Dewey & LeBoeuf has turned to one of the biggest names in crisis management to help it deal with bad publicity surrounding its financial health.
Described by Forbes magazine as the ‘Flack For When You’re Under’, Michael Sitrick is expected to quieten the media storm after a wave of partner exits – 30 since the beginning of the year – put Dewey in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Since writing his book Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to your Advantage, Sitrick has acted for a number of companies and celebrities under extreme media scrutiny. He was hired by former Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn following a boardroom spying scandal, by controversial R&B singer Chris Brown after his alleged assault on then girlfriend Rihanna, by New York socialite Paris Hilton after she spent time in jail, and by NFL quarterback Michael Vick after he was implicated in an illegal dog-fighting ring.
Since the partner exodus Dewey has been fighting negative headlines, with recent captions including ‘Do We Stay? Flee the Sinking Law Firm’, ‘The Struggles at Dewey & LeBouef Continue’, ‘Nationwide Layoff Watch’ and ‘Lean Times for Dewey and LeBoeuf’.
Earlier this month a spokesperson for the firm denied that it had deferred any profit payments (8 March 2012) following an article in the Daily Journal that claimed that the firm had suspended payments in order to build up a strong cash base.
Sitrick told The Lawyer: “I’ve worked with Dewey on a number of projects for mutual clients over the years and have a lot of friends there.”