So it’s officially on. We’ve been quiet about the whole Dewey imploding thing. In part, it’s because of other commitments, but it’s also because until a couple of weeks ago, we really thought this was going to end up being more like White & Case’s troubles of 2009-2010, or Cadwalader’s 2008-09, than Howrey.
Those three firms pretty much covered the spectrum of likely outcomes:
Cadwalader saw an exodus (or cleaned house, depending on whom you believe), then really turned things around.
White & Case got picked over, by Latham in particular, but righted the ship. Unlike Cadwalader, which appears to have come out stronger, W&C looks to have ended up in a similar place to where it started.
Howrey was obviously a disaster (and let’s not forget that firm’s crass, transparent attempts to pretend they were cutting weak partners, not being ditched by anyone who could find a decent place to land).
So, yeah… We thought D&L was big enough to plow through this.
Then we thought it was just the legacy LeBoeuf people leaving, which hinted that this was more of a failed merger than a failed firm.
Then the floodgates opened…
The Death Watch has begun. Dewey & LeBoeuf is really looking like the next member of the BigLaw Dead Pool (AmLaw 100 firms that have failed). What do you think? Any chance this can be salvaged?
- Dewey & LeBoeuf Partners Told to Find Other Work (WSJ)
- Law Firm Ends Talks with Dewey (WSJ – Greenberg Traurig passing, info about restructuring debt)
- Dewey London partners hold talks over wind-down of UK arm (Legalweek)
- Dewey Have Any Shot of Surviving? Internal Memo Urges Partners To Seek ‘Alternative Opportunities’ (ATL – includes firm memo)
- Dewey & LeBoeuf Aims to Avoid Bankruptcy, Bienenstock Says (Marty knows a little about bk – Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
- Spinning Dewey’s Heroes (Belly of the Beast – one of my favorite pieces on the subject, hits on the cult of personality and the worker bees)
- A Paralegal’s Lament (ATL – inside scoop from the trenches)
- Is Dewey Partner Henry Bunsow the Angel of Death? (Thomson Reuters – Bunsow’s previous tenures include Brobeck and Howrey, which are no more, and Townsend, which has basically been merged out of existence. When we read this, we couldn’t help but think that he’s a symptom of the problem – a high-profile guy who almost certainly got huge signing bonuses and guarantees. Firms that did that, whether it was justified for Bunsow or not, were playing with fire.)
- A few key players may determine Dewey’s fate (Thomson Reuters – It’s three weeks old now, but this might as well be a bingo scorecard of defections that will really hurt)
- Dewey Denies It’s the Source of Sex Story on Former Partner (The Careerist – One of a zillion links about Altorelli’s whole sordid thing with the Russian spy.)
- Dewey unveils incentive scheme to stem partner efforts (LegalWeek – Plan didn’t work, and has been since reversed, doors are open)
- American Lawyer to Revise Dewey’s Financials (DealBook – The numbers were made up anyway, so what’s the point of restating?)