Jay S. Zimmerman


Jay Zimmerman has led the firm since 1994, guiding Bingham through a period of transformative growth that has placed it in the top echelon of the legal industry. In building Bingham’s global platform, Jay has adapted many traditional corporate value-creation and M&A strategies to law-firm management, combining risk management“...Zimmerman was also opportunistic in scouting out merger possibilities. ‘Virtually every [combination] we’ve done has been, to some extent, against cycle,’ Zimmerman explained. And he was particularly attuned to minimizing the downside of potential deals. ‘I’ve consistently emphasized that we must analyze the downside and ask, ‘If we get this wrong, can we withstand the scenario?’ he remarked.” — “Combinatorial Mathematics,” Harvard Law case study and strategic and financial discipline“We have understood exactly why we wanted to merge with another firm well in advance — what they offered us and our clients, and the advantages we could bring to them. And we have always done the math. You can’t manage a law firm solely by the numbers, but if you don’t have a handle on the numbers, you can’t manage it at all.” — Jay S. Zimmerman with a decisive approach to emerging opportunities. Harvard Law School examines Jay’s strategy and Bingham’s success in a recently published case study analyzing the firm’s steady growth and strategic accomplishments.

Under Jay’s leadership, Bingham has not only become an industry leader with 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, but has also been ranked on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies“We know that the more diverse we are, the more successful we will be. Not only in terms of a best-places-to-work environment, but also in servicing our clients by having deeper and more varied perspectives, life experiences and voices working for them.” — Jay S. Zimmerman, BBA Week to Work For” list every year since 2005. Equally important, the firm has created and sustained a distinctive set of core values“As a firm we share a passion for our work, respect for one another and a commitment to our firm, our clients, our profession and our community. And we believe deeply in the power of diversity —of educational and economic background, diversity of economics, diversity of religion, diversity of ideas, as well as, ethnic diversity, gender diversity. All of those things are important.” — Jay S. Zimmerman during this period of intense growth.

Jay joined legacy firm Bingham Dana & Gould in 1982, headed its London office for seven years and was elected managing partner in 1994. Recognizing that the needs of clients and the dynamics of the legal marketplace were changing, in 1997 he initiated a strategy to expand beyond the firm’s regional base and achieve a higher level of practice diversification“We’re a well-diversified global law firm handling complex litigation, finance and corporate matters...and we are continually assessing what makes sense for our clients in today’s dynamic business and legal environments.” — Jay S. Zimmerman, BBA Week. Execution of this strategy has resulted in a series of transactions that have transformed Bingham from a Boston-based regional firm to an international industry leader with offices worldwide. Each combination added specific, well-defined capabilities, strengthened the firm financially, and laid the groundwork for further expansion. During Jay’s tenure, Bingham has also been a leader in embracing the concept of multidisciplinary practices“Integration is a major component in ensuring that our growth strategy succeeds, and we’ve been able to do that by building upon a solid foundation and getting better each year.” — Jay S. Zimmerman, BBA Week and has established a highly successful subsidiary business“Clients can no longer separate legal issues, governmental issues, business issues, political issues. There’s a substantial overlap, which is why we created a consulting service that complements our legal strengths. It’s one aspect of what we call global intelligence.” — Jay S. Zimmerman known as Bingham Consulting LLC, which addresses critical business, political and policy problems for global clients.


  • A Point of View: Advancing China — U.S. Trade and Commercial Relationships: Collaboration, Joint Ventures and Investments, China-U.S. Relations Conference, College Station, Texas (2011)
  • Law Firm Leadership and Management Institute 2010, Practising Law Institute, New York, N.Y. (2010)
  • Canadian Managing Partners Roundtable, Hildebrandt Baker Robbins, Chatham, Mass. (2010)
  • Leading Change in Law Firms, Bingham Case Study, Harvard Law School Executive Education Session, Cambridge, Mass. (2010)
  • The Future(s) of the Large Law Firm, Bingham Case Study, Harvard Law School Reunion Panel, Cambridge, Mass. (2010)
  • Transitioning From Law School to Practicing at a Large Law Firm and Bingham Case Study, Harvard Law School JD Class, Cambridge, Mass. (2010)
  • View From the Top, The New York Legal Market Conference, Sandpiper Partners, New York, N.Y. (2010)
  • Keynote speaker, Great Places to Work Conference, Miami, Fla. (2009)
  • What Works Best in a Rapidly Expanding, Competitive Market, Successful Law Firm Expansion in New York City Conference, Sandpiper Partners, New York, N.Y. (2007)
  • Mergers: Identification, Negotiation and Integration, Successful Law Firm Expansion in New York City Conference, Sandpiper Partners, New York, N.Y. (2007)
  • Deal or No Deal: Case Analysis and Group Discussion Led by Industry Experts, The Managing Partners’ Forum, New York, N.Y. (2006)
  • Marketing and Business Development, Law Firm Leaders Forum, Glasser Legalworks, San Francisco, Calif. (2006)
  • Comprehensive Attorney Performance Management Systems, National Association for Law Placement Conference, San Francisco, Calif. (2006)
  • USA Trends: If It’s Happening in America, How Soon Will It Be Coming to Europe?, The Lawyer Legal Summit, Barcelona, Spain (2005)
  • Merger Update, Law Firm Leaders Forum, Glasser Legalworks, San Francisco, Calif. (2005)
  • Responding to Market Developments: Large Multijurisdictional Law Firms, Law Firm Leaders Forum, Glasser Legalworks, San Francisco, Calif. (2004)
  • Law Firm Capital and Debt: How to Build Necessary Capital, Law Firm Leaders Forum, Glasser Legalworks, San Francisco, Calif. (2004)
  • Strategic Marketing in the Consolidating Marketplace: Leaders of Global, National, Regional Firms Explain New 2004 Growth and Marketing Strategies, Marketing Partner Forum, Orlando, Fla. (2004)
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Doing the Right Deal at the Right Time, Law Firm Leadership Institute, Northstar Conferences, New York, N.Y. (2004)
  • Running a Tight Ship: Professionals Who Handle the Internal Recruitment Process, The Law Firm Lateral Partner Recruitment & Retention Summit, Northstar Conferences, New York, N.Y. (2004)
  • Keynote panel member, Reacting to the Changing Marketplace: Consolidation and Change, Marketing and Selling in Uncertain Times, Marketing Partner Forum, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (2003)
  • Merger, Acquisitions, Groups: Takes From the Front Lines, Marketing Partner Forum, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (2003)
  • Keynote speaker, M&A Growth Strategies and Insights, Association For Corporate Growth, Boston Chapter, Boston, Mass. (2003)
  • Approaches to Growth: Organic, Laterals and Mergers, Fulcrum Leadership Conference, San Francisco, Calif. (2003)


  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • US-China Business Council
  • The Economic Club of New York
  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • Designated as a Strategist & Driver by The National Law Journal 2013 List Top 50 Legal Business Trailblazers & Pioneers
  • Selected lawyer in 2007 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of “35 Influential Judges and Lawyers of the Past 35 Years”
  • Recipient of the 2007 Justice Award from the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School
  • Recognized by The Lawyer as one of the “Hot 100 Lawyers shaping the law in 2006”
  • Recipient of the 2005 Burton Award for Legal Writing

Legal insight. Business instinct. Global intelligence. ®