The Anatomy of Dewey’s Demise
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With all the media attention Law Giant Dewey and LeBoeuf’s slow painful demise has received, its as if we are receiving a pre-mortal autopsy: we are getting an update on each of Dewey’s organs as they fail one by one.

The company stands right now to liquidate their assets in order to avoid the high fees associated with filing for bankruptcy. They may, however, still be forced to file for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, they are being sued by many of the non-legal staff who were fired.


Heavy hitting partners are being continually snatched up by other firms. Charles Langdraf is among the latest, who joined Arnold & Porter last Wednesday. He was one of the top insurance lobbyists in Washington. He of course praised his new employer in terms of the virtues his old one lacked:

“It’s the perfect platform for my practice. It’s a great Washington, D.C. firm that has great depth and and breadth in financial services and a legislative practice that’s well rounded.”

The firm has also made eyes at Landgraf: “I have known Charley for a number of years. He’s a strong lawyer and a terrific colleague. I look forward to practice with him,” said Tom Mulch, chairman of Arnold & Porter.

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Dewey meanwhile is being sued by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp which is trying go to force Dewey to terminate its retirement plans., It claims that that of the current and future retirees covered by Dewey’s pension plans, 1,776 were underfunded by a total of $80 million.

“The current loss of revenue-generating partners and Dewey’s debt loan has culminated in the imminent demise of Dewey,” said PBGC in its suit.

Dewey’s greatest resources are its partners, 2/3 of which have defected or have otherwise left since January. “At this point, if you went down all of its partners who were still here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were leaving n the next day or so,” said one Dewey partner, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Other law firms are grabbing up the great talent that Dewey can’t afford to keep on. Said Alan Waldenberg, of Schulte, Roth & Zabel, who recently picked up a group of private equity and real estate attorneys from Dewey, “We don’t do a lot of laterals, but these guys were too good to be true. They give us more depth in the private equity space.” He also added, “There was obviously a feeding frenzy in Dewey lawyers in the last six months.

As for how many Dewey can lose and still be Dewey, that remains to be seen.



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