Dewey turns to Camerons for advice on UK wind-down

Dewey & LeBoeuf’s London office has hired CMS Cameron McKenna to advise on its wind-down as it emerges that the UK LLP has delayed filing for administration following discussions with advisers and creditors.

Rita Lowe
Rita Lowe

The UK LLP, which includes the London and Paris offices, is now expected to formally file for administration at the end of next week or the following week, despite previous predictions that a filing would take place in the past few days (10 May 2012).

Camerons’ precise role in the matter is unclear, but it is understood that the firm was instructed by Dewey on behalf of London LLP members to advise the partners on liquidation matters. Banking and restructuring partner Rita Lowe is thought likely to be providing advice. Lowe acted for the administrators of extinct law firm Halliwells in 2010 (26 July 2010).

The delay to the formal filing, which comes after talks with advisers, lenders and bondholders, is aimed at giving staff time to find jobs elsewhere, a source close to Dewey said.

The source said: “They’re hoping to give [them] a chance for people to find work. Contrary to the US, the London market has been very supportive of Dewey. Office managers have been calling the [Dewey] office manager in London, saying ‘we need people’.”

London HR manager Karen Morrissey and legal HR manager Katharyn White are thought to be playing a central role in relocating staff, while former City chief Peter Sharp is also involved in finding new homes for trainees (10 May 2012).

Dewey has reportedly drawn down $75m (£47m) of a $100m (£63m) credit line from a banking consortium consisting of JPMorgan as the lead lender as well as Bank of America, Citi Private Bank and HSBC. It also issued a $125m bond, which was taken up by insurance companies, in 2010 (16 April 2012).

Accountancy firm BDO is also advising London partners on the wind-down (7 May 2012). Internally, matters are being run by City restructuring partner Mark Fennessy, one of five people appointed to a steering committee at the start of May to prepare for the office’s closure (1 May 2012).

Dewey instructed Albert Togut of Togut Segal & Segal as bankruptcy counsel in the US last month (20 April 2012), with the New York office now effectively closed (16 May 2012).

Dewey, Camerons and BDO declined to comment.