Dewey & LeBoeuf has taken some dramatic steps to handle the drama of its own problems by undertaking a major reshuffle and by focusing on their profit centers like litigation, bankruptcy and corporate law.
Will it be enough to save the firm that has suffered defections and major compensation disputes?
The WSJ Law Blog’sAshby Jones reports:
The firm has decided to undertake a dramatic, and unusual, overhaul of its management structure, following a stream of partner defections in recent weeks.
The reshuffling will go like this: The chairman, Steven Davis, will relocate to London, return to law practice and share power with four other partners. The other partners joining the new leadership team: litigation head Jeffrey Kessler; bankruptcy-practice chair Martin Bienenstock; corporate-department head Richard Shutran and the head of the Washington, D.C., office, Charles Landgraf.
The group plans to reshape the firm by focusing on what they say are their most profitable practices, such as litigation, bankruptcy and corporate law.
“An overwhelming consensus” favored the change, according to an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal, though the proposal still needs to be voted on by the entire partnership.
It comes as at least 37 partners have left the firm since January amid disputes over compensation. Formed by the 2007 merger of two old-line New York firms, Dewey & LeBoeuf pursued a strategy of rapid expansion fueled through lateral recruitment of star lawyers from other firms. Click here, here, here, and here for previous LB posts.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, two members of the new leadership structure said the leadership change demonstrated how committed key partners are to the firm’s future, which they characterized as bright despite the loss of 37 partners since January amid disputes over compensation.