Ex-Howrey partners face $200m law suits

By Jonathan Ames

18 January 2013 at 12:13 BST

Before Dewey went down in flames last year, there was Howrey in 2011. Now the bankruptcy trustee is playing hard ball

Attention ex-Howrey partners -- he's behind you

Most global legal profession vultures concentrated their attention last year on the carcass of Dewey & LeBoeuf, so the macabre would be forgiven for forgetting about 2011’s spectacular law firm death, the demise of Howrey – but the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy hasn’t, as he pursues ex-partners for millions of dollars.
Tenacious Allan Diamond -- the managing partner of Houston and New York law firm Diamond McCarthy -- is reported to be boosting attempts to claw back as much $200 million in money that is alleged to have been paid to former Howrey partners while the firms was technically insolvent.

Bundled settlements

The AmLaw Daily web site reports that more than 300 ex-Howrey partners were scattered across about 70 competitor firms when the Washington-based international practice went bust in the summer of 2011.
According to the web site, Mr Diamond has announced a ‘new approach’ in his efforts to extract the money from former Howrey partners. He will present their new firms with a ‘bundled settlement plan’ that wraps up both claims against individual lawyers as well as ‘unfinished business claims’ against the firms themselves. The latter, points out AmLaw, result from work the former Howrey partners took to their new firms.

Big gorilla

The report highlights Mr Diamond’s aggressive approach, with the lawyer explaining his position as: ‘Either we are going to cut deals, or I’m suing you. The bottom line is ... I’m the 800-pound gorilla that you want to settle with.’
According to the report, Mr Diamond forecasts that litigation could begin soon.


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