Dechert set to take 25-strong Dewey team in London and UAE

Dewey & LeBoeuf is set to lose up to 11 further lawyers in Dubai as a team of fee-earners follows a four-partner capital markets exodus to US rival Dechert.

The team of three local partners and eight associates comes on the back of the departure of London capital markets rainmaker Camille Abousleiman along with fellow City partner Louise Roman Bernstein and Dubai partners Gavin Watson and Chris Sioufi (16 April 2012).

A Dewey spokesperson confirmed the departures but said that there had not yet been any resignations from London associates in Abousleiman’s and Bernstein’s team.

It is widely expected that a handful of capital markets associates will leave for Dechert in London, but none have yet quit. It is further understood that neither Abousleiman or Bernstein have officially tendered their resignation but their departure is expected.

The number of London and Dubai team members jumping ship for Dechert is expected to rise to roughly 25 if non-lawyer staff are taken into account.

Abousleiman and Bernstein – who are understood to bring in combined billings of upwards of $10m (£6.3m) annually – are expected to join Dechert’s City office on Thursday, but this is not set in stone.

All four London and United Arab Emirates partners resigned from the embattled US firm yesterday to join Dechert, which is launching its first Middle East office. It is also launching in Georgia with the hire of Dewey local partner Nicola Mariani, a corporate lawyer who currently splits his time between Tbilisi and Paris.

Dewey is left with one Dubai local partner and no equity partners, as well as no partners based in Tbilisi. A Dewey spokesperson said there were no plans “at the moment” to shut the Dubai office.

Separately, Dewey administrative, finance and construction partner Michael Klein in Washington DC has quit to join Cozen O’Connor, bringing the total number of Dewey partner departures in 2012 to roughly 60.

Dechert has made a number of high-profile City hires in the past year and in January unveiled a Frankfurt re-launch (17 January 2012).

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