Dewey & LeBoeuf plans to sublease executive floor

If it does so, the floundering firm could recoup a couple million dollars per year

Sometimes every little bit helps. Struggling New York law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf is reportedly planning to sublease the executive floor of its Manhattan headquarters in an effort to mitigate its mountain of debt.

News broke yesterday that Dewey, which has seen an exodus of partners since the start of the year as if the building were on fire, plans to sublease the 43rd floor of its 1301 6th Ave. office. The executive floor, which spans about 43,000 square feet, offers views of Central Park.

The law firm currently occupies more than 10 floors of the building, which amounts to 470,000 square feet, the largest block of space in the 1.8-million-square-foot office building.

Dewey supposedly is asking $50 per square foot, according to reports. If a tenant were to lease that entire space, the firm would stand to recoup about $2 million per year.

Dewey’s lease is set to expire in 2020.

Last week, speculation ran rampant when reports surfaced that Dewey had hired prominent bankruptcy attorney Albert Togut. Togut, who has represented numerous large companies including General Motors, Chrysler Automotive and Ambac Financial in Chapter 11 bankruptcies, was said to be working with Martin Bienenstock, a bankruptcy attorney  and member of Dewey’s new five-person management team.

One of the partners who had recently defected from Dewey speculated that the firm could be preparing for a “prepackaged bankruptcy” that could involve merging with another law firm. In this scenario, Dewey would negotiate with creditors and prepare for a merger prior to a bankruptcy filing, which would enable Dewey to reorganize and quickly emerge from bankruptcy.

For more on Dewey’s leasing efforts, read the Wall Street Journal.

And for more InsideCounsel coverage on Dewey’s recent troubles, read:

Dewey & LeBoeuf hires bankruptcy counsel

12 Dewey & LeBoeuf partners defect to Willkie Farr

Dewey & LeBoeuf overhauls management team amid more defections

Dewey & LeBoeuf loses 4 more lawyers

Contributing Author

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