Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP Files for Chapter 11 Protection; Seeks Orderly Wind-Down of Business
NEW YORK, May 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP today announced that in an effort to preserve assets and wind down its business in the most orderly and efficient way possible, it has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The filing was made in Manhattan this evening, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
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 & LeBoeuf expects the most significant portion of the process to be completed in the next few months. In the interim, the firm will be operating on a budget and according to a timetable to be determined by the Court.
The needs of all of the firm's law clients continue to be served, mainly by former Dewey & LeBoeuf law partners who have moved on to other firms in recent months.
"We are proud of the dedication and professionalism that has characterized Dewey & LeBoeuf over many years, and we intend to bring the same focus to the unfortunate task of closing out our affairs," said Stephen J. Horvath, Executive Partner.
The firm has petitioned the Court for permission to continue to pay salaries, benefits and Paid Time Off (PTO) in the ordinary course of business, for current employees, consistent with bankruptcy laws. We expect this permission to be granted within 48 hours following the filing. The firm will ask approximately 90 employees to remain on staff to assist in the wind-down.
Dewey & LeBoeuf continues to enlist the assistance of former partners and associates to help collect accounts receivable owed to the firm. It is in the interest of all parties to cooperate in the fullest possible recovery of such assets.
Dewey & LeBoeuf said that the 401(k) plans and qualified pension plans of its current and former employees and partners are held in trust and cannot be accessed by the firm's creditors.
Dewey & LeBoeuf has consolidated its operations and intends to sharply reduce the size of the office space it occupies at its headquarters, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. Other domestic and foreign offices have been or are in the process of being closed. The firm will work with its landlords to help lessors of telecommunications, computer equipment, and furniture to recover and remove their property in a timely manner.
To ensure the preservation of legal files and other critical records, Dewey & LeBoeuf, as authorized and instructed by the Court, will remain in regular contact with vendors who have custody of or help to manage such records.
Dewey & LeBoeuf has retained Joff Mitchell of Zolfo Cooper LLC as Chief Restructuring Officer and Albert Togut of Togut Segal & Segal LLP as bankruptcy counsel.
The London and Paris offices of Dewey & LeBoeuf are operated through a separately incorporated UK entity, which was placed into administration on Monday. Administration is a UK legal process under court supervision, broadly similar to Chapter 11. The UK partnership is following broadly the same approach as that of Dewey & LeBoeuf in the US. Mark Shaw and Shay Bannon, business restructuring partners of BDO LLP, were appointed Joint Administrators of the U.K. entity.
Those wishing to follow the Chapter 11 proceedings should visit this website, maintained by the firm's claims agent, Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC.
A toll-free information hotline has also been established at (855) 890-7275.
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