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Few stories in the legal world have moved as quickly and been covered as comprehensively as Dewey & LeBoeuf’s meltdown.
Late last week the future of the embattled firm’s trainees was on a knife edge pending bank-loan negotiations.
Next there was wobble in the firm’s European offices. In particular Germany and Moscow. The latter had been wooed by a number of suitors, including a Chinese firm, a story that was brought to a conclusion today with news that the entire office will jump ship to Morgan Lewis, which is launching an office in the city. The German practice, meanwhile, is heading to McDermott.
Morgan Lewis also took a team of partners from Dewey’s London office, including managing partner Peter Sharp, with the rest of the City base gearing up for a potential administration amid a top-level reshuffle. Even that looks in disarray in light of Sharp’s departure, though.
By far the biggest story, however, was the news that star corporate partner Mort Pierce is jumping ship along with a team of partners to White & Case. As well as being a big get for White & Case, it will be a huge psychological blow for Dewey. Pierce was a legend within the firm and admitted to routinely billing up to 3,400 hours in a year.
As one quick Twitter observer noted: “Dewey, C’est Mort.”