Global law firm Ropes & Gray LLP is announcing that Julie H. Jones will become the first woman chair in the firm’s 152-year history when she takes the leadership reins in 2020.
Currently a member of the firm’s governing board, Ms. Jones will serve as chair-elect until the retirement of the firm’s current chair, R. Bradford Malt. In the interim two years, she will be collaborating closely with Mr. Malt, managing partner David C. Chapin and the governing board, as well as the firm’s worldwide partnership in the United States, London and Asia.
“Julie’s experience navigating complex deals with the world’s largest investors and companies, combined with her leadership abilities and legal acumen make her the perfect person to lead Ropes & Gray into the future,” said Mr. Malt. “She is an exceptionally talented leader, an impressive attorney and a wonderful person who is devoted to our clients and to our firm.”
Ms. Jones, 48, started her career at Ropes & Gray as a summer associate. She will take on this leadership role in an era of remarkable growth for one of the world’s leading law firms. Ranked number two on The American Lawyer prestigious “A-List” and recognized perennially by The Financial Times as one of the most innovative law firms, Ropes & Gray over the last decade has evolved into a global powerhouse. The firm has more than 1,200 lawyers in 11 offices, with internationally recognized leaders in corporate, litigation and regulatory practices serving the world’s leading companies and investment funds on their most business critical matters.
One of the world’s preeminent private equity attorneys, Ms. Jones is recognized by her peers in Chambers for her “genuine, constructive and non-arrogant approach.” She served as head of Ropes & Gray’s securities and public companies group from 2006 to 2011 and focuses on representing private investment funds and public companies in their most critical business initiatives and transactions. Drawing on her background in securities laws and fiduciary duties requirements, she also counsels clients on a wide range of compliance and governance issues.
As a client told Chambers: “She can get down into the nitty-gritty and go head to head with the nerdiest, but she can also step back and be a field general for the client, seeing the big picture. She covers both the micro and the macro, and has a wonderful demeanor.”
Throughout her career at Ropes & Gray, Ms. Jones has guided multibillion-dollar deals across multiple industries. In 2005, she played a leading role in a seminal deal for the private equity industry, the $11.5 billion leveraged buyout of SunGard Data Systems by a consortium of leading PE firms. In 2010 alone, she represented TPG Capital in its $3 billion acquisition of J. Crew, Thomas H. Lee Partners in its $1.1 billion acquisition of inVentiv Health and led the IPO of LPL Financial. More recently in 2017, she advised TPG Capital in its sale of IASIS Healthcare among multiple other transactions.
Selected as one of The American Lawyer’s prestigious “45 Under 45,” Ms. Jones was also named “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America from 2016-2018, twice for mergers and acquisitions and once for corporate law. Over the past decade, she has been perennially recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers Global and The Legal 500 as one of the world’s leading M&A lawyers.
“Our firm is defined by the amazing talent and client dedication of our lawyers, as well as our teamwork across practices and geographies,” Ms. Jones said. “As an M&A lawyer, I’ve had the benefit of seeing firsthand the differentiated results we deliver to clients by bringing together diverse practices and offices in a seamless way.”
Ms. Jones received a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College in 1991 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Cornell Law School in 1994. She joined Ropes & Gray in 1994 and became a partner of the firm in 2003.