Courage, perseverance: Sarah Jones

Corporate partner Sarah Jones followed a client from London to New York, where she now lives with her children and husband. She says that it’s all about being yourself and loving what you do.

From the minute I started my career, I loved it.

I began with a love of studying (Classics) and the desire to work as part of a team. The law had some interesting connections with Greek political theory in being focused on “problems in context,” so I went in that direction. Then I chose my firm because everyone seemed happy, and there was a straight-up atmosphere.

Drafting and negotiation quickly caught my interest – at first in the Banking practice and then, to my delight, in Corporate, where I’ve been ever since. I never had a set plan but found my path as I went. At any given moment, the only question I have ever asked myself was: Am I enjoying what I’m doing?
In building any client relationship, the important skills are listening and flexibility. Listening involves taking cues from individuals with unique personalities and businesses, and then extrapolating what they need so you can deliver the best product. Flexibility means you understand that great service will vary from client to client. Some want you to be the tiger, and others don’t. If you ask a few key questions and deliver against the answers, you’ll always be a step ahead.

While still in London, I became the relationship partner for a multinational client, doing outbound M&A. I was working with a woman I like to describe as fearsome and wonderful. She asked our firm Managing Partner to send me to New York. By this time, I was dating a New Yorker (now my husband and the father of our two amazing children), so everything came together – never underestimate the power of a little luck!

Courage, perseverance

In business development, you need courage. There are moments when you have to bite the bullet, reach out and do something that puts you outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes you end up with nothing, and sometimes you end up with something fantastic. Perseverance goes with courage, because sometimes you’re not sure how your actions are received. But keep looking for opportunities. Remember, it’s a long-term proposition.

Not everyone is a good salesperson, meaning outgoing and good at networking. And you can’t become what you are not. What you can do is play to your own strengths − be self-aware and be yourself. If you watch others, you’ll see that people achieve great things in different ways. Find a glove that fits. Importantly, build up your network within the firm. Walk around to other people’s offices. Give them a call. Create connections. Follow up. A little initiative can go a long way.


I genuinely love what I do and am confident that my pride and enthusiasm show through. I go into every business development meeting utterly convinced that what I’m selling is really fantastic. It’s infectious.