Former Dewey partners may be liable for $45m in rent

October 20, 2012 The former partners of defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf may be personally liable for $45 million from the lease on the firm's New York headquarters.

The lease was signed in 1989, in a period when law firms were structured as general partnerships, rather than limited liability partnerships. And though Dewey’s corporate structure has changed since then, there remains a clause in the office lease stating that "each of Dewey's partners is jointly and severally liable to 1301 Properties for Dewey's non-payment of its obligations".

When the lease was terminated in May the firm was already a month behind in rent payments ($1.6 million), and now the owner of the building is claiming that it is owed $45.45 million on the lease, which was set to expire in 2020.


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