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Dewey & LeBoeuf Trial Has the World’s Attention
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Dewey & LeBoeuf Italy

Summary: With all big mistakes, there are lessons to be learned and the mistakes of Dewey & LeBoeuf are no different.

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP was a major international law firm before its monumental collapse in 2012. Former employee Bruno Gattai believes there is a big lesson we can learn from Dewey.

  
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Gattai led 18 partners and 100 lawyers and staff in the two Italian offices of Dewey. He now leads private equity M&A Milan firm Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners. He has been following the case from Italy and thinking about how the other firms can learn from it.

The first big lesson is that Big Law firms have a big Achilles heel because they do not have the tangible assets that translate to cash like smaller firms have. The turnover in the large law firms is similar to smaller sized ones, but they are at a greater risk of collapsing when large numbers of people leave. This has been used as part of the reason that Dewey failed.

The trial has highlighted the many years that the firm was winding down, starting in 2007 when Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene, & MacRae LLP merged together. In 2012, there was a mass exodus of partners due to the firm’s missed opportunities.

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Gattai says that other firms should learn to keep the base costs down while fostering a culture of loyalty with partners in order to not repeat Dewey’s mistakes. Dewey had 40 partners at one time on their executive committee, allowing the frustration and confusion over accountability to happen.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2015/07/15/attention-on-dewey-trial-spans-globe/



Photo: legalweek.com



 

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