We’re tired. So let’s resort to pictures, as we have in the past, to tell the Dewey story….
- Art, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dewey Ballantine, Dissolution, Heller Ehrman, Partner Issues, Pictures, Real Estate
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Bloomberg, Bracewell & Giuliani, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Media and Journalism, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Securities Law, Videos, YouTube
Dewey Have Anyone Left To Turn Out the Lights?
(Plus an actual lawsuit, a possible lawsuit, and a partner’s theory of blame.)
That’s the question the WSJ Law Blog just asked about the [pick your favorite adjective: beleaguered / collapsing / flailing / troubled] law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf. Today brings big, bad news for Dewey: bankruptcy superstar Martin Bienenstock is taking his practice to Proskauer Rose. He’s moving with five other partners — Philip Abelson, Irena Goldstein, Timothy Karcher, Michael Kessler, Judy Liu — and nine associates.
Dewey’s loss is Proskauer’s gain. “He is absolutely the crown jewel over there, a fantastic lawyer who will be a great partner,” a current Proskauer partner told us. “This is going to vault us into the company of Kirkland and Weil, giving us one of the top bankruptcy practices in the country. We are really thrilled.”
As you may recall, Bienenstock was a member of the five-person Office of the Chairman at Dewey. As my colleague Staci Zaretsky wondered earlier today, “Dewey seriously have one chairman again?” With Bienenstock to Proskauer, Jeffrey Kessler to Winston & Strawn, Richard Shutran to O’Melveny & Myers, and Steve Davis off to who knows where, only Charles Landgraf remains in the chairman’s office. (Note that Landgraf’s bio is still on the Dewey website.)
Bienenstock’s departure doesn’t mark the end of Dewey’s difficulties. Let’s review the latest news….
Of course we’ve added UPDATES, after the jump.
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dewey Ballantine, Dissolution, ERISA, Federal Government, LeBoeuf Lamb, Old People, Partner Issues
We have previously discussed the subject of pensions at the deeply troubled law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf. Right now it’s looking quite likely that the firm will wind up in dissolution or bankruptcy. If the firm does go down that path, what will happen to the retirement benefits of current and former employees?
Today we have some news on that front — plus UPDATES on other Dewey stories, of course….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dewey Ballantine, Dissolution, Law Firm Mergers, LeBoeuf Lamb, Money, Partner Issues, Reader Polls
Meanwhile, back on Earth and/or the rest of the internet, industry observers have been feeling a bit like voyeurs at a pre-mortem autopsy. Everyone agrees that the downfall of this once-great firm is hugely sad (well, nearly everyone), but there is less of a consensus about who or what is to blame.
Last week we asked the ATL readership for their take on where fault lies. Here’s what you had to say….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Health Care / Medicine, Labor / Employment, Layoffs, Partner Issues, Perks / Fringe Benefits, Unemployment
This past Friday, we broke the news of the troubled Dewey & LeBoeuf law firm issuing WARN Act notice to its employees. This federal law generally requires an employer “to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.”
That was Friday, May 4. Earlier this week, Dewey informed many support staff members that their last day of work would be this Friday, May 11. It then informed many associates that their last day of work will be this coming Tuesday, May 15. Both staffers and associates will be paid through the 15th and will have health insurance through May 31st.
My math skills have atrophied from disuse, but I am still capable of counting to 60. And it seems to me that Dewey did not provide its employees with 60 days notice of its mass layoffs.
So, Dewey have any WARN Act liability?
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….
- Akin Gump, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Lateral Moves, Layoffs, LeBoeuf Lamb, Media and Journalism, Music, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Silicon Valley, Staff Layoffs
The revolving door continues to spin, quite furiously, at the rapidly collapsing Dewey & LeBoeuf. We mentioned some of the latest partner departures in last night’s post (which we updated again this morning).
These are major defections, which strike at the heart of what was left of the firm. In case there was any doubt after last Friday’s WARN Act notice or yesterday’s big layoffs, it may soon be time to stick a fork in LeBoeuf.
So what’s the latest word on who is going where?
- Bankruptcy, Bar Exams, BAR/BRI, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dewey Ballantine, Dissolution, ERISA, JPMorgan Chase, Lateral Moves, Layoffs, LeBoeuf Lamb, Money, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Schiff Hardin, Silicon Valley, Staff Layoffs
On Friday, we broke the news of Dewey & LeBoeuf issuing a WARN Act notice to its U.S. employees. As explained by the U.S. Department of Labor, the WARN law generally requires an employer “to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.”
We noted, however, that employees shouldn’t be lulled into complacency by the 60-day requirement. As Elie wrote, “Dewey employees shouldn’t expect to just show up to work every day until Independence Day. Remember, we’ve learned from the Heller dissolution and other firms’ dissolutions that things tend to happen very quickly.”
Very quickly indeed. We are now hearing reports that this Friday, May 11, will be the last day for an unknown number of D&L employees….
As usual with the fast-moving Dewey story, we have multiple UPDATES, including some from Tuesday morning, after the jump.
- Art, Biglaw, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dewey Ballantine, Dissolution, Lawyerly Lairs, Partner Issues, Pictures, Real Estate
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here at Above the Law, we have given you many thousands of words about the troubles of Dewey & LeBoeuf. See, e.g., this lengthy post about the firm’s former leaders, ex-chairman Steven Davis and former executive director Stephen DiCarmine.
Now we bring you some pictures. As it turns out, the possible demise of Dewey has inspired the creation of art.
Keep reading, and check out the images below for a forthcoming portrait of former chairman Steven Davis, a chilling photograph, and an unfortunate D&L advertisement….
The U.S. employees of Dewey & LeBoeuf received a letter today that many of them have been expecting for a long time.
It was a note warning people to prepare for the worst. It was a letter finally admitting to firm employees that “it is possible that adverse developments could ultimately result in the closure of the firm.”
So, now we’re on notice…