Friday, March 4, 2011

LegalWeek: Partner Vote Is Next Week

LegalWeek reports that the magical partner vote is to occur next week.  Which again makes me ask:  WHY THE HECK IS EVERYONE TAKING SO LONG?  IT'S OVER!  YOUR LIABILITIES ARE ACCUMULATING BY THE DAY!!

Well, no one really knows what's going on.  The article states that 35% of Howrey's remaining partners are locked in to Winston.  Which means that 65% of current Howrey partners are going somewhere else, right?

It's getting uglier by the minute.  Thanks, Bob.  This worked out just swell.

37 comments:

  1. http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/2011/02/03/the-financial-and-legal-consequences-of-a-law-firm-dissolution-on-the-partners-of-the-defunct-firm/

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  2. Neat article - thanks. so is W&S's interest in trying to shore itself up by getting a fresh round of capital contributions? the proverbial "good money after bad?" To what extent would a given incoming partner be required to contribute capital? How does this define, if at all, the attractiveness of an "offer?" For example are offers differentiated by the buy-in price, or by what a given buy-in price gets you...?

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  3. Winston is not acquiring any tangible assets or capital. Income partners do not typically contribute capital. Winston is acquiring enormous potential liabilities. First, even if there is no litigation or Howrey bankruptcy (both extremely unlikely not to occur), Winston will incur "ramp up" expenses, that is covering salaries and expenses of incoming personnel until first bills are rendered and paid. That is typically a four month period. Second, Winston may well need to defend claims of successor liability. Third, like in several other recent law firm failures, Winston may also have to defend claims that it breached some duties by cherry picking partners and causing Howrey's demise. Finally, Winston may also need to defend Jewel v Boxer claims --- that is that fees earned by Howrey partners who join Winston for cases started at Howrey are assets of the Howrey estate. This is going to keep armies of lawyers busy (or distracted) for years.

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  4. @2:39: Wow, I had not considered the WS capital buy-in. So Howrey partners moving to WS will be making new capital contributions, all while having no confidence about getting old Howrey cap contributions back. That's a lot of money to have locked up.

    But worse yet for an associate or other employee who has no clue where the firm is headed. Has the firm ever actually made any formal announcement to associates and others about what's happening? Or are they all learning about WS and dissolution through the newspapers? I know there are associates posting here, so can they please answer that question?

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  5. re 3:46pm
    Depends on what office you're in. In California everything we know we've learned through the press. Rumor has it, we'll all be told on Monday that we must leave the building by March 15th.

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  6. The firm management has not spoken to the staff besides a brief meeting several weeks ago.

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  7. I bet Winston also doesn't want successor liability for this potential multi-million dollar problem, which the client 02Micro may want to blame on Howrey.

    Federal Judge Sanctions Howrey Client Over "Vexatious Litigation Strategy" http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2011/03/howrey-o2.html

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  8. Good point - this deal is toast - Winston can barely make payroll as it is, much less take on further liabilities.

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  9. I would hope Winston can shake that ruling. I believe the Howrey group responsible for O2 Micro litigation was Sunny Cherian's group. They went to Hogan a few weeks ago, I think. (Good job getting Howrey's name in the press release rather than the new firm's, I guess.)

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  10. I have stood by long enough reading these ridiculous blogs - are you kidding me with blaming Bob Ruyak for all this crap?? Let's talk about the partners who stood by enjoying all their perks - who mocked Associates who did videos for their enjoyment at Partner Retreats making fun of getting the tobacco money and running the halls with glee - all of the partners are responsible for the demise of Howrey not just Bob Ruyak and his "minions". When times were good - no one had a problem - when times were bad, the focus was on how much money the "rainmakers" could make - not about the good of the firm but the good of their pockets. The associates were troopers - they supported the people that they thought had their best interest at heart only to be abandoned by them. I'm sick of the stupid posts of those who think that they know anything but in reality know nothing. You people are celebrating the end of a well regarded firm who because of the greed of the next generation failed after 54 years. Personally, as someone who spent only 7 years there when there were others who spent 30+ years, I'm sickened by the crap going around. I respect the people who are trying to protect the people left behind as well as I respect the ones trying to save themselves.

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  11. Hey bro - no one has a problem blaming the other partners as well; if they were to lose everything it would be too little. Among insiders, I think perhaps part of the reason people are so pissed off is not just the abandonment, but also the disappointment in learning that people who demanded respect didn't deserve any. For outsiders, the target is more generalized: we all were made to look like greedy assholes, when in reality most of us is just tryin' a keep gas in the Bimmer yo.

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  12. 9:57, I'm calling shenanigans. Ruyak was all too happy to take the credit when times were good. He can't shirk the blame now.

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  13. Everything's going great guys! This is all part of the plan!

    -Bob

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  14. This blog is L. A. T. E. Five to Covington early next week. Look for another segment of DC antitrust to jump on the elevator and hit "12."

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  15. @2:04, if you've got info, keep sharing it. This blog is not the Legal Times doing original reporting, but rather an underground messaging system trying to fill in for the complete lack of info from management, so it's only as good as the people who contribute. Who is going to Covington? ITC gang? And is the Baker Botts segment a break-away group from the WS core, or instead a group that got left out of the WS offers? I heard many of the antitrust group are not excited to go to WS, but feel Boland left them with few options. Maybe some found an escape route to BB.

    Keep sharing please.

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  16. Yeah, I have to laugh at the cocksuckers who bitch about the blog not having all the latest info. Where do you think the info comes from? If you are sitting on something and not sharing it, guess what? The weak link is you. Management is sharing NOTHING.

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  17. @2:04 - Thanks for the cryptic update, but you are a bit L.A.M.E. for not sharing your info completely and gloating about it. You are clearly missing the primary purpose of this blog.

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  18. I left Howrey 9 years ago because I could see the lack of management and lack of future management/planning would never work out well. It seem like the 1970s partners were stuck in a time warp and ignored that the future was coming, including needing new blood for management.

    The recent 2-3 year demise was expected but it accelerated when the "management" and minions decided to seek revenge against perceived enemies via compensation. Revenge via compensation is a sure-fire way to destroy a firm. Even some of the partners told to leave were selected because of non-business reasons. Howrey did a great job ruining itself with such foolishness. The over-expansion was just icing on the poorly made cake.

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  19. Update: future 1st year associates received a 3 sentence email rescinding their offers.

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  20. In the interests of full disclosure:

    1. Matt Wolfe, Ed Han and 2 associates to Arnold & Porter.

    2. Boland has negotiated a side-deal that will take most of the Collier Shannon partners to Baker Botts.

    3. Bob Abrams is either going to Crowell & Morning or Baker Hostetler depending on which rumor you believe. He will likely be taking most of the Milk partners and associates and some of the Caterpillar people.


    Winston slow-played DC antitrust and low-balled several rain-making partners. The contingent offers that followed the offer sheet last week also had changed terms that many partners didn't like. It is very likely that the DC antitrust group is going to be at a half-dozen firms in the next ten days. There are only a few major names left to move: Grise, Cuomo, Weissman, Moll, Zarlenga, Wiseman, Moltenbrey, Ostoyich, and Taladay.

    Associates: Everything is ok. Bob said this is part of the plan; Sean said that we shouldn't read blogs; and Rick said to stay in our offices. With advice like that, how can we go wrong?

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  21. Also, John Nields, Andrew Lazerow, Jason Raofield, and one associate to Covington.

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  22. Thanks guys. We are told nothing and I appreciate that you take the time to fill me in on my own likely fate! At least at this rate it probably won't be Winston & Strawn.

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  23. New post at Sharktanklegal says four more anti-trusters will go to Dewey DC.

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  24. Oh my god! The DC office appears to be staffed by evil incarnate!!!! Holy crap! I thought the Chicago office sounded evil - no frickin wonder everyone is terrified of the place Jeezuz h christ May the pestilence of bedbugs be on them forever! I am atheist and totally secular, but upon reading that I would be willing to hear arguments that the bedbugs are indeed perhaps a form of divine warning! Scary scary shit.

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  25. The rumour last week was that a significant number of partners were unhappy with the terms from WS, and pushed back. This renegotiation was the delay in the expected March 1st decision. Now it seems likely that Howrey will dissolve and scatter lawyers.

    While certainly it would be premature to have made decisions about staff, they have been kept in the dark during this entire process. Ruyak spoke positively about opportunties for the staff at the (very brief) employee meeting many weeks ago. No one believed him then, and most now are certain that they will be losing their jobs.

    Law firms do dissolve. But many do so much more gracefully than this.

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  26. @Howrey doody. I don't think anyone has missed the point of this blog. I am sorry that you are out of work or soon will be, but the things you write are just incredibly acerbic and sad. You attack all of these lawyers, but i don't think any of them started a blog so that they can whine about other people. It sure is easy to throw stones, but I am doubtful you are doing anything of worth with your life or you would have less time to dick around on a blog.

    I hope your kids never see this. What a disappointment you would be.

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  27. 2:56=Matt Wolf. Hey fat ass, shouldn't you be at the gym?

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  28. @3:26 I don't have to do shit with my $15 million in business, bitch!

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  29. @Howreydoody..2:56 is a moron. This blog has been for all practical purpose the only source of information given the thoroughly dysfunctional and nonfunctioning nature of Howrey "management" these last couple of years. The information has been imperfect but a lot more perfect than anything that ever came of of Ruyak, Boland or Beckler, among others. The complainers just have some strange axe to grind.

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  30. could not agree more with 5:00!

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  31. Hey - I know - if there are still enough people left, let's see if this blog could actually do a better job of managing Howrey than the departing management team! Nothing has to change; we just leave the blog exactly as it is, and wait to see whether simply the mere existence of a blog called Howreydoodytime doesn't possibly result in better management than thus far experienced. We don't even need to maintain it or update it; we literally just let it sit here; I bet the management skills of an unmaintained blog would resoundingly trump the management skills of Bob Ruyak.

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  32. Now is a great time to open a legal recruiting firm. No one knows (ex) Howrey attorneys like (ex) Howrey attorneys.

    Good luck to all of the non-douchy associates and counsel this week. To the staff and paralegal bashers, I wish you a learning experience on the other side of the tracks. In-house elitism brings bad karma.

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  33. Thanks for the support from many of the commenters above.

    As for 2:56 PM March 5, you are so dead wrong about me. But what I can say about you is that if you are kicking the people who came to Howrey to support its clients and its cause but are now out of work because of Howrey's utter ineptitude in management, you are the sad one.

    Don't shoot the messenger, dude.

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  34. 2:56 PM March 5 Howrey management shill said:

    "I hope your kids never see this. What a disappointment you would be."

    uhmm. err.. I thought we were a Howrey Family.... wouldn't that sort of make us the kids... and you the disappointment?

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  35. Look people .. Winston Strawn is an uber-right-wing firm with lousy management skills. They engaged Howrey in such an ass-backwards way that it's their fault as much as anyone's that this deal is crumbling. Why even initiate merger talks without sussing the conflicts? The reason so much of this is falling apart is because of conflicts. The fact that they can't get waivers speaks to their lack of influence with their own clients. It's actually better that the partners have tried to secure work elsewhere & take their teams with them.

    Anyways.. who wants to work with Pat Buchanan's brother? Not me. Not anyone with sense in their heads. Winston is run just like Howrey was: a little dictatorship with dummy dictators. It's no wonder this is all breaking down. Winston is going to find themselves liable for breaking Howrey apart -- just wait. When they talked merger, Howrey wasn't insolvent. All the bs contingencies in their offer letters made everyone nervous. Then the conflict issues arose and everyone ran for the hills. Now Howrey IS insolvent & Winston is has a major hand in that. Whoo hoo... let the litigation begin.

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  36. Sean Boland's ass is going to be sued, too.

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