The Dewey & LeBoeuf drama continues to unfold. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there have been a few notable recent developments. Citibank just filed a vigorous response to allegations by Steven Otillar, a former Dewey partner, that Citi colluded with Dewey to take advantage of individual partners. Meanwhile, three former leaders of the firm — former chairman Steven Davis, former executive director Stephen DiCarmine, and former CFO Joel Sanders — have filed objections to the global settlement with former partners.
It’s not a pretty picture. And here’s what we’re wondering: Could it happen to another major law firm, sometime in the next twelve months?
This question isn’t new to our pages. Back in June, for example, in-house columnist Mark Herrmann requested your thoughts on which major law firm might be the next to fail.
But the question is worth posing again in light of depressing recent news about the economic climate facing large law firms. As we mentioned last week, the confidence of managing partners is low right now. As we mentioned last month, a recent report by Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group paints a not-so-rosy picture for Biglaw for the rest of 2012.
This past Friday, the law firm lending group of Wells Fargo issued a report with similar findings. And over the past few days, we’ve been hearing chatter in various online forums about troubles at unnamed top law firms. Much of the web chatter might be mere rumor or trolling, but some of it might have a factual basis.
To quote a recent headline, “Citi to Former Dewey Partner: It Wasn’t Our Job to Warn You of Firm’s Impending Demise.” No — that’s our job, here at Above the Law.
So help us help you. If you have solid information about troubles at a major firm that you can share — stealth layoffs, staff layoffs, a cash crunch, a capital call made out of desperation — please email us, or text us (646-820-8477). We’re happy to investigate and report.
Citi to Former Dewey Partner: It Wasn’t Our Job to Warn You of Firm’s Impending Demise [Am Law Daily]
Dewey Docket: Filing Frenzy Before Hearing on ‘Clawback’ Plan [WSJ Law Blog]
Former Dewey Leaders Seek to Limit Personal Liability [Bloomberg News]
Law Firm Performance in 2012: ‘Not Stellar,’ Outlook ‘Grim’ [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Inside Straight: Dewey Know Who’s Next?
More Bad News for Biglaw: Waning Confidence of Managing Partners Spells Trouble Ahead
In Praise of Partners’ Prudence: Why the Lack of Spring Bonuses May Have Been a Good Thing