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? 
 ''Flat hierarchy' 'the high level of responsibility' 'the non-rotational training contract and the ability to try a diverse range of practice areas' 'reputation for client service' 'the approach to work/life balance' 'very intelligent, approachable and sociable people who I met on my vacation scheme' 'friendly atmosphere'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''The autonomy. I sit with another trainee and am completely in charge of my own workload' 'the independence to seek out your own work' 'the exposure at a very early stage to actual work' 'the excellent lawyers who are good fun to work with' 'well-run business and a lot of investment goes into training' 'fifth floor biscuits'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''Sometimes the non-rotational training system does not work' 'lack of secondment opportunities' 'slight pressure to specialise early' 'lack of oversight over the distribution of the workload' 'lack of transparency in relation to qualification matters' 'the difficulty in balancing my workload' 'the firm is stagnating slightly in London'
Best moment? 
 ''Having a CEO thank me for my help on a deal' 'completing a £2.2bn merger of student property portfolios' 'working on a public takeover' 'running a small sale from beginning to end, only requiring minor supervision; 'the trip to Washington DC' 'seeing that one of my work streams on a high-profile litigation had made the Financial Times'
Worst moment?
 ''Staying at work until the early hours' 'missing a fairly key contract during due diligence' 'when I said yes to too many people and ended up drowning in work for two weeks' 'office politics influencing work relationships' 'having little work to do at times' 'the week leading up to my first completion' '

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

Professor McGonagall - sometimes hard to impress but very pastoral, always pushing you to be better

The Verdict

The firm

Established over 125 years ago in the US, Jones Day employs over 2,500 lawyers in 43 offices around the world and the firm's London office is its largest outside of the US. Jones Day is particularly experienced in advising on competition, M&A and government regulation matters as well as in more recently established areas such as cybersecurity, life sciences and energy. The firm counts blue-chip companies among its clients. 

The star performers

Asset based lending; Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Derivatives and structured products; Environment; EU and competition; Financial services; Fraud: civil; High yield; Investment funds: real estate funds; IT and telecoms; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals: £250m+; Private equity: transactions; Property finance; Property litigation; Trade finance

The deals

Counselled Aermont Capital on its £323.3m cash offer for Pinewood Group Plc; acted for CT Service Procurement in a £65m claim against Carbon Capital following the collapse of a tax-efficient carbon credits trading scheme; acted for Greystar in a High Court possession claim against trespassers on a vacant brownfield site; advised AMC on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of the Odeon & UCI group, including a notification to the European Commission and the CMA; advised Vanke Holdings on its employee co-investment programme.

The clients

CST Industries; E.ON; Euronext; Evans Randall; Fidelity; Goldman Sachs; Inflexion; Metro; The Riverside Company; Standard Bank.

The Verdict

Trainees love Jones Day's 'non-rotational training system' because it offers the 'freedom to forge your own path'. The opportunity to accept work from all of the firm's departments over the two-year period means that trainees can 'specialise or diversify' their training as they 'see fit' and focus on the areas in which they are truly interested. The upside of this flexibility is that 'you become adept at managing different work streams', whilst the downside is that 'competing interests can pull you in different directions' meaning that trainees can be 'spread thinly'. Another tricky aspect of the 'unique training' is that 'there are inevitably times when you have to stay late to get everything finished and your supervisors may not be aware of the other demands on your time'. Generally though, trainees enjoy having 'the opportunity to try as many practice areas' as they like and especially appreciate having a high degree of control over their training contract. There is a 'work hard/play hard mentality' at Jones Day, and people are 'always keen to get to the pub' or attend the numerous organised events, earning the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal for its social life. Complex, sophisticated work, such as 'substantive drafting' and 'marking up the main documents in a transaction' is typical, even at a junior level. The trainee trip to the New Lawyers Academy in Washington DC 'allows you to really appreciate that you are part of a powerful international entity' and merits recognition. Overall, recruits are 'far more involved in terms of client contact and strategic discussions and have the freedom to take ownership of particular parts of a deal'. Those looking for 'autonomy and responsibility from the outset' as well as 'diverse and rounded training' would do well to consider Jones Day.

 A day in the life of...

Tanvi Mehta first-year trainee, Jones Day 
University:Oxford University  
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

Total partners: 60 approx

Other fee-earners: 100 approx

Total trainees: 40 approx

Other offices: Continental Europe, Asia, US, Latin America, Middle East, Asia Pacific. 

Who we are: Jones Day is a truly global law firm, with 43 offices in major centres of business and finance throughout the world. Our 2,500 lawyers have vast transactional and contentious experience and are perennially ranked 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 and 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. 70% 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 £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

Training contracts available for 2020: 20

Applications received pa: 1,800 

Percentage interviewed: 15% 


First year: £47,000 (2017)

Second year: £54,000 (2017)

Newly qualified: £100,000 (2017)

 Application process

Apply to:Manager, trainee recruitment/development.

How: Online at from 1 September 2017.

What's involved: Online application; academic reference; two-partner interview. (No assessment centre, psychometric testing or video interviews.)

When to Apply:

Winter Vacation Scheme: By 27 October 2017.

Spring Vacation Scheme: By 15 December 2017.

Summer Vacation Scheme: By 10 January 2018.

We expect to recruit all trainees from our vacation scheme candidates.

Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement at Jones Day

At Jones Day, diversity is not only enthusiastically endorsed, but diligently pursued. Diversity makes us better and helps us deliver the service our clients expect. By mentoring and promoting women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ community, and those who are disabled, we leverage the unique strength and experiences of an exceptionally talented group of lawyers, while enhancing the atmosphere of our firm.

Our lawyers come from all over the world. We have 43 locations in 18 countries on five continents. Jones Day lawyers are citizens of 54 nations; they speak 58 languages. They were trained in scores of law schools; they have served in the military, in government, in the judiciary, in academia, and in corporate offices. They truly reflect the entirety of the human race.

Having diverse leaders who serve as genuine role models is not just an aspiration at Jones Day. Notably, 14 of our 20 offices and regional leadership positions in the United States, and 26 of the 45 office and regional leadership positions worldwide, are held by women and/or lawyers of colour.

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 recognized 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 social, educational and personal background – particularly their school's average student attainment.

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. For more information, visit the Jones Day Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement website and download our brochure.

Charity and Pro Bono at Jones Day

Jones Day is proud of its long tradition of pro bono work.

Here are recent examples of pro bono matters in which London lawyers, trainees and placement candidates have participated, often alongside their colleagues from Jones Day offices across the globe.

  • London played a significant part in launching (and maintaining) the new online guide to Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships which comprehensively surveys and tracks changes in the law governing the legal recognition of same-sex relationships around the world.
  • Through the Jones Day Foundation (a non-profit organisation funded by Jones Day lawyers and staff), London works with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to create a programme of international events, research and other activities to promote and enhance the rule of law worldwide. Our other international projects include helping the African Prisons Project to build a children's library in Lang'ata Women's Prison in Kenya.
  • Our London lawyers are engaged with Amicus and Reprieve, providing legal support to advocates whose clients are on death row in various parts of the world. As a member of LawWorks, we provide advice to UK clients on matters such as dispute resolution, corporate restructuring and real estate.
  • We have a long standing relationship with the Waterloo Legal Advice Centre in London, to which we provide financial, administrative and organisational support. Every week, our volunteers advise individuals living in the local areas, who cannot afford to pay for legal counsel and do not qualify for Legal Aid, on their everyday legal problems. We also regularly advise non-profit institutions.