Jones Day announces first leadership change in 20 years as long-time managing partner steps down

Stephen Brogan picks replacement Gregory Shumaker, who becomes firm’s eighth managing partner
A photo of Gregory Shumaker

Gregory Shumaker has been with Jones Day for 35 years Photo courtesy of Jones Day

Top 10 US firm Jones Day is changing managing partners for the first time in two decades as long-serving head Stephen Brogan prepares to make way for his hand-picked successor, litigator Gregory Shumaker.

Shumaker will on 1 January become only the eighth managing partner the 130-year history of the firm, which maintains its tradition of allowing its incumbent to choose its successor. 

Brogan’s tenure is the firm’s longest since Jack Reavis held the position for 26 years between 1948 and 1974. 

Shumaker has been with Jones Day in Washington DC since the start of his career 35 years ago, becoming a partner in 1997 and holding a number of leadership roles within the firm, including as partner-in-charge of the Washington office and firm-wide hiring partner. Since 2015 he has led the firm’s global disputes practice. Shumaker will take over the reins from the start of next year.

Brogan said: “Greg Shumaker is a talented lawyer and a proven leader. He is a Jones Day lifer, beginning with his summer clerkship in 1986, and he loves the firm. He has the ability, dedication and instincts necessary to enable the firm to continue its incredible success, accepting both the opportunities and responsibilities that face the firm and the legal profession in the future.”

Under Brogan’s 20-year stewardship, Jones Day has expanded its presence in Australia, entered Latin America and reopened in the Middle East, adding more than 600 lawyers and 18 new offices globally. 

The firm is also noted for representing twice-impeached former US president Donald Trump on his 2016 and 2020 election campaigns, although it distanced itself from Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 result, stating in the immediate aftermath of the election that it ‘was not representing President Trump, his campaign, or any affiliated party in any litigation alleging voter fraud’.

Bloomberg Law's assessment, having spoken to four former partners, is that Shumaker is ‘largely cut from the same cloth as Brogan' and is ’unlikely to usher in any drastic changes' at the famously conservative firm, which places an unusual amount of authority in its leader. 

Shumaker said: “Steve Brogan has been one of the most consequential Jones Day partners in its long history. I have admired his incredible and magnetic leadership skills since he interviewed me in law school more than 35 years ago. Throughout a near half-century of service to the firm, he has been the person most responsible for transforming Jones Day from a high-quality national law firm with a Midwestern base into a uniquely integrated global law partnership, in which attorneys throughout all offices work collaboratively to provide the highest level of client service.”

Last month the firm announced that 45 lawyers had been promoted to partner in its latest round, with women making up almost half of the cohort (49%).

In September, Western Australia named Jones Day partner Michael Lundberg as its first Aboriginal Supreme Court judge. Lundberg is due to assume the role this month.

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