Business of Law

Down 63 Partners Since Last Winter, Howrey Struggles to Boost PPP Back Toward $1M Mark

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Down 63 partners since last winter—about one in five—Howrey is struggling to boost profits per partner back toward the $1 million mark after record highs in 2008, reports the American Lawyer.

After failing to meet the $1 million projected PPP for 2009, the firm may not be on course to meet this year’s projected PPP of $940,000 either, and partners are growing frustrated about the situation, according to the magazine.

Although Robert Ruyak, the CEO and chair of Howrey has brought in consultants, instituted new data analysis methods and is providing more financial information to partners than ever before, critics say communication is still an issue—especially after two influential partners who sat on the executive committee died of cancer in 2008 and 2009.

Rainmaker Cecelia Gomez, who co-chaired the firm’s intellectual property practice, died in 2009 at age 53; in the previous year, global litigation co-chair Mark Wegener died at 59.

Gomez was generous about introducing her clients to others, and Wegener—who always returned phone calls immediately—helped give fellow partners a sense that their concerns were being communicated to Ruyak, unidentified former partners tell American Lawyer.

Related coverage: (May 2010): “Howrey Chairman Explains Drop in Revenue, Partner Exits” (Oct. 2010): “Euro IP Chief Leads 25 Howrey Attorneys to New Law Firm”

Blog of Legal Times: “Latham Adds IP Litigator from Howrey”

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