Jones Day's London office has demoted at least three of its partners to Of Counsel roles.

The partners - in funds, M&A and employment - have all been demoted over the course of the last 18 months. This follows  at least five partners being demoted in 2009, so the firm has form for this behaviour.

Of course partners throughout the City get moved down (or even out of) the lockstep all the time for lots of reasons: they're not bringing enough money in, they've lost clients, they just don't want to work crippling hours any more. But generally they keep their partnership status, so the only people who know that they're on less wedge are their firms' remuneration committees. These unfortunates at Jones Day will have been given new business cards, new email signatures, and will have had to explain to their families, colleagues, friends and clients that they no longer merit being on the letterhead. Not so nice.

    Some former Jones Day partners, yesterday

It's not clear why the firm's management felt the need to do this, when simply dropping them down to salaried partner would surely have had the twin advantages of keeping profits high and not publicly humiliating their lawyers. Particularly as management seem to be doing a pretty good job otherwise - the firm's London office has had a good year, with a raft of partners made up from the ranks, staff payrises and 100% NQ retention.

A spokesman for the firm said that partners became counsel for "several reasons", but he wouldn't comment on individual cases.
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Anonymous 08 February 13 08:51

Congratulations to the five who made partner in London in 2011 and the six who made partner in 2012! Remember not to over-order on the business cards, though.