Layoffs

Howrey MP Says Outsourcing, Electronic Discovery Spurred Partnership Downsizing


Time will tell whether Howrey’s downsizing was the right thing to do, according to the law firm’s managing partner.

Howrey has lost more than 60 partners in the past year, and managing partner Robert Ruyak says it was all part of a plan to strengthen the law firm, the Lawyer reports.

“We had to make the decision to focus even more than in the past and it was clear we needed to downsize the firm,” Ruyak told the Lawyer. “You also need to remember there have been some dramatic shifts in litigation in the U.S. The use of electronic discovery and outsourcing has meant less need for manpower. That’s been a dramatic shift in the past few years.”

Ruyak said Howrey’s banks and most of its clients are on board with the cuts. The firm has a new one-year covenant with all of its banks, and there is no chance they will pull funding, he told the Lawyer. The goal is to improve profitability, even though revenue will take a hit.

In Europe, “devastating” client conflicts spurred the firm’s decision to spin off its intellectual property practice outside of Paris, Ruyak said. Twelve IP partners left the firm in October to form their own boutique. In the United States, the firm could drop its trademarks practice, in much the same way, the story says.

The story reveals another potential move: “Ruyak reveals the firm is eyeing up potential mergers and acquisitions in the U.S,” the story says.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Down 63 Partners Since Last Winter, Howrey Struggles to Boost PPP Back Toward $1M Mark”

ABAJournal.com: “Howrey Lays Off 32 Staffers, Plans to Focus Resources in Three Areas”

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