Dewey & LeBoeuf files for bankruptcy, UK arm in administration

The largest ever law firm collapse was cemented yesterday when Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy in the US, with the UK LLP also being put into administration.

Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a New York bankruptcy court on Monday 28 May. Albert Togut, managing partner of Togut Segal & Segal has been instructed by Dewey as bankruptcy counsel (20 April 2012), with Joff Mitchell of Zolfo Cooper retained as chief restructuring officer.

According to reports the firm will ask around 90 staff to stay on at the firm to help with the liquidation, which is expected to be completed over the coming months.

Dewey & LeBoeuf’s UK LLP, which comprises the firm’s London and Paris offices, and its subsidiary Dewey & LeBoeuf Services Ltd, were also placed into administration yesterday with BDO partners Mark Shaw and Shay Bannon appointed as joint administrators. Following the administration, all staff – save for a small core team that will assist with the wind down – have been made redundant.

In a statement Shaw said: “D&L UK has generated significant profits, but it could not escape the serious issues which have affected the Dewey & LeBoeuf global business. We have worked with D&L UK’s management, the legal regulators and other stakeholders over the last few weeks to ensure that client interests and files are protected, at the same time as maximising returns to creditors of both D&L UK and D&L Services. This will continue following our appointment. The diligent planning which has taken place so far will allow for an ongoing orderly wind-down during administration.”

To read The Lawyer’s in-depth features on Dewey & LeBoeuf click here and here.