Law Firms

433 New York Layoffs and Three Lawsuits in Dewey Saga

Tuesday was the last day for associates at the rapidly shrinking law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Associates learned in a termination letter last week that they would receive health benefits through the end of May and malpractice coverage through the end of the year, New York Law Journal reports. Their dismissal follows secretary and staff layoffs on May 11. According to a notice posted by the New York State Department of Labor, Dewey has laid off 433 employees in the New York area.

Nearly two-thirds of its partners are gone, the story says. On Tuesday, Schulte Roth & Zabel announced it was hiring a group of 11 equity and real estate lawyers from Dewey, including Joseph Smith, chair of Dewey’s private equity practice. Only Smith and Marshall Brozost are joining Schulte Roth as partners.

Dewey is now a defendant in three lawsuits stemming from its problems. One is by an employee claiming the firm failed to give the required layoff notice. A second claims the firm failed to pay its janitorial service. The third is a suit by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. asking a court to appoint it as the trustee of the firm’s pension plans.

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