By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Dewey & LeBoeuf sought court
approval Wednesday of a settlement with former partners that
will return more than $70 million to the fallen law firm's
In papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan,
the Dewey estate said it could expect to recover $71 million
from more than 400 partners as part of the settlement.
Dewey said it ultimately had sought to claw back $89 million
of the $432 million it paid 670 partners from 2011 to 2012. The
figure is slightly less than the last figure the firm had been
reported as seeking, $90.4 million.
The firm simultaneously sought to head off an attempt by a
group of retired partners to convince U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Martin Glenn to appoint an independent trustee or examiner, a
move that would pose a new hurdle to the settlement, which now
has been accepted by a majority of the partners.
The estate called those former partners "dissidents" and
said their request was "proof that their goal is destruction of
a landmark agreement."
Representatives for secured and unsecured creditors joined
in that cause, signaling their support for the settlement.
A spokeswoman for Joff Mitchell, the chief restructuring
officer for Dewey and a senior managing director at Zolfo
Cooper, declined comment.
Annette Jarvis, a lawyer for the retirees at Dorsey &
Whitney, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Once one of the largest law firms in the United States,
Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy in May following months of
partner defections amid concerns over compensation and firm
If approved, the settlement could avoid years of litigation
between Dewey's estate and its former partners, a fate that has
become all too normal in other law firm bankruptcies.
The case is In re Dewey & LeBoeuf, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 12-12321.
For Dewey: Al Togut and Lara Sheikh of Togut Segal & Segal.
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