Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Labor / Employment, Layoffs, Litigators

Dewey Know When LeBoeuf Is Cooked? When Associates Are Laid Off En Masse

Last night, when we reported the news of secretarial staff layoffs at Dewey & LeBoeuf, we mentioned a prediction of additional layoffs today — i.e., Tuesday — or later in the week. That prediction has already come to pass — like so many predictions about Dewey, sadly.

Last night, they came for the secretaries. This time, they’ve come for the associates….

“I’m sure you heard that D&L associates are being terminated en masse,” said one source. “Last day for NYC associates is Tuesday the 15th. Get paid out through the 15th and medical benefits through the end of the month. No severance.”

These terms shouldn’t come as a surprise. The same deal was given to the victims of yesterday’s mass layoffs.

“Can you provide a list of the top WARN act attorneys?” asked this tipster.

Above the Law readers: feel free to mention leading WARN Act lawyers, in the comments. One lawyer who does WARN work — Jack Raisner, a partner at Outten & Golden — was quoted in a recent Am Law Daily story about Dewey.

A second source told us that the latest cuts hit litigators especially hard: “All the litigation associates were just called to the main conference room and told we were being let go. Benefits until the end of the month, but May 15th paycheck will be the last one, and building access gets cut off that day.”

UPDATE (3:45 PM): By the way, note that date: Tuesday, May 15th. As you may recall, May 15 is the date that prior rumors pegged as Dewey’s shutdown date (even though the firm denied the rumors at the time).

More such meetings are on the way, according to the WSJ Law Blog, which first reported on today’s reductions:

At a Tuesday afternoon meeting in a multi-purpose room at the firm, one group of associates were told that next Tuesday would be their last day, according to a Dewey lawyer in attendance. More meetings with groups of associates were set for later in the afternoon, according to the lawyer….

For many associates, Tuesday’s meeting was the first real communication regarding their fate even as scores of partners have left and basic law firm functions were cut off, including mailroom services and cars to ferry attorneys home after late nights at the office.

“We are pretty happy to have some closure instead of this drip torture,” one associate said.

Closure at last. That is one fairly positive way of receiving today’s news, which was “expected by most,” according to one of our sources.

A Dewey tipster who will be out of a job next week shared this reaction to the news with us:

I just wanted to thank you for keeping up coverage of all this. I think it’s helped some of us to know that eventually, we’ll hear the entire story. Some partners have been atrocious human beings — including telling their associates for years that they were forbidden to work on anyone else’s matters, but then abandoning those same associates to a sinking ship without so much as a “thank you for your hard work” — but some others have been entirely decent, working overtime to find soft-ish landings for left-behind associates.

LeBoeuf is cooked, it seems.

It’s during times of crisis that people show their true colors. When the full story of Dewey is eventually told, there will be heroes, and there will be villains.

We will continue to cover this story, and we request your help in doing so. If you have information to share, please email us, subject line “Dewey and LeBoeuf,” or text us (646-820-8477; text messages only, not a voice line). Thank you.

For Dewey Associates, the Beginning of the (Very) End? [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Dewey Know Whom To Blame? Some Say ‘Steve’
Dewey Have Any Partners Left To Be Poached? Not Many After the Latest Departures
Dewey Have an End in Sight? Friday Will Be the Last Day for Some Employees

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