Dewey forefather shows forethought

We all know the importance of law firm names, especially when there’s a merger afoot. Many a long hour has been wasted, ahem, spent coming up with the definitive name for post-merged entities, with the supremacy of one dead white male over another the ultimate topic of debate.

For Dewey & LeBoeuf, formed a little over a month ago via the merger of New York firms Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, the task was rendered simple by the forward thinking of one egotistical former leading light. Thomas E Dewey, the three-time New York governor who joined the firm in the mid-1950s, wrote it into his will that if there was ever to be a merger, his name would have to come first in the resulting entity’s title.

No wonder Dewey Ballantine was so accommodating in dissolving its partnership in favour of LeBoeuf’s and accepting the latter’s chair as overarching chief.