Howrey LLP

After all, there are fewer partners for Howrey to lose with each passing day, as the Howrey lawyer diaspora continues to grow. Let’s review the recent activity — and discuss some possible future defections.

On Friday we reported that IP litigator Mark Whitaker would be joining Baker Botts. That news has now been publicly announced.

Back on February 4, we mentioned that government contracts lawyer Barbara Werther was leaving Howrey, most likely for Ober|Kaler. She’s now on the Ober|Kaler website (although the firm apparently didn’t issue a press release touting her arrival, as it did for two first-year associates).

UPDATE: Just this morning, Ober|Kaler issued a press release on Werther and insurance coverage litigator Stephen Palley (who also joined from Howrey).

UPDATE (4/5/11): All in all, five Howrey construction lawyers joined Ober|Kaler.

Other outlets have noted additional partner departures. K.T. “Sunny” Cherian, described by The Recorder as a “top IP litigation rainmaker” with a book of business worth more than $10 million, joined the San Francisco office of Hogan Lovells this past weekend. Four other partners will join him in soaking up the Ho-Love: John Hamann, Sarah Jalali, Constance Ramos, and Scott Wales (who had been the hiring partner for Howrey’s S.F. office).

Also in S.F., Pillsbury Winthrop picked up IP partner Duane Mathiowetz. The news was reported by the Daily Journal (subscription), which noted that Mathiowetz, who worked as a mechanical engineer for a decade before going into law, has taken five patent cases to trial in the past five years (winning four).

Who might be the next to leave Howrey? Here’s some speculation….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Howrey Losing More Partners? Construction Lawyers Might Be Next to Leave”

This week has been fairly quiet in terms of news about the troubled Howrey law firm. A post over at the Howrey Doody Time blog — with a brilliant punny title (wish I had thought of it myself) — describes the current state of affairs as “a painful holding pattern.”

Well, this morning we do have some Howrey news to report. Above the Law has learned that IP partner Mark Whitaker is leaving the D.C. office of Howrey, his professional home for the past decade or so, to join Baker Botts.

“He’s going to Baker Botts to be the 337 guy,” said a source, referring to Section 337 (19 U.S.C. § 1337), which governs fast-track intellectual property litigation before the International Trade Commission (ITC). “He has a very nice stable of clients he has developed independent of Howrey.”

Mark Whitaker

The hiring of Mark Whitaker — described to us as a “great, great guy,” as well as a former Navy officer (like fellow Howrey partner Richard Beckler) — is a nice coup for Baker Botts, since § 337 expertise is an in-demand area. And luckily for Whitaker, the move won’t mess with his commute: both Howrey and Baker are in the Warner Building, at 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We understand that Whitaker was part of the group of Howrey partners invited to join Winston & Strawn, but he had other plans underway when the Winston talks were announced. His departure from Howrey comes just a few days after WilmerHale’s announcement that it was picking up another noted Howrey IP litigator, Robert Galvin (in Palo Alto).

So that’s the latest Howrey partner news. What’s going on with associates and staff?

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Justice Kennedy

* How did Howrey start to unravel? The trouble might have started in Europe. [Washington Post]

* Congratulations to Arvo Mikkanen, a Native American nominee to the federal bench in Oklahoma (and “an all-around great dude,” according to a tipster). [The Atlantic]

* Washington & Lee Law School, which we recently praised for its honesty to prospective law students, gets even more transparent — in an interview with Vault. [Vault's Law Blog]

* In a recent visit to USC, Justice Kennedy presided over a Shakespeare-inspired trial — something he has done before — and denied that the justices think about the news media when making their decisions. Methinks His Honor doth protest too much. [USC News]

'Please don't ship me in a box with no air holes.'

* A New York trial court smacks down a claim of cyberbullying. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Taxing alcohol to reduce crime? Sounds like that will lead to more muggings for alcohol money. [Going Concern]

* If you try to mail a puppy from Minnesota to Georgia in a box with no airholes, you don’t get your dog back. Also, you get shipped directly to hell. [Runnin' Scared / Village Voice]

* Blawg Review #297: The Hair Shirt Edition. [Big Legal Brain via Blawg Review]


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.

As we previously mentioned, a meeting with associates and firm chairman Robert Ruyak was also scheduled for yesterday. What happened on that conference call?

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We’re hearing rumors about a few additional departures from Howrey….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: More Howrey Departures”

Accept your offers. It’s wise advice for 2Ls going through fall recruiting, and it’s wise advice for partners of the rapidly unraveling Howrey law firm, most of whom have offers to join Winston & Strawn. Last weekend, Winston made offers to a little over 75 percent of Howrey partners, with responses requested in 21 days.

Yesterday we mentioned that a Howrey partnership conference call took place on Tuesday. During that meeting, firm chairman Robert Ruyak and Winston & Strawn managing partner Thomas Fitzgerald apparently urged Howrey partners with Winston offers to accept them as soon as possible, according to The Recorder.

Many Howrey partners have already left for other firms, as chronicled in these pages. A group of eleven attorneys recently departed for Morgan Lewis, for example.

Of the 200 to 230 Howrey partners who remain, how many are likely to go with Winston?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Howrey Going to Survive the Storm? Board the Winston Lifeboats, Leaders Urge”

* I’m doing Non-Sequiturs today, since Elie is too busy marching on City Hall. [Reuters]

* A round-up of lawyer moves inside the Beltway — including another defection from Howrey (patent litigatrix Jennifer Dzwonczyk, to Venable). [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]

* Speaking of Howrey, Professor Larry Ribstein, a partnership law guru, has some questions about the handling of Howrey liabilities. [Truth on the Market]

* Apparently Cardozo Law ladies need sex as well as walking instructions. [Cardozo Jurist]

* RICO suave: Chevron turns the tables on those Ecuadorian environmental plaintiffs. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Congratulations to Orrick’s eight new partners. [Orrick]

* Larry Bodine offers some marketing advice to United Airlines — after a rather unpleasant interaction at LaGuardia Airport. [Larry Bodine's Law Marketing Blog]

* This week in A Round Tuit: the latest Obamacare ruling, the Egyptian uprising, and the shortcomings of the British legal media. [Infamy or Praise]

The troubled law firm of Howrey has previously been compared to a ship. If the comparison is accurate, then one has to wonder whether the ship be sinking.

Look at how many sailors — officers, even — are abandoning ship. The latest news: eleven Howrey lawyers have left for Morgan Lewis & Bockius, in Chicago and California.

A look at the departing attorneys — plus reports about recent and upcoming Howrey conference calls, and questions about the fate of those holding offers from the firm — after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Howrey Going to Hold On to Partners? Eleven Lawyers Leave for Morgan Lewis”

In our last story on the trials and tribulations of Howrey, we expressed doubt that a full-on merger between Howrey and Winston & Strawn would take place. We suggested that Winston would probably wind up “picking up large chunks of Howrey, maybe even entire offices — just like Sonnenschein picked up 100 lawyers from Thacher Proffitt, during TPW’s final days.”

And that appears to be what’s happening now. According to The Recorder, Winston extended individual offers to a little over 75 percent of Howrey partners over the weekend.

And what about the remaining 25 percent? A recruiter familiar with the situation told The Recorder that they either have conflicts issues or aren’t interested in winding up at Winston.

What else do we know about the situation?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Winston Reportedly Makes Offers to Over 75 Percent of Howrey Partners”

Wait, did Charlie Sheen get a Cravath bonus too?

* While Cravath reignites competition over associate bonuses, Howrey associates are starting to wonder if ATL is running any kind of Nationwide Severance Watch. [Washingtonian]

* Is the Cravath bonus big enough that we could call it the “Live Charlie Sheen’s life for a day” bonus? [Radar Online]

* Hillary Clinton completed the “full Ginsburg” on Sunday; we’ll see if S&C goes the full Cravath before the week is out. [Political Wire]

* I’m not surprised a couple of Harvard students were the first ones to try and use computers to get laid back in 1965. Even today, few Harvard students understand that the key to getting chicks to pursue you is to get a job at Cravath. [GQ]

* With the Superbowl in town, Dallas judges are limiting their requests for jurors in an effort to ease traffic. Or they could just tell them that they’ll only be receiving a Skadden bonus for their time; that should keep people from showing up. [Star-Telegram]

Amy Chua

* I’m not in favor of strict constitutionalism, but for the first time in a while, strict Cravathism might be good for the Biglaw market. [Bell and Bar]

* Hearing Larry Summers fight with Amy Chua over how to educate young girls is like hearing Weil Gotshal lecture Cravath on how to be a market leader in associate compensation. [Wall Street Journal]

* This week’s Blawg Review addresses nasty internet commenters. Sounds like the Blawg Reviewers are hearing a lot of stuff from DPW associates as opposed to peer, Cravath commenters. [Koehler Law via Blawg Review]

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