Law Firms

After a Disappointing Year, Howrey Plans to Axe Up to 10% of Its Partners

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Howrey is planning to oust up to 10 percent of its partners, a move that follows a year of disappointing revenue numbers.

Howrey is expected to cut between 25 and 30 partners, most of them in the United States, Legal Week reports. The decision to make the cuts was made before Christmas, according to the story. Both equity and nonequity partners will be let go.

Last month the law firm laid off 29 associates and 65 staffers from its 10 U.S. offices.

The move comes after Howrey saw a 35 percent drop last year in profits per equity partner and a 16 percent drop in revenue.

According to the story, Howrey maintains that the cuts will not be based only on partner performance. They will be concentrated in practice areas and locations that don’t fit within the law firm’s core business of antitrust, global litigation and intellectual property law, the story says. Among the areas not within that fit are trademark prosecution and international arbitration, according to an internal review cited by the publication.

Legal Week published this statement by Howrey managing partner Robert Ruyak: “After an internal assessment we decided that we need to tighten up and be strong by focusing on our core areas. We added a number of partners laterally during the last part of 2009 and thus far in 2010, while a similar number are departing for firms and practices that should be a better fit for them. We do not expect the partnership to be substantially different in size by the end of the year to what it is now.”

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