Howrey and Winston & Strawn in discussions over potential tie-up

Howrey and Winston & Strawn are currently in talks about a potential merger deal, it has emerged today (26 January).

Winston, which is based in Chicago and has 13 offices around the world, is understood to have approached Howrey a number of weeks ago with a view to either merging or taking on a significant number of partners from the intellectual property (IP) specialist firm.

It is understood that Winston managing partner Thomas Fitzgerald is leading the discussions alongside Howrey vice chairman Sean Boland.

One partner at Winston commented: “It has been part of Winston’s strategy in recent years to expand its global IP and antitrust capability, especially in London and across Europe – a merger between the two firms would make sense.”

The news comes after several months of turmoil at Howrey, following the departure of more than thirty of its partners from its offices around the world. Partners to have recently left the firm include London managing partner Mark Hodgson and highly-regarded antitrust partner Trevor Soames.

In October, 12 European Howrey partners broke away to create a new firm, Hoyng Monegier. The partners included Denis Monegier du Sorbier and Willem Hoyng, former Howrey Europe managing partner and a member of the firm’s executive committee, as well as Benoit Strowel, the head of the firm’s European IP practice and one of Europe’s best-known IP litigators.