Dissecting Dewey’s money management

Facing a costly liquidation, the floundering firm seeks approval for a bonus plan to keep employees on board

There’s not much reason to keep working at a law firm that has declared bankruptcy, especially one whose downfall has been as spectacularly drawn-out as Dewey & LeBoeuf’s. But where no career incentive exists, the firm is hoping cold hard cash will convince employees to see this thing out.

The firm’s executive partner Stephen Horvath, who is overseeing the firm’s liquidation, has been paid $190,000 since it declared bankruptcy in May, and Dewey is looking to get approval to pay its other remaining employees up to $450,000 in performance-based bonuses. On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said he was “inclined to grant approval,” but asked for more details on the plan before he made his decision. Specifically, he wants to see a list of the employees’ salaries and what bonuses they would be entitled to, in order to put them in context.

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