Law Firms

Dewey & LeBoeuf Is Born

Posted Aug 28, 2007 6:23 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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It’s official: Dewey & LeBoeuf is the new mega law firm created through the merger of two New York powerhouses.

The firms Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae announced the merger yesterday, confirming early reports of the pending deal. The new firm will have 1,300 lawyers and revenues approaching $1 billion, the New York Times reports.

LeBoeuf’s chairman Steven H. Davis will head the new firm when the agreement becomes effective Oct. 1.

Davis told the Wall Street Journal that the deal will allow the firms to accelerate their international expansion. "We're seeing world-class companies coming out of emerging markets," Davis said. "You can't handle matters for companies like these being small. You have to be bigger, and I don't see how you can reasonably expect to service them without being out where they are."

In an interview with the New York Law Journal, Davis said the merger will also help attract talent. "We'll have a larger revenue pool and a larger income pool," he said. "To the extent you need resources to attract top people, it'll be easier."

Both law firms had taken prior steps to become more competitive before the merger announcement. A restructuring at LeBoeuf led to partner departures but increased profitability, while Dewey pursued a different merger with San Francisco's Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. That merger did not take place due to disagreements over the management structure of a new firm.

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