Tense - but mostly very sad.
That's how Howrey spokeswoman Chris Till described the mood at the 55-year old firm on its last day of existence. Howrey partners voted last week to dissolve the firm, which has seen the departure of more than 140 partners since April 2010.
There’s no ceremony to mark the firm’s demise, although Till said employees are gathering for an informal, low-key get together this afternoon.
Last week, Howrey sent letters to employees giving advance notice of impending layoffs. Employees who do not find new jobs will be paid until May 9.
There’s been a steady stream of press releases about Howrey partners landing jobs at new firms – the most recent is Martin Cunniff, co-chairman of Howrey’s commercial litigation and trial group, who joins Arent Fox as a partner. Dewey & LeBoeuf announced this morning it was adding two antitrust partners and one counsel from Howrey.
Onlookers expect additional moves to be announced tomorrow, once the dissolution is final.
Known once for its slogan, “In court every day,” Howrey stayed true to its roots in the end.
On the firm’s last day, partner Stephen Hill filed a new suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Hispanic farmers, alleging that the government’s offer to settle a long-running discrimination case is itself discriminatory.Hill has not announced any post-Howrey plans.