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The pending merger between Dewey Ballantine and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe suffered another setback yesterday (Tuesday 19 December) when Covington & Burling announced it had hired three Dewey partners, including the firm’s co-chair of its restructuring and bankruptcy practice, Ben Hoch.
Another of the partners is M&A star Jack Bodner, who represented Lottomatica recently in its $5bn (£2.8bn) acquisition of Gtech Holdings. The third is restructuring specialist Dianne Coffino. All three were partners at Dewey.
Their exits follow those of New York restructuring head Alan Gover, global energy chief Earle O’Donnell and fellow Washington DC energy partner Donna Attanasio, who all joined White & Case, and corporate partner Jacek Michalski, who rejoined his former firm Allen & Overy in Poland.
The succession of exits has casts doubt on the viability of the Dewey/Orrick merger. This impression was heightened earlier this month when the respective management of the two firms decided to delay the vote on the deal, which had been expected in December, until the New Year.