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Dewey Moves to Terminate 25 Office Leases across the World
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On Wednesday, Dewey & LeBoeuf sought termination of 25 of its office leases covering at least 14 offices in the United States, and overseas offices in Beijing and Abu Dhabi. According to papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Dewey has submitted that with only a few personnel left in New York, Dewey had no use for the leases except for a sublease for the New York office.

The trustee for the firm requested U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn to date the rejection of the leases retroactively to May 28, as that was the date on which the firm filed for bankruptcy. The firm also wanted to abandon its property in the mentioned offices except the artwork in Houston and Los Angeles. In its court papers, Dewey said “Simply put, because the leases are not necessary for the wind down of business, they offer no benefit to the estate.”

If the bankruptcy court accepts Dewey’s argument and changes the date of termination of the leases to May 28, then the landlords would create problems for the landlords to recover rent. Landlords could well object to such a measure, as the time lost without rent could have been used to secure other tenants or put to productive use. Dewey’s landlords also form some of the biggest unsecured creditors of the firm.

  
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Currently Paramount Group, which is the landlord of Dewey’s New York office space, has a claim of $3.78 million and is the second-biggest unsecured creditor of the firm. Dewey’s landlord in Washington, the Property Group Partners is owed $830,789. The landlord had sued Dewey prior to the firm filing for bankruptcy.

Landlords of Dewey fear that bankruptcy laws can make it difficult for them to successfully challenge any act to their prejudice and to recover their dues. Major landlords did not yet comment on the issue.

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