Yesterday we passed along a rumor that Barbara Werther and some of her colleagues in government contracts were leaving Howrey. We have since received additional confirmation of this report. According to one source, Werther informed Howrey partners of her departure on Thursday, and her office was cleaned out on Friday.
Nothing, since the meeting has been postponed until Monday. There will also be a call with staff on Tuesday morning.
Why was the meeting rescheduled? Here is one tipster’s thinking:
The defection of the construction group is probably why the firm postponed its conference call with associates today. It is postponed until Monday. Which is really cruel, because all the associates have been freaking out and now have to wait some more.
I can only think that the construction group (which, by the way, was quite profitable for Howrey) not taking the Winston & Strawn offers must be putting a crimp in the whole W&S strategy, and that’s why the firm is postponing telling associates anything. I also think that you might see Jim Rill (antitrust) take his group somewhere else as an F.U. to Ruyak, but we’ll see.
Over at Shark Tank Legal, Kim Eisler has this speculation about what might happen to Howrey’s antitrust lawyers:
Up until last week, Ruyak still clung to the hope that he could save the Howrey brand through some sort of a merger. But that belief was shattered when he was informed by James Rill, head of the antitrust department, that he would be shopping his practice as a group. The prize catch in the antitrust section is Sean Boland, said by several partners to be the firm’s last remaining significant rainmaker. Although both Rill and partner William Bradford Reynolds have well-known names, both are getting up there in years. Rill was born in 1933; Reynolds in 1942. Boland, who is in his late 50s, is considered the baby of the practice.
You can check out Eisler’s post in full over here.
Finally, over at the Howrey Doody Time blog, there’s a depressing but funny listing of Howrey’s five worst ideas. Commenters on the post, trying to build on the list, mention a “Howrey Ghost Stories” project — which sounds intriguing and appalling.
Alas, if things don’t turn around soon, there will be a whole lot of “Howrey Ghost Stories” floating around out there.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Howrey