That’s the nice news. Now, the nauseating: namely, how much Dewey’s executive director and chief financial officer were paid, as the firm swirled down the drain earlier this year….
Dewey pull your leg? No, we’re quite serious….
The story of Dewey & LeBoeuf, the once-great law firm that now finds itself in bankruptcy, continues to unfold — slowly, painfully, and sucked of suspense. We’ve highlighted the latest developments in Morning Docket. They include the hefty compensation paid to Stephen Horvath and Janis Meyer, the two Dewey lawyers involved in wind-down efforts; the $50 million insurance policy that might spell good news to creditors; and the pending revisions to the less-than-popular proposed settlement being offered to former partners of the firm.
That’s the hard news. Today we bring you two bits of color. These anecdotes raise the following question: Would you accept a “gift” from Dewey & LeBoeuf?
As we noted in Morning Docket, many former partners of Dewey & LeBoeuf are less than pleased with the proposed settlement between the D&L bankruptcy estate and ex-partners of the firm. Preliminary reactions “rang[e] from skepticism to anger,” according to Am Law Daily.
In the words of Mark Zauderer, counsel to almost 60 former Dewey partners, “I’m not seeing overwhelming enthusiasm for the proposal.” A former D&L partner was even more blunt: “I think this is destined to fail. Let the trustee [of a Chapter 7 liquidation] go for it.”
But not everyone holds such negative views. One ex-partner — who claims that he’s being asked to pay more than he thought he owed, and that he’ll have to postpone his retirement by several years due to Dewey’s downfall — told Thomson Reuters that he will vote for the deal anyway. “My view is there’s nothing less desirable than having this drag out for years,” he said. “I’m willing to pay a lot of money to have this go away.”
Dewey have other issues besides how to deal with former partners? Most certainly. There are pressing problems regarding the disposition of client files, as well as issues regarding retirement benefits for former Dewey & LeBoeuf employees….
Ever since the once high-flying Dewey & LeBeouf filed for bankruptcy in late May, observers have been wondering about what type of financial arrangement the firm might work out with its former partners. Last month, we discussed the outlines of a possible settlement between D&L and its ex-partners, in which former partners would pay a certain amount of money into the Dewey bankruptcy estate in exchange for being released from future claims by Dewey’s estate, the firm’s creditors, and fellow ex-partners.
Would such a plan fly? We noted that the broad outlines sounded reasonable enough, but that much would turn on the specific contours of the proposal — especially the amounts that the partners would be asked to pay, and the methodology for determining those sums.
In the wake of a meeting held yesterday afternoon here in New York at a hotel in midtown Manhattan, we now have some additional information on that front….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, JPMorgan Chase, Money, Partner Issues, S.D.N.Y., Vicious Infighting
Clean-up efforts are underway at Dewey & LeBoeuf — and we’re not talking about the work of the janitors (at least not the ones who were allegedly stiffed on $300,000). Rather, we’re talking about the work being done by Dewey as debtor, aided by its high-priced advisory team, to put its affairs in order and to maximize the recovery for its creditors.
One of the biggest messes: how to deal with the firm’s hundreds of former partners. Dewey’s lead lawyer, Albert Togut of Togut Segal & Segal, has already made clear his plans to seek some funds from them.
In a conference call yesterday afternoon, Dewey’s bankruptcy advisers informed ex-partners about the contours of a possible global settlement….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Billable Hours, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, JPMorgan Chase, Money, Partner Issues, S.D.N.Y., Vicious Infighting
It has been a few days since our last detailed story about the largest law firm bankruptcy in history. So let’s check in on the Chapter 11 proceedings of Dewey & LeBoeuf, currently pending in bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York.
There have been a few recent developments. For example, as we mentioned in Morning Docket, Dewey is being counseled in bankruptcy by some pretty pricey advisers.
How expensive are we talking?
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Howrey LLP, JPMorgan Chase, Kramer Levin, Litigators, Money, Partner Issues, Vicious Infighting
How would you like to be pursued by the Angel of Death? It doesn’t sound like much fun, right?
But it’s the latest plague to be visited upon certain former leaders of the now-bankrupt law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf. Former D&L partner Henry C. Bunsow — nicknamed the Angel of Death by Alison Frankel of Thomson Reuters, due to his status as an ex-partner of three failed firms (Brobeck, Howrey, and Dewey) — has sued former leaders of Dewey, alleging that they misrepresented the firm’s finances.
Let’s learn about his allegations, as well as catch up on the latest wranglings in the Dewey bankruptcy case….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Brown Rudnick, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Kasowitz Benson, Lawyerly Lairs, Money, Partner Issues, Real Estate
The bankruptcy case of the dying Dewey & LeBoeuf rolls on. As we mentioned yesterday, other Biglaw firms are getting business out of its burial. For example, Brown Rudnick is representing the official committee of unsecured creditors, and Kasowitz Benson is representing the official committee of retired D&L partners. (This group is separate from the 60 or so ex-partners who have hired Mark Zauderer to fight potential clawback lawsuits and other claims that the Dewey estate might bring against former partners and their new firms.)
If asked to name people who might be worried about owing money to the Dewey estate, some observers might cite “the Steves”: former chairman Steven H. Davis, and former executive director Stephen DiCarmine. Some have accused the Steves of mismanaging D&L’s affairs (or worse), contributing to the collapse of a firm that was once in the top 30 U.S. law firms by total revenue.
But if you’re thinking that Steve DiCarmine wants to pay the Dewey estate some money and get on with his
tanning life, think again. As it turns out, Steve DiCarmine is claiming that Dewey owes him money….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Heller Ehrman, Howrey LLP, In-House Counsel, Lateral Moves, Money, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Thelen Reid & Priest, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner
I’ve watched Dewey’s collapse only from a distance, as have most lawyers. And I’m no student of law firm finances or management. But this struck me as I read the news:
And I’m probably overlooking other recent collapses of prominent firms, since I cobbled together that list from the names that came to mind unprompted.
This history suggests that another large, well-respected firm will collapse next year, and it’s a near certainty that a firm will collapse within the next two years. Who will it be?