Dentons Donates $500,000 to Detroit Firefighters
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law firm donates $500,000 to detroit firefighters

Summary: Dentons donates half million to Detroit Fire Department.

Dentons, the international law firm that represented Detroit’s retirees during the city’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013 racked up over $15 million in fees for its services. On time with the final billings, which were due last Monday, Dentons also donated $500,000 to help Detroit’s Fire Department purchase fresh equipment, including 260 pieces of fire hose, 1,000 radio batteries, electronic notepads, and replacement equipment in general for the cash-strapped department.


“Being part of such an historic event [as this city’s bankruptcy] and after representing thousands of individuals with deep ties to Detroit, the firm is now part of the city’s reborn spirit and legacy,” said Dentons CEO Peter Wolfson in a statement, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. “We hope this donation will be but one part of what many will need to do to help Detroit in very practical ways as the city moves forward.”

Not everybody regards the donation as appropriate. Jeffrey Pegg, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association labor union said the money should have gone to a health care trust fund for police and firefighters so they are certain to get insurance coverage.

“If they want to help out this department, the best way they can is to help out the future retirees,” he told The Detroit News. “That’s where I think the money could be used.”

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Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins seemed less ambivalent about the donation, saying, “This is terrific news. I know that the brave men and women of the Detroit Fire Department will put this life-saving equipment to good use.”

Detroit owes over $144 million for lawyer fees, including the $15 million owed to Denton, whose efforts influenced the city to reimburse the retirees’ expense. Dentons is an international firm with over 2,600 lawyers worldwide. Their team in Detroit was lead by Sam Alberts, from their Washington, D.C. office, and Carole Neville and Claude Montgomery from their New York office.


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