Howrey partnership set for vote next week on wind-down

Howrey partners are set to vote on the wind-down of the firm next week, with Winston & Strawn currently on course to take on around 35% of Howrey’s remaining partners.

Once the vote has taken place, the two firms will begin discussions over associates and support staff, as well as redundancies associated with the firm’s wind-down.

Winston last week sent out confirmation letters to around 35% of Howrey’s remaining partners that have so far accepted job offers from the larger firm. A large number of the partners that have accepted offers to move to Winston are based in Howrey’s Houston and Washington DC offices. The two firms are also in ongoing discussions about Winston purchasing certain Howrey assets, including the firm’s brand.

The Chicago-based Winston had previously held merger talks with Howrey but changed tack in January, opting instead to make offers to around 75% of the firm’s partnership.

The news comes after months of turmoil at Howrey, with the firm seeing more than 100 partners leave since 2009. A partnership restructuring in 2010 also failed to sufficiently reposition the top 75 US law firm.

One former partner commented: “The wind-down of Howrey is an inevitability. The failure to restructure the firm during the recession has led to a situation where the firm will have to get rid of its assets and wind down over the course of the next year to 18 months.”

Another former partner commented: “Winston will pick out the assets that are most appealing and then leave the firm to wind itself down.”