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Dewey & LeBoeuf Gets Partner Approval

Posted Sep 26, 2007 11:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The deal is done.

Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae announced today that their merger won overwhelming approval from partners at the two law firms.

Dewey is dissolving and operating under LeBoeuf’s partnership structure, but lawyers at both firms told TheLawyer.com that the actions should not be construed as a Dewey takeover. Rather the change was compelled by New York law and tax considerations.

“You can’t merge partnerships under New York law,” explained London managing partner Fred Gander. “You have to either create a new one and dissolve the old ones or transfer one of the businesses. This is just efficient from a tax standpoint.”

Dewey gets top billing in the new firm name, though. It will be called Dewey & LeBoeuf beginning Monday, ABAJournal.com noted in an earlier post. The new firm will have 1,300 lawyers and revenues approaching $1 billion.

Legal Week reports that the merger had already won approval, but LeBoeuf partners were voting today on amendments to their firm’s constitution.

Apparently not all the partners are happy with the pending merger. Three recently left Dewey, the New York Law Journal reports in a story reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.). The latest to go is Ellen Friedman, who has worked at the firm for 17 years. She takes her expertise in energy and project finance to Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner.

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