Winston opens Houston base with 40-lawyer Howrey team

Winston & Strawn has opened an office in Houston with the hire of 40 intellectual property and commercial litigation lawyers from failed firm Howrey.

New Winston recruit Stephen Cagle, who becomes managing partner of the Houston office, highlighted the practice fit as being one of the key reasons for joining the Chicago firm.

“We saw this opportunity as being a particularly attractive fit for Howrey’s IP and civil litigators in Houston because of Winston’s already strong presence in key industries such as pharmaceuticals and financial institutions,” said Cagle.

Winston’s firmwide managing partner Tom Fitzgerald added: “The addition of this great Howrey team is another step in carrying out Winston’s firmwide strategic business plan. We’ll continue growing practices that meet client needs and expectations and provide synergies with our existing platform.”

Since 2008, Winston has established presences in Beijing, Charlotte, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Houston launch takes Winston’s total number of offices to 15.

The firm had been in merger talks with Howrey (28 February 2011), but ultimately the chances of it securing a potentially transformative deal evaporated as a succession of partners decided to join alternative firms.

Another group of Howrey lawyers, including antitrust litigation partners Peter Moll and Brian Wallach, yesterday confirmed they were joining Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.