Values

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 43 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.

Every lawyer and staff person in any Jones Day office anywhere in the world knows that the Firm’s values are deeply rooted in putting our clients’ interests first in everything we do. Excellent client service is a longstanding, overarching objective of our Firm.

Steve Brogan, Managing Partner

Client service is a fundamental value of the Firm

Our commitment to client service guides our lawyers in providing service to our clients around the world. We commit all of our Firm’s resources to each of our clients, and we put client interests above all else. 

Jones Day’s approach to client service: Why is it better and how do we know?

We learn our client’s business, its objectives, and its needs.

  • “The [Jones Day] team makes a real big effort to support and understand the business as opposed to taking questions at face value. They seek to understand the underlying question and grasp what is fundamentally important for the business.” – Chambers Europe (2018)

We dedicate ourselves to developing and delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions.

  • “The [Jones Day] team is ‘best in class’, ‘superb’, delivering ‘extreme responsiveness and unsurpassed attention to detail’ and paying ‘utmost attention to client needs and concerns’.” – Legal 500 (2018)

We manage matters to agreed scope, budget, and timeline.

  • “They’re [Jones Day] very attentive, always care about their client’s needs and have clear commercial awareness, knowing well what their client’s commercial targets are and counselling on the right way to achieve it.” – Chambers Asia-Pacific (2019)

We communicate with, and obtain regular feedback from, clients on a timely, pro-active basis.

  • “They are more in touch with their clients—they get client feedback, train their associates in client service, and reward their partners for delivering client service.” – 2019 BTI Client Service A-Team Report

We collaborate seamlessly across offices and practices for clients.

  • “I think one of their [Jones Day’s] great strengths across the practices is that they very much have a one-firm approach – the geography doesn’t matter at that firm.” – Chambers Global (2017)
Behind Jones Day’s superior (and unmatched) client service performance is a culture devoted to uncovering – and then exceeding – client expectations. Jones Day is one of the few firms dedicated to constantly training all their attorneys – from associates to senior partners – in how to deliver excellent client service.

2019 BTI Client Service A-Team Report

 

 

Jones Day is distinguished by a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.

A singular tradition of client service, based on communication and engagement with the client

The best client representation comes from a deep and continuing understanding of that client. Our Firm seeks to engage with our clients, and listen to and learn from them, so that we can collaborate with them to protect their rights and promote their interests.

The mutual commitment of, and seamless collaboration by, a true partnership on a client’s behalf

Such corporate clients have institutional needs. We in turn seek to provide institutional solutions. At Jones Day, all clients are clients of the Firm, and clients can call upon any and all of the resources of the Firm in seeking to meet their challenges. While institutional relationships derive from and live on through relationships between individuals, lawyers at Jones Day are all accountable – to both the client and the Firm – to make sure that each client and each matter gets the right lawyer, and the right service, from the Firm and is treated with the respect and high priority that they deserve. The Firm is committed to making available to each and every client its best talent, addressing any and every challenge with urgency and excellence, and collaborating seamlessly in providing its services.

Formidable legal talent across specialties and jurisdictions available upon client command

Corporate institutions face risks across disciplines and jurisdictions. We have accordingly developed and deployed superb legal talent not simply in one jurisdiction or in a few areas of expertise, but across the range of our clients’ ambitions and exposures. We can address all aspects of a client’s challenge. Indeed, we seek strategic relationships in which both the client and the Firm are invested together in a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional collaboration. Jones Day is uniquely attuned to its clients’ demands for budgetary discipline and project management, communications, and efficiency.

Binding energy, conviction, and credibility arising from shared professional values

Our clients are under constant challenge and even attack, as regulators, competitors, and others contest their economic pursuits with conflicting plans or agendas. Corporations need legal partners with the credibility and courage that it takes to zealously and effectively represent them in such matters, without regard to the popularity of their positions. Jones Day’s lawyers are mutually committed to a set of explicit professional values that oblige them to take on such challenges; and this pledge, together with their high talent and determination, gives our lawyers credibility with adversaries – not only in the conference rooms where deals are made, but also in courtrooms, arbitration venues, and government offices where disputes are thrashed out. We stand with our clients, behind our services, and for the values of our profession and our own institution.

A true partnership based on communication, collaboration, talent across specialties and jurisdictions, and shared professional values

This is Jones Day: an institutional partner for clients who seek counsel that seeks to understand them and their needs; that communicates with clients about their needs and the different tactics available for addressing those needs; that works seamlessly and impressively across offices and practices and with the client; that provides talent and expertise across subject areas and geographies; and that brings commitment and courage to the relationship and its engagements. We are formidable because every partner and every client has the entire global institution at their command and is a high priority of the Firm as a whole. We are true partners, with each other and, even more importantly, with our clients.

Our shared professional values have been the foundation of Jones Day from the beginning.

All successful institutions have certain shared values; that is what makes them more than just an organization of professionals. And many large law firms would no doubt assert that our values are part of their values. But our basic values have been at the foundation of Jones Day from its inception and continue to guide our lawyers in providing service to our clients around the world. These values dictate the Firm’s approach to every issue it faces, internal or external:

  • Integrity, both individually and institutionally, in dealings with our clients, the courts, our adversaries, and among ourselves;
  • A sense of personal accountability for every decision, judgment, and action on behalf of our clients or the Firm;
  • A level of competence which is marked by creativity and judgment that makes the quality and value of our services distinctive, and that our lawyers will enhance by continued professional growth;
  • A dedication to our clients' interests and an intensity of effort which distinguish our lawyers from others in the profession;
  • An independence which does not detract from dedication to the interests of our clients but which always enables us to determine and to advise what is in the best interests of our clients;
  • Courage in representing our clients in hostile and sometimes individually threatening environments;
  • An understanding of our clients that makes us more sensitive to their concerns and objectives and a discipline that makes us more responsive to their needs;
  • A determination to provide quality legal services to our clients with real efficiency and within an organization structured to facilitate, rather than to impede, the achievement of these objectives;
  • A true unity of purpose among our lawyers which places the welfare of our clients and the Firm above that of any practice, region, office, or individual; and
  • Commitment to this Firm as a professional endeavor, composed of people who have the same professional values and aspirations, the most important of which are contained in these principles.

The success of this Firm has been achieved because of our adherence to these principles as individual lawyers and as an institution that takes its collective obligations seriously. Integrity is the most basic demand we make of each other. It is simple honesty in all dealings. It is an uncompromising, nonnegotiable demand. Accountability is the willing acceptance of personal responsibility for every aspect and detail of one’s own practice, the services rendered to our clients, and the professional reputation of the Firm. Integrity is a principle seldom tested; accountability is an almost hourly responsibility, as we make decisions, exercise our judgment, take action, and delegate various tasks on behalf of our clients and the Firm throughout each working day.

The ever-changing requirements and service techniques of the contemporary marketplace, while they cannot be ignored, cannot substitute for legal competence as the basis of the services we provide. However, mere “competence” is not enough. For the practices we have chosen to pursue, success depends on high levels of professional knowledge and also on judgment, creativity, and skill to use that knowledge for the benefit of our clients in the solution of their problems and the resolution of controversies. These additional factors are a great part of the value that our lawyers add to client service.

Moreover, clients today expect not only superior legal skills, but also an intimate understanding of the industry and business environment in which they function and a focus on the efficient accomplishment of their objectives in every engagement. What Jones Day expects of each of its lawyers is a dedication to the legitimate interests of these clients and an intensity of effort that clients, courts, and other counsel will immediately recognize sets this Firm and its lawyers apart from others in the profession. Our dedication to clients is reflected in the conservative approach that Jones Day takes to conflicts and legal ethics; our goal is to have a deep and long-lasting relationship with our clients, not to take on every representation or new client possible.

Independence is, of course, the dominant trait of the true professional and the primary reason we have elected to practice law over other occupations. Like competence, independence is what keeps clients coming back to Jones Day. Independence enhances our dedication to the affairs of our clients, because it requires us to determine and to advise, clinically and dispassionately, what is in the client’s interest within the limits of applicable legal and ethical principles. It is a quality closely aligned with courage, which requires that we remain resolute in advancing our clients’ interests even under the trying circumstances, even where there is a risk to ourselves, or even if we may lose a client that will not accept our advice.

The accomplishment of our objectives as a Firm requires an abiding loyalty from each of our lawyers to the Firm as a whole and unrelenting insistence on collaboration among our lawyers to deliver the best of the Firm to every client engagement.

History and culture of client service and professional accomplishment.

Jones Day has a history of more than 125 years and a culture of client service and professionalism based on explicit shared values. Over those years, Jones Day has grown from a small firm in Cleveland to a large global institution. We believe that the way we have applied our foundation values in Firm governance is an important reason for our success in satisfying client needs.

We are a genuine partnership where all partners benefit and share responsibility for each other's actions. Jones Day is a single global partnership. One partner’s legal advice can impact the entire Firm community, making the whole partnership invested in the advice. This mutual responsibility fosters the commitment of, and seamless collaboration by, a true partnership on a client’s behalf.

Our formal Firm values statement is emphasized by Firm leadership. We have a mutual commitment to explicit shared values, which are deeply rooted in putting clients’ interests first in everything we do.

We are governed by a single Managing Partner, who promotes unity, consistency, and dedication to client interests. In the last 100 years, Jones Day has had only seven Managing Partners, who have been able to implement a long term strategic plan based on the expectation of increased economic globalization of our clients and expansion of rule of law.

We make an ongoing commitment to recruiting, developing, and caring for top talent, and for their families. Then we staff any client matter with the “best” talent for a particular matter, regardless of office or practice.

Our partner compensation system is confidential and based on each partner’s relative contribution to clients and the Firm. We do not recognize concepts like origination credits or service credits or minimum billable hours targets. Because of this, there is every incentive for every lawyer to ensure that the appropriate lawyers, wherever located, are enlisted for any client matter.

We want and expect our lawyers to do the right thing in serving clients, whether that is referring the client to another lawyer in the Firm (or if necessary elsewhere) who is more suited to meeting the client’s needs, or responding without hesitation when asked by a colleague to work with a client. We try our best to make sure that the Firm and its internal processes do not get in the way of lawyers serving clients effectively and efficiently, and we instill a culture of client service being the highest priority over all else.

We have set up the Firm in these ways with the aim of promoting client service and the Firm values.

Clients single out Jones Day for providing the strongest teams possible, staffed from across the firm, based on the client’s needs and the firm’s flexible, client-centric approach, while bringing a strong killer instinct to client interests. Jones Day brings deep understanding of their clients and their ever-evolving goals. The firm has multiple points of accountability for client service performance and drives continuous improvement.

2018 BTI Client Service A-Team Report

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