Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Tax Law

Dewey Have Room For Incoming Associates? Or Overseas Offices?

From a different piece appearing in The Lawyer:

Dewey & LeBoeuf’s senior management is working on a major restructuring of the embattled US firm that could see it prepare the business for a takeover or shut down its international network.

Partners in the firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice are considering a number of solutions in an attempt to save the troubled firm, which has been hit by more than 65 partner exits since the start of 2012.

Options on the table are understood to include offices closures, a takeover or a merger, with the most likely solution a scaling down to a US corporate boutique followed by a possible takeover by another firm.

Getting taken over by another firm, de facto or de jure, is one way this drama could play out. As you may recall, McKee Nelson got acquired by Bingham McCutchen, and much of Thacher Proffitt got swallowed up by Sonnenschein (now SNR Denton).

There have been rumors that Dewey has retained outside bankruptcy counsel, but these appear to be mere rumors. The Lawyer contacted Peter Gilhuly of Latham & Watkins, an expert in law firm insolvency matters (he handled Howrey), and Gilhuly denied speculation that he has been tapped to aid Dewey. Instead, according to The Lawyer, Dewey’s planning is being done internally:

The firm has one of the leading bankruptcy and restructuring practices in the US, with New York-based business solutions and governance head Martin Bienenstock and Los Angeles managing partner Bruce Bennett among the country’s top rainmakers in the area.

The duo are leading the restructuring process, raising hopes among partners that the firm will pull through the current crisis, with a final decision on the outcome expected in a matter of weeks.

A partner said: “The game isn’t over. They’re working hard to try and sort things. There’s a chance we might turn it around. We’ve got lots of options. [Bienenstock’s] a restructuring expert. These guys are working hard. There’s a possible happy outcome.”

Let’s hope that this story has a happy ending. Good luck to everyone at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

UPDATE (8:20 PM): Dewey has retained bankruptcy counsel, as just reported by Thomson Reuters News and Insight. The firm is turning to Albert Togut of Togut Segal & Segal.

P.S. If you have information about Dewey that you can share — specifically, we are hearing some reports about possible tax department defections that we’re trying to nail down — please email us or text us (646-820-8477). Thanks.

Dewey moots restructuring to prepare for possible takeover [The Lawyer]
Dewey’s Italian arm exits US LLP in bid to safeguard position [The Lawyer]

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