Jones Day guarantees profits level for Gouldens partners…

US firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue has bowed to Gouldens’ demand of guaranteed profits per partner in a move that will see the UK firm deflect the worsening economic climate

As part of the surprise merger talks between the two firms, first revealed on The Lawyer’s weekly email service Lawyer News Weekly, Gouldens’ 25 equity partners will receive a set level of profits over the next two years.

The agreement will safeguard the UK firm’s income from being dragged down should Jones Day see a fall in profits over the next couple of years.

If Gouldens’ profits per partner continue to decline, after dropping by 4.6 per cent to £644,000 during the last financial year, Jones Day will still have to pay out at the agreed rate.

However, the profit baseline that Gouldens has set for itself is as yet unclear.

Sources close to the talks have indicated that the deal will be finalised as early as May next year, following last week’s vote in favour of the merger by the majority of the Gouldens partnership.

The shock tie-up between the two firms will ensure that the formerly resolutely London-centric Gouldens will boost its international presence.

The 60-strong London office of Jones Day has plans to double the number of lawyers at Gouldens as soon as possible.

Jones Day and Gouldens declined to comment.