Dewey & LeBoeuf Preparing Bankruptcy Filing. Anyone Surprised?

By Edward Tan, JD on May 23, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Former BigLaw titan Dewey & LeBoeuf may soon be nearing its end. The New York law firm is reportedly preparing a possible bankruptcy-protection filing.

According to sources, the move could come down soon, The Wall Street Journal reports. Should the troubled firm take such a step, it would mark the beginning of its official liquidation.

While many of you associates out there probably aren't too surprised at this development, it does make one wonder why the sudden change?

The potential move toward bankruptcy could be due to Dewey replacing its restructuring advisor. The firm announced it would be replacing Bill Brandt, chief executive of Development Specialists Inc., with Zolfo Cooper.

"It now becomes a creditor-driven case," Brandt said.

Dewey's debt has been bought out at a discount. Generally buyers of debt securities aren't too concerned with getting a company back on its feet. Usually the goal is to wind it down as soon as possible to get the most out of their investments. This might be the situation Dewey is facing.

However, everyone (including Dewey and Zolfo representatives) involved in the matter is staying tight-lipped.

Right now, it's not certain for sure when or if Dewey will be filing for bankruptcy. But there are a lot of indications that this is the direction the firm may be headed.

In the past five months, many Dewey partners have already jumped ship, including its crisis leadership team. The firm has already laid off 433 people in just its New York office. And many of Dewey's offices are now closed-out ghost towns.

No final decisions have been announced regarding when Dewey & LeBoeuf will officially stop its operations. However, this latest news regarding a possible bankruptcy filing may indicate that it could be soon.

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