Yesterday, partners at Dewey & LeBoeuf received their $25,000 monthly partner draws. For many of them, that might be the last check they receive from the embattled firm.
Over 100 Dewey partners have left the firm since the start of the year. But we now have reports that as many as 200 people, including a large number of partners, will be departing today. Apparently, “the banks” (i.e., Dewey creditors) are calling the shots now. As we reported yesterday, we seem to be moving forward toward a May 15th end date for Dewey.
But as they say in Lion in Winter: when the fall is all there is, it matters….
On Monday, we reported that Dewey had internally encouraged its partners to seek work elsewhere. It’s hard to imagine that any of them didn’t take the hint. A tipster reports:
100 partners resigned from D&L today; as of yesterday, banks took over and are running the firm; movers aren’t being let in the building…
Banks have directed that nothing leave the building; certain ops staff were told “we work for the banks now.”
From another tipster:
Here’s the latest word around the office. Not sure if this is true, but it certainly is building up enough buzz. Supposedly, they will be letting go of about 200 employees today. Everyone else will follow sometime next week.
We know from previous law firm dissolutions that creditors coming into the firm to protect what assets are left is the equivalent of an overweight woman clearing her throat.
But some partners at Dewey insist that the firm is not done. From the New York Law Journal just this morning:
Jeffrey Kessler, a member of Dewey’s five-person office of the chairman, said in an e-mail “there is no plan to close on May 15″ and there are no plans for a vote of dissolution.
Well, if there’s no plan to dissolve, what is the plan? Or is Kessler just being cute with words? Saying “there is no plan to close” is a lot different than saying “we have a plan to extend our credit line past May 15th.”
Interestingly, a source had this to say about Kessler:
Kessler is in the process of taking his group out the door. He’s been shopping all week, and it’s looking like he’s pretty close to solidifying his deal.
It seems like Dewey is trying very hard to keep up appearances even in the face of this steady stream of bad news:
Firmwide email was issued in NY office advising us to use freight elevator to remove bankers boxes from the firm, and we are not to stack boxes on top of chairs to wheel them out. They were not happy about the Fox 5 news cameras that caught an associate doing so and ran the footage in their story Wednesday night.
Well, if they can’t get pictures of people cleaning out their desks, maybe they can run this footage:
Well keep you updated as more Dewey news develops.
UPDATE (5:42 PM): Dewey has issued conditional WARN notice to its employees.
Decline of Dewey & LeBoeuf Accelerates [New York Law Journal]