Law Firms

Did lease make 450 Dewey partners personally liable for default? Suit seeks unpaid rent

A suit filed against 450 former partners of the defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf claims a clause in the Manhattan office lease makes them personally liable for default.

The landlord’s suit (PDF) filed on Thursday cites a 1989 lease with Dewey predecessor firm Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood, the Am Law Daily reports. It took 10 pages of the 17-page complaint to list all the partners’ names.

The suit says the partners are liable for amounts that are past due, and that will become due. How much is that? The suit says the unpaid rent amounted to $1.6 million in April 2012, before Dewey collapsed and the lease was terminated. The Am Law Daily notes another figure, made in court filings last year. The landlord contended at that time that it s owed $45.45 million on the lease, which is set to expire in 2020.

The landlord, 1301 Properties Owner, has found a new tenant, however, and that will decrease the partners’ liability, the story says. Chadbourne & Parke will take over the space after it is rehabbed.

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