Forgive any unintended offense, but as we think about the untimely demise of Dewey & LeBoeuf, we can’t help but think of the 1985 comedic triumph Fletch.
- Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about [Dewey & LeBoeuf].
- Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.
- Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, [they were] dying for years.
- Fletch: Sure, but… the end was really… very sudden.
- Dr. Joseph Dolan: [They were hemorrhaging partners for eight months]!
- Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when [they actually filed]. That was extremely sudden.
They become the 23rd firm that has been ranked in the AmLaw 100 that ultimately failed. It was by far the largest.
We’re going to count their layoffs as layoffs. Here’s the relevant rule from our methodology, which has been in place from the beginning.
A number of events, like the Heller dissolution, aren’t included here because those are complete failures of a firm, not just selective layoffs.
Best we can tell, both Howrey and Heller laid people off after closing up shop. We’re using the full 533 count per the WARN filing, since those were done before the bankruptcy filing (notwithstanding our delay in putting it into the database). We have them allocated 60/40 staff/lawyer because that’s the average ratio for the 15,000 other people we’ve tracked.
We may also have to adjust that number downward if we can confirm that it includes the 130 people the firm laid off in March.
Counting previous layoffs, the firm laid off 902 total people 520 staff, 382 lawyers (allocation may vary as we get better information). That’s by far #1. Allen & Overy drops to #2 with 617. More effects on the rankings can be found in the Top 10 Layoff Lists.