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February 15, 2011 5:12 PM

Howrey IP Rainmaker Heads to Hogan Lovells; Other Partners Also Depart

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Howrey's latest defection is another blow to the firm's San Francisco litigation practice.

One of Howrey's top IP litigation rainmakers, K.T. "Sunny" Cherian, is headed to Hogan Lovells along with four more Howrey partners, Am Law Daily sibling publication The Recorder reports. Howrey spokeswoman Chris Till told The Recorder that the firm had no comment on Cherian's departure.

Cherian alone is taking more than $10 million of business with him, The Recorder notes. Scott Wales, the hiring partner for Howrey's San Francisco office, will join him. Partners Constance Ramos, Sarah Jalali, and John Hamann also are headed to Hogan, Palo Alto-based Hogan partner Michael Charlson confirmed to The Recorder on Monday.

Last month, Howrey lost its other top IP rainmaker in San Francisco when Henry Bunsow resigned and joined Dewey LeBeouf. 

Cherian's group is a major addition for Hogan, especially considering the firm lost Southern California litigator Richard de Bodo to DLA Piper in August. Hogan was looking to expand in Northern California even before De Bodo left, Charlson told The Recorder. The firm hasn't hired a new IP litigator in the area since 2008.

In a related development, Howrey construction partners Barbara Werther and Stephen Palley in Washington, D.C., have left the firm to join the local office of Baltimore firm Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver as of Tuesday, according to an Ober Kaler press release.
 
Palley was a member of Howrey’s construction and insurance recovery practices, where he specialized in insurance coverage and complex construction-defect litigation. Werther has over 30 years' experience in construction and government contracts law and represents both contractors and owners in a wide range of disputes in the private sector and on public projects.
 
Werther was previously a partner at Thelen, which saw its construction practice defect to Howrey two years ago. Palley was an associate at the now-defunct firm.

In a final bit of Howrey news, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman announced last Friday that IP litigator Duane Mathiowetz, previously with Howrey, has  joined its San Francisco office. The Recorder reports that Mathiowetz will begin at Pillsbury on Tuesday. He told The Recorder's Amy Miller that he was considering the move even before his former firm was hit by the recent departures. 

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