Dewey & LeBoeuf raises $125 million bond

April 20, 2010 US law firms generally have conservative borrowing habits, looking to major banks and partners’ contributions to raise capital. But Dewey & LeBoeuf has bucked the trend, raising $125 million in a bond to refinance existing bank debt.

US firms cannot, by law, be owned by non-lawyers, and are not permitted to sell shares. These rules are to protect the attorney-client relationship by ensuring that those running the law firms remain devoted to their clients. Until now, however, many of the alternative financing arrangements have been avoided by large law firms.

In 2011 law firms in England and Wales will, for the first time, be legally permitted to sell shares on an exchange and merge with companies. Australia already allows outside public investments in law firms.

Read more at www.businessweek.com.

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