Dewey & LeBouef goes bust

The international law firm has filed for Chapter 11 protection to wind down its business, stressing it does not anticipate a return to business. Dewey & LeBoeuf had been steadily losing partners to other law firms over the last few months.

After months of haemorrhaging partners to rival law firms, international practice Dewey & LeBoeuf has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US – and initiated corresponding administrative proceedings in the UK – to close its business, the firm announced in a statement.

“Unlike most other Chapter 11 cases, this filing does not anticipate a return to business but rather a managed wind-down of affairs, followed by liquidation,” Dewey & LeBouef stated. “The London and Paris offices are operated through a separately incorporated UK entity, which was placed into administration on Monday. Administration is a UK legal process broadly similar to Chapter 11,” the law firm added.

Earlier this month, Infrastructure Investor reported that James Simpson and Stephen Jurgenson, two Dewey & LeBoeuf energy and infrastructure partners, had decamped to US-based law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman.

In late April, Virginia-based Hunton & Williams poached a six-man team from Dewey & LeBoeuf led by pipeline specialist Bud Ellis. Ellis brought Kevin Felz, Michael Fitzpatrick Jr., Steven Friend, Steve Loeshelle and Peter O’Brien with him to Hunton. Each man was a partner with Dewey & LeBoeuf except for Felz, who was counsel.

Timothy Moran, a project finance expert, left Dewey & LeBoeuf in March to join the Washington D.C. offices of international law firm Sidley Austin. 

Dewey & LeBoeuf is said to have lost over 60 people this year alone.