11 November 2011

Howrey Collapse

Howrey LLP, a once very prominent global law firm that has been around since July 1956, declared bankruptcy earlier this year after the collapse of merger talks with Winston & Strawn, and is still in the process of dissolution.

It is good to see that in the field of the law at least, even the biggest firms are still considered small enough to fail.

It isn't difficult to imagine a situation in which high government offiucials run around wringing their hands about what a disaster the failure of such a multi-national well connected form will be, and asking each other what can be done to save it.

Anyway, for those interested in a proper RIP: the firm is named after  Jack Howrey, who chaired the Federal Trade Commission in the early Eisenhower years.  His first partners were Bill Simon, Hal Baker, and Dave Murchison, and the firm's first focus was on antitrust law. Early on it became associated with the cereal industry, which has long had to fight antitrust battles. 

As it grew, though, it developed other areas of focus, especially in intellectual-property law. The leading light of the firm's Amsterdam office, Willem Hoyng, is the author of a highly regarded textbook on Dutch IP law. 

So they pass into history with a hardy "Cheers!" from me, and best wishes to all the displaced partners (who seem to have long since written lucrative tickets for themselves elsewhere) and the bankruptcy law trustee who has to sort it all out.

1 comment:

Mike Marti said...

Good post! I was actually doing research online on Intellectual Property Law when I came across your very informative blog.

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.