NEW YORK, July 27 (Reuters) - In the two months before Dewey
& LeBoeuf filed for Chapter 11, the firm paid out more than $7
million to bankruptcy lawyers and management consulting firms,
according to documents filed in Manhattan ba n kruptcy court on
The highest bill Dewey paid, for $1.6 million, was submitted
by law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel for work performed
between February and May. Dewey also paid $1.4 million to its
lead bankruptcy counsel, Togut, Segal & Segal, for work
performed in April and May and $600,000 in May to Zolfo Cooper,
the restructuring firm that has taken the lead in drafting
Dewey's bankruptcy plans. FTI Consulting, Inc, a consulting firm
specializing in restructuring and mergers and acquisitions,
received more than $1 million in May.
The sums are relatively high compared to those paid by
Howrey, the last big law firm to declare bankruptcy. In the five
months before it declared insolvency in July 2011, Howrey spent
$500,000 on bankruptcy lawyers, according to court documents.
The firm was also smaller than Dewey: before it filed for
Chapter 11, Howrey employed more than 500 lawyers and reported
revenues of approximately $420 million, according to bankruptcy
documents and published reports. In comparison, Dewey at its
height had more than 1,000 lawyers and revenues of about $782
Dewey's sizable legal and consulting bills could be
attributed in part to the firm's last-minute scramble to save
itself through either a prepackaged bankruptcy or a merger with
another firm, said Ed Reeser, a consultant to law firms.
The new filings also provide fresh details about other law
firms with whom Dewey may have discussed a merger or other
transactions prior to its collapse. Swapping copies of financial
statements under confidentiality agreements is typical in
considering a merger.
Before filing for Chapter 11 in May, Dewey disclosed its
financial statements to Baker & McKenzie, Greenberg Traurig,
Patton Boggs, Reed Smith and SNR Denton, according to the new
bankruptcy documents. While there had been previous reports that
Dewey held merger discussions with Greenberg Traurig, SNR Denton
and Patton Boggs, it had not been disclosed that the firm met
with Baker & McKenzie and Reed Smith.
Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry declined to
comment on any merger talks it may have had with Dewey.
Michael Pollack, Reed Smith's global head of strategy, said the
firm received Dewey's financials but denied the firms had been
in merger discussions. Representatives for the other firms
either did not respond to requests for comment or declined
For 2010, Dewey's revenues are listed in the 355-page
document as $628.4 million, and in 2011, $655 million. Those
figures did not include revenues from some foreign offices,
making it difficult to compare them to other published reports
of Dewey's gross revenues for those years.
A spokeswoman for Zolfo Cooper, the lead restructuring firm
on Dewey's bankruptcy, declined to comment. Janis Meyer, Dewey's
general counsel, and Stephen Horvath, Dewey's executive partner,
and spokesmen for Kramer Levin and Togut Segal did not respond
to requests for comment.
(Reporting By Casey Sullivan and Nate Raymond)
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