Law Firms

4-Lawyer M&A Team Exits Dewey for DLA Piper; Leader Will Co-Chair US Finance Practice There

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Updated: A four-lawyer mergers and acquisitions team is exiting Dewey & LeBoeuf for megafirm DLA Piper, bringing to 40 the number of partners known to have left Dewey since the beginning of 2012.

The team, which practiced in Dewey’s office in New York, joined DLA Piper on Tuesday and is headed by John J. Altorelli. He will serve as a member of his new firm’s executive committee and co-chair its United States finance practice, Reuters reports.

Altorelli and another member of the group, Alexander G. Fraser, were partners at Dewey; the other two were counsel, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports. All four will be partners at DLA Piper.

Their now-former firm declined to comment when contacted by the Wall Street Journal.

Dewey, which had roughly 300 partners and 1,000 lawyers at the end of 2011, reportedly has a significant debt load and has deferred compensation to some long-term partners. Earlier this month, the firm reorganized its top management. However, it has also seen revenue for the first two months of 2012 rise 28 percent from a year earlier, according to an internal letter to partners. Reuters says that the National Law Journal reports that the firm’s loss of 40 partners represents a 13 percent decrease in the firm’s partner ranks.

The DealBook page of the New York Times also has a story and includes a copy of DLA Piper’s press release.

Earlier coverage: “6 More Dewey & LeBoeuf Partners Plan to Exit, Including Insurance Practice Leaders” “Another Dewey Leader to Depart, Says Desire to Leave BigLaw, Not Firm Finances, Prompted His Exit”

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: “Another Dewey Departure: Antitrust Partner O’Kelly Moves to Arent Fox” “Dewey Creates Chairman’s Office with Five Members; Leaked Letter Cites Revenue Jump”

Legal Rebels: “Dewey or Don’t We: Abnormal or New Normal?”

Updated at 2:15 p.m. to include Law Blog coverage.

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