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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.

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The Tale of Two Law Firms

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. 

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She recently wrote “A Murder on the Rappahannock,” a two-part investigation into the troubling, decades-old slaying of a young mother in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.