Publishing veteran Larry Hughes's role as a publishing consultant to HarperCollins came to an end December 31, 2001. Hughes joined HC in 1999, following the company's acquisition of William Morrow and Avon. Hughes had been the longtime president of Morrow and Avon before he retired in 1990, at which point he served as editor-at-large and group adviser to the two houses. HC CEO Jane Friedman said she was "grateful" to Hughes for helping to integrate Morrow into HC.

Hughes will now devote more of his time to Hobson and Hughes, a company formed by Hughes whose activities include serving as the agent for the estate of Erle Stanley Gardner. There are 143 titles in the Gardner oeuvre, including 83 Perry Mason books. Hughes said there continues to be quite a bit of interest in Gardner's works, citing recent sales to Poland, Estonia and Spain. In addition to selling rights to the Gardner titles, Hughes has several editorial projects in the works and may do some consulting. He also has been approached by a couple of literary agents to join them, but Hughes doesn't think he'll go down that route, although he told PW, "I'd love to take on a few more estates."

Hobson and Hughes is located in Southport, Conn.; phone is (203) 259-8142.