Dewey & LeBoeuf ousts former chairman, while merger negotiations fail

April 30, 2012 Troubled US law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has dumped former chairman Steven H. Davis, who is under criminal investigation for alleged financial improprieties.

Meanwhile, negotiations for a merger with Greenberg Traurig have ended without agreement. Dewey will be talking to other law firms about potential deals over the weekend, including SNR Denton and Patton Boggs.

The firm is in an increasingly difficult position: having lost nearly 80 of its 300 partners this year. The departures are generally attributed to the firm’s decision to cut pay in response to a poor financial performance in 2011.

The drastic reduction in the firm’s labour force has caused it to breach covenants on its loans, and Dewey has until Monday to renegotiate its lending agreements with its banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and HSBC.

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