Dewey to accept LeBoeuf structure

Dewey Ballantine’s partnership agreement will be dissolved as part of its merger with LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, with the enlarged firm’s business operating on LeBoeuf’s systems.

Both firms claimed that the move does not represent a takeover by LeBoeuf, with the decision on the structure being made well into the merger talks.

New York-based LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis, who will also chair the merged firm, said: “We worked with counsel to come up with the right structure. This is entirely cosmetic in that it’s been designed to work best from a legal and regulatory standpoint. It could just as easily have been the other way round.”

Dewey London managing partner Fred Gander added: “You can’t merge partnerships under New York law. You have to either create a new one and dissolve the old ones or transfer one of the businesses. This is just efficient from a tax standpoint.”

Electronic voting on the merger has been ongoing in both partnerships for the past week, with LeBoeuf partners due to vote on changes to the firm’s partnership agreement at the end of this week.

As well as changing the firm’s name to Dewey & LeBoeuf, partners will vote on extending the executive committee and creating a leadership committee.

Gander said the fact that LeBoeuf partners have to vote twice, while their Dewey counterparts getting one is not problematic, as the second LeBoeuf vote is a technicality.