Battle looms for Dewey & LeBoeuf London top job

The London heads of New York firms Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae are to fight it out for the top position when the firms merge in October.

As reported on (28 August) the firms will merge in the autumn, subject to a partnership vote, creating a 1,300-lawyer outfit. LeBoeuf’s chairman Steven Davis has already been named as overall head of the firm but at this stage it is not known whether Dewey’s London managing partner, Fred Gander, or his LeBouef counterpart, Peter Sharp will get the nod this side of the Atlantic.

Sharp said: “At this stage we don’t know who will head London. It will be down to the leadership of the merged firm to decide.”

Sharp and Gander said it was unlikely the role would be shared between them.

Currently the firms are focusing on an integration strategy that will be rolled out as soon as the partnership vote goes through, assuming the merger wins enough support. As part of this, both sides are each putting forward 11 partners to sit on the combined firm’s management committee. Nominations will also go to the vote and the resulting committee will be responsible for naming the London head.

The new firm, which will have a revenue of just under $1bn (£500m) and a presence in 12 countries, will be known as Dewey & LeBoeuf. The tie-up will see the merged firm with 550 lawyers in New York and 170 in the UK.