Dewey & LeBoeuf overhauls management team amid more defections

The firm has lost more than 30 partners this year, including 12 from its insurance group

Desperate times have led to desperate measures at beleaguered Dewey & LeBoeuf. The New York-based law firm is making major management changes following several months of reported financial trouble and partner defections.

As part of the overhaul, chairman Steven Davis will relocate to London and share power with Jeffrey Kessler, head of litigation; Richard Shutran, head of the firm’s corporate department; Charles Landgraf, head of the Washington D.C. office; and Martin Bienenstock, chair of the business solutions and governance department.

The firm has lost 37 of its 300 partners since January, reportedly owing to compensation disputes. This month saw the exodus of 12 partners from the insurance group, a mainstay within the firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Still, Dewey management remains optimistic. In an interview with Bloomberg, Richard Shutran described the leadership changes as “responding to a general sentiment that we should be more involved in the executive management of the firm.”

He also dismissed concerns about the loss of the insurance group, saying “we’re confident that the group’s departure has no impact on our firm’s profitability. That group was break-even at best.”

The firm’s revenues for the first two months of 2012 were up 28 percent over the same period last year, according to an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Read more about the story at The Wall Street Journal.

Alanna Byrne

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