The Bankrupt Legal Giant Dewey Is Probing Massive Pay Packages It Handed Star Lawyers

Dewey & LeBoeuf
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The global law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy late Monday, blaming the economy and pay packages to its star lawyers.Those packages are subject to “continuing investigation,” according to a bankruptcy filing.

The Chapter 11 filing in New York came after the departure of at least 160 of the firm’s 300 partners and the news that  ex-Chairman Steven Davis was being probed by New York prosecutors.

As partner after partner fled the crumbling firm, legal experts speculated about the causes of the firm’s demise.

In the Monday bankruptcy filing, the firm’s chief restructuring officer Jonathan Mitchell blamed the collapse on the economy and pay packages awarded to so-called rainmakers who could bring in big clients for Dewey.

“The concept was that these ‘rainmakers’ would expand the client base,” the filing stated. “The full extent of the partner compensation agreements is subject to continuing investigation.”

Mitchell also hinted that the firm might sue its former partners, listing “causes of action against partners” among the firm’s assets.

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