Jones Day has just demoted at least two of its London partners to counsel. Both partners – RoF is sparing their blushes and not naming them – are senior and widely regarded. Insiders say that the decision was made by Steve Brogan, the firm’s Managing Partner in Washington, and that John Phillips, the partner in charge of London, was unable to protect them.
Not for the first time. Insiders say that the firm's London management is entirely under the thumb of its American paymasters and generally about as effective as a one-armed monkey. The office saw the demotions of at least four of its partners in 2016, at least three in 2013 and at least five in 2009. These are only the numbers of which RoF is aware – the actual figure could be much higher. At the most charitable that runs to 14 demotions at an office that currently numbers just 62 partners.
Most firms manage their equity and are able to reduce their partners’ remuneration. But they don’t choose to humiliate them into the bargain. There’s no reason why the former Jones Day partners could not have taken a pay cut and remained on the letterhead without having to hand in their business cards, change their email signatures and be embarrassed in front of their families, colleagues, clients and friends.
Or maybe there is a reason, but as ever Jones Day refused to comment so the firm’s rationale remains shrouded in mystery.