Dewey & LeBoeuf creates ‘a role for everyone’

The management structure of Dewey & LeBoeuf has been dramatically overhauled into a complex matrix of committees with the intention of placing responsibility in the hands of the partnership.

The firm has abandoned managing partner roles in its larger offices, with firmwide chairman Steve Davis splitting his time between London and New York to carry out managerial duties, as first reported on www.thelawyer.com (17 October).

Davis said: “This is not about giving everyone a title, it’s about giving everybody, or as many people as we can, a feeling that they have a role in the firm.”

Several layers of partner committees now come beneath Davis, starting with the executive committee, which has 22 members who make strategic decisions about the firm’s future. The 22 are joined by a further 18 on the leadership committee, which Davis describes as a “training ground” for the executive.

The next layer down divides the firm into departments, with a number of practice areas beneath. The largest departments are corporate and litigation, which have eight and 14 practice areas respectively.

Practice heads are still being worked out, but the corporate department is to be co-headed by London-based legacy LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae partner Joe Ferraro and New York-based former Dewey Ballantine partner Rich Shutran.

The litigation department is jointly run by New York partners Larry Pollack and Jeff Kessler, who came from the LeBoeuf and Dewey sides respectively.

For litigation and corporate, 10-partner policy committees sit between department and practice heads, with representatives from offices around the globe. There are also a number of sector-focused committees.

Meanwhile, the firm is preparing to open in Dubai – its first office launch as a merged entity. Davis said the office will open in around two months, with three partners and a number of associates relocating from London and the US.