Business of Law

Top M&A Partner Exits Dewey & LeBoeuf for White & Case as Tally of 2012 Departed Partners Nears 100

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Updated: As additional partners announce their departures from Dewey & LeBoeuf, the total of those leaving the approximately 1,000-attorney and 300-partner firm in 2012 is moving toward 100.

Among the latest to announce a planned exit is mergers and acquisitions ace Morton A. Pierce, a former chairman of Dewey Ballantine before it merged with LeBoeuf Lamb Green & MacRae in 2007, and a vice chairman of the melded firm. He says he will be joining White & Case, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). The New York Times’ DealBook blog also has a story.

Relying on an internal White & Case memorandum, the Wall Street Journal reports that up to seven Dewey partners are expected to join White & Case with Pierce. A White & Case spokeswoman told Reuters that seven other Dewey corporate and M&A partners from New York would be joining Pierce at the firm.

The American Lawyer says Pierce is making the move to White & Case immediately.

In an interview with American Lawyer he said that he left, after 26 great years at Dewey, on what he described as a “very sad day” for him, because of “what’s happening at the firm that you can read about in the papers and the blogs daily.” Under the circumstances, “everyone is looking for stability in their lives,” Pierce added.

Dewey declined to comment to Reuters. An unnamed source told the Wall Street Journal that Pierce received a guaranteed six-year compensation package of $6 million annually when he joined Dewey & LeBoeuf; Pierce declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal on his compensation arrangements.

Meanwhile, the head of the London office, Peter Sharp, is one of the three litigation partners that Morgan Lewis & Bockius announced Thursday it is acquiring from Dewey’s outpost there.

And another Reuters article reports that Ira White, who co-chaired Dewey’s private equity practice, has left for the New York office of Jones Day.

The article also lists other partners who have left Dewey’s office in London this week.

Related coverage: “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”

Last updated at 2:22 p.m. to include a White & Case spokeswoman’s comment to Reuters.

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