The Sharp end of the Dewey stick

The way he left his firm drew comparisons with the captain of the Costa Concordia, who became a figure of hate when he was accused of not being last off the cruiseliner when it sank in January this year.

But Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former London managing partner Peter Sharp has hit out at criticisms that he chose to save himself above staff, telling The Lawyer that it was impossible for him to carry on after the stricken firm’s New York management ignored his proposals to save the practice.

News that Sharp was leaving with two other London partners to Morgan Lewis & Bockius came on the same day that New York rainmaker Mort Pierce was revealed to be leaving for White & Case.

Sharp’s departure was an especially bitter pill to swallow for those left in London since he had earlier told workers that he was staying. Sharp’s side of the story was that the situation deteriorated so rapidly that there was nothing he could do to help staff if he remained at the firm.

A dispassionate analysis of who did exactly what to help might be made, but it doesn’t look like the anger will subside any time soon.

For more on Dewey, see this week’s in-depth feature.