grab some breakfast from our in-house café, then head up to my office. I received some emails overnight from the other side (based in the Middle East) of a corporate restructuring I am working on. They raised queries on one of the transaction documents so I draft a response and make a note to speak to the supervising partner about it when he gets in.

9.30am:  There is a bi-weekly team meeting at 10.00am for an initial public offering (IPO) I have just started working on. An IPO is the first sale of a company’s shares to the public and leads to its flotation on a stock market such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE). My role is carrying out due diligence (reviewing lots of documents) on the company and drafting the prospectus for investors containing the company’s financial and business information. I spend the next half hour reviewing drafts of our due diligence report and the prospectus and noting points to mention in the meeting.

10.30am:  After the meeting I buy some homemade carrot cake from an internal bake sale raising money for Bravery Boxes (a charity founded by one of our lawyers) and spend the rest of the morning working on the IPO documents. This is my first ever experience working with our capital markets team so everything is new to me. I list my questions as I work on the drafts and pop in before lunch to see the associate also working on the deal. He happily answers my questions and explains a bit more about the IPO.

12.30pm:  The weather is great so a few of us trainees meet in the lobby and walk across to sit and eat lunch in the gardens of Inner Temple.

1.15pm:  I catch the supervising partner on the Middle East deal and discuss my draft response with him. He agrees with my suggested position and asks me to run it by the client before I respond to the other side. I email the client when I get back to my desk. The client has some questions about the approach so calls me to discuss. I provide an explanation, the client confirms he is happy with my draft so I send this to the other side. I’ve been on the deal from the beginning and understand it well, so I have been given a lot of responsibility communicating both with the other side and the client, which makes the work really enjoyable.

3.30pm:  Because of the firm’s non-rotational system, I am working on a number of different matters across departments. I now receive an email from the seller on a real estate transaction I am working on with replies to our preliminary enquiries. I circulate them to the construction, environmental and planning specialists on the deal for their review. I then speak to the associate involved about replies I think may be important. The seller has also sent through some tax documentation so I print this out and go to one of our tax associates to ask him about it. I am responsible for co-ordinating the Jones Day deal team and keeping all enquiries and responses recorded in a table, so I spend the rest of the afternoon making sure it’s updated.

6.00pm:  The day is winding down so I make sure I’ve answered all emails arriving throughout the day and write a ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow. I check whether any of the associates I’m working with needs anything else doing.

6.30pm:  A few of my colleagues are heading down to Tooting Bec lido tonight for a practice swim and run in preparation for the Jones Day triathlon in a few weeks. I’ve been roped into the relay team for the swimming leg, so I grab my wetsuit and head downstairs to meet my fellow triathletes.

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 truly global law firm, with 44 offices in major centres of business and finance throughout the world. Our 2,500 lawyers have vast transactional and contentious experience and our unique system of governance contributes to our perennial ranking as among the world’s best in client service.

What we do: Our lawyers address demanding and complex global matters, including: cross-border M&A; real estate; finance transactions (banking, capital markets, investment funds, private equity and structured finance); global disputes; and regulatory matters.

What we are looking for: Successful candidates want to work on global deals and become partners of the 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. Over half our trainees are non-law graduates and 30% 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 simultaneously. This allows for early responsibility and faster development of potential.

Perks: Private healthcare, season ticket loan, group life cover, salary sacrifice schemes and personal pension.

Sponsorship:GDL and LPC paid, plus £9,000 maintenance grant per year of study. Fast-track LPC for sponsored students (mid-August to end-February) with a six month gap thereafter before training starts in September.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: 20

Applications received pa: 1,600 

Percentage interviewed: 20% 


First year: £45,000 (2016)

Second year: £50,000 (2016)

Newly qualified: £85,000 (2016)

Total partners: 60 approx

Other fee-earners:120 approx

Total trainees:40 approx

 Application process

Apply to:Manager, trainee recruitment/development.

How: Online at from 1 September 2016.

When to Apply:By 13 January 2017 for a placement and 2019 training contract. We expect to recruit all trainees from our placement candidates.

 Vacation schemes

March 2017 (apply by 16 December 2016).

July 2017 (apply by 13 January 2017).

 December 2016 (apply by 28 October 2016).