Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked to a half-dozen sources close to Howrey who say the firm has plans to cut at least 20 partners and possibly as many as 30. So we weren’t caught totally off guard when Robert Ruyak, the firm’s managing partner, confirmed just that Thursday in interviews with the Am Law Daily and the U.K. publication Legal Week.

As we’ve reported before, profits per partner at Howrey dropped 35 percent, to about $846,000 in 2009. Ruyak had prepared the firm for a tough year, but Howrey still wound up missing its budget projections by a significant margin, according to our reporting. Two sources familiar with the matter tell us that Howrey fell between 5 percent and 6 percent short of expected revenues, and that the firm’s numbers were worse than Ruyak anticipated when he briefed several partners on the state of the firm last fall.

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