Jones Day is losing a massive 32% of its qualifying trainees this autumn, but has refused to disclose any further details.

An anonymous source contacted RollOnFriday recently to say that the firm was "trying to keep a lid on its paltry 60-something-% retention rate". They claimed that "work has dried up", and that "partners and associates have left in droves across banking, corporate and real estate". And when contacted by RollOnFriday, a spokeswoman said Jones Day was retaining 68% of its qualifying London trainees this autumn, but refused to disclose how many trainees were offered roles, how many rejected them or even how many were qualifying. Instead, and extremely unusually for a firm of its calibre, she said, "Jones Day will not be providing the breakdown of the 68% retention rate".

    Nothing to see here

Jones Day usually takes on 15 trainees per intake, although RollOnFriday's trained monkey could not find a proportion which would yield a 68% rate. Last year the firm managed an impressive 100% rate and was much more forthcoming, issuing a triumphant press release:


Apparently David Smith is less delighted this year, and Jones Day's PR team has been instructed to maintain an awkward silence. If it does change its mind, RollOnFriday has crafted this year's announcement free of charge:

2016 (read this, it's the best bit this week)

A Jones Day spokeswoman said nothing at all. Meanwhile, Taylor Wessing is retaining 17 of 22 trainees (including the one who got snogged by a partner at her welcome drinks), giving it a 77% rate. If you know your firm's trainee stats, write in.
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Anonymous 29 July 16 01:49

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Jones Day's London shop is dying a slow death of departures, lack of work and a severe reputation crisis.

There's hardly anyone I know in the City who doesn't think JD's London office is chock-full of utter turbokhunts, and I think word had spread to the prospective trainees.

Anonymous 29 July 16 18:36

There's no easy answer there:
(a) JD offered jobs to all of them and one third couldn't bear to the lechery of the ageing ex-Gouldens partners or the lack of training, support and PSLs, or
(b) the work is drying up so badly (possibly due to clients finding out that JD charges in 15-minute units) that a third of JD's departments can no longer support a single NQ.

Either way, not a good news story.

Plaudits to David Smith though, he is a fantastic public speaker and with that kind of voice and impressive projection, it would surprise me if he wasn't trained at RADA.

Anonymous 29 July 16 22:17

John Philips is the most insipid man I have had the misfortune of meeting. With his leadership (and indeed similar vanilla-gone-blander leadership across the JD network), no wonder this is a sinking ship. The most shocking thing is not that trainees, associates and partners are leaving, but that the leadership keeps either denying there is a problem at all or giving platitudes about how JD is a uniquely secretive firm whose secret keeping allows people to stop being malicious and jealous - LOL

Anonymous 29 July 16 23:24

The morale amongst the staff is at an all time low and nobody seems to care. There is no structure to the firm whatsoever. JD gives the staff no incentive whatsoever.

Anonymous 01 August 16 17:11

I hope the vac scheme students who were welcomed a few weeks ago, get the message and run for the hills

Anonymous 01 August 16 18:30

Its no real mystery: by mistake some wolves were released into the office and a handful of trainees were eaten hence the low retention rate. Everyone's very sad about it and hopefully it won't happen again.

Anonymous 04 August 16 19:59

Most firms have a 60-70% retention rate every now and then. It's not really a big deal, sometimes it just doesn't work out with all the trainees you hire. Its less responsible for a firm to keep people who are not up to scratch or who don't want to be there.

Anonymous 04 August 16 20:03

This article fails to recognise Jones Day hired 60 lawyers last year from other firms. Not so much a sinking ship as an expanding one.

Anonymous 08 August 16 00:54

New hiring doesn't count if new hires largely don't hang around for more than 1-2 years. No serious lawyer can contemplate a proper career at Jones day London. Been there and thankfully done with that. Ran for my life.

Anonymous 08 August 16 02:57

Certainly a strange beast JD. I've heard it's a fantastic place to work sometimes - great clients and deals, higher than MC pay, and a good working environment. If you're part of the right team of course. And that often means having trained there. But they really struggle to integrate laterals properly. Which probably explains the source of a lot of the over the top bashing on here - disgruntled laterals. I would say bitter, but that's a little unfair if the experience is a 2 year stint of poor integration.