Law Firms

Dewey's 'Phoenix Rising' Talks Reportedly Collapse as Partners Are Warned to Bill or Give Up Pay

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Dewey & LeBoeuf suitor SNR Denton is no longer pursuing a full-blown merger, according to a published report.

After nine days of discussions, merger talks between the two law firms collapsed on Wednesday, two sources tell the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). Discussions reportedly broke down after Dewey disclosed a preliminary criminal investigation of the firm and advised partners in a memo on Monday that they were free to look elsewhere for jobs.

SNR Denton lawyers had referred to the proposed deal as “A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes,” according to the story. The law firm is still talking to Dewey about acquiring specific lawyers and practice groups.

Meanwhile, Dewey has warned partners that they won’t receive their monthly draws today if they don’t mail their outstanding client bills and submit their billable hours, according to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Law360 (sub. req.) and Bloomberg. Partners earn a draw of about $25,000 a month at Dewey, the Law Blog says.

According to the Law Blog, several mailroom employees were recently laid off. Bloomberg says mail employees are employed by a contractor, and all employees for outsourced services are gone. At the New York headquarters, partners were “licking and pasting their own postage stamps, and asking secretaries to hustle to the post office,” the Law Blog says.

Five more partners have left Dewey, according to Reuters. Four are from the London office and the other is Ira White, co-chair of Dewey’s private equity practice.

Related coverage: “Top M&A Partner Exits Dewey & LeBoeuf for White & Case as Tally of 2012 Departed Partners Nears 100” “Dewey’s Jettisoned Summer Associates Ask Firms for Jobs They Rejected” “In Latest Memo, Dewey Encourages Its Partners to ‘Seek Out Alternative Opportunities’” “Lawyers Describe ‘Chaos’ at Dewey, Where Some Partners Had Pay Packages Worth $5M a Year”

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