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Howrey v. Hogan & Hartson: A Timeline
Tracking the rise and fall of two storied Washington law firms.
1904: Frank J. Hogan opens his Washington law practice, which eventually becomes Hogan & Hartson.
1956: Four lawyers, including former Federal Trade Commission chair Edward “Jack” Howrey, found Howrey, Simon, Baker & Murchison, which later becomes Howrey.
1988: Hogan & Hartson opens its first office outside Washington, in Baltimore.
1990: Hogan & Hartson opens its first international office, in London.
1992: Howrey opens its first office outside Washington, in Los Angeles.
1998: J. Warren Gorrell Jr., a Washington partner and the firm’s biggest rainmaker, heads north temporarily to open Hogan & Hartson’s New York office.
2000: Robert Ruyak becomes managing partner. Howrey merges with Houston-based Arnold, White & Durkee, giving it a stronghold in intellectual property.
2000: Hogan & Hartson’s longtime leader, Bob Odle, asks Gorrell if he’ll succeed him as head of the firm.
2001: Howrey opens its first international office, in London.
2001: Gorrell becomes chairman of Hogan & Hartson.
2003: Thanks largely to a $75-million payout from a class action against tobacco companies, Howrey’s Washington partners earn an average of $1.09 million each, making them some of the area’s richest lawyers.
2003: Hogan & Hartson’s Washington partners make an average of $740,000 each.
2005: Howrey opens an office in Paris.
2005: A big year for international growth, with offices opening in Geneva, Caracas, and Hong Kong.
2008: Howrey has its best year ever. Its Washington partners make an average of $1.3 million.
2008: Gorrell has his first conversation with Lovells partner Patrick Sherrington about potentially merging the two firms.
MID-2008: Mark Wegener, a vice chair of Howrey and one of its most highly regarded partners, dies of cancer on June 6.
Early 2009: Howrey remains one of the only large firms in the country that haven’t had big layoffs. Cecilia Gonzalez, another vice chair of Howrey, who was viewed by some as a potential successor to Ruyak, dies of breast cancer on May 4.
Early 2009: As the recession batters the legal industry, Hogan & Hartson lays off 93 staff members and reduces some salaries.
Late 2009: Howrey ends the year with a financial performance that falls 30 percent short of expectations. Its Washington partners take home an average of $845,000.
Late 2009: Partners at Hogan & Hartson and Lovells vote to approve the merger of their firms to form Hogan Lovells.
2010: Howrey has an even worse year, coming in 45 percent under expected profits. The average partner makes $550,000.
2010: The Hogan Lovells merger becomes official on May 1.
2011: Howrey dissolves on March 15 and goes into bankruptcy.
2011: Hogan Lovells holds its first global partners conference. On average, the partners are making $1.14 million each.
This article appears in the December 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.