A pair of committees pressing claims against the bankrupt Dewey & LeBoeuf‘s estate have selected Brown Rudnick and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman for representation as the largest Chapter 11 case in U.S. history involving a law firm proceeds.
Edward Weisfelner, chair of Brown Rudnick’s bankruptcy and finance department, confirmed in an e-mail to The Am Law Daily that his firm has been selected to represent Dewey’s unsecured creditors committee and that Kasowitz will represent a committee of former Dewey partners. Kasowitz bankruptcy head David Friedman is taking the lead on that assignment, fellow Kasowitz bankruptcy partner David Rosner confirmed in an e-mail.
The Am Law Daily detailed the composition of those two committees in a story last Thursday, the day that the U.S. trustee’s office appointed the panels’ members. The creditors committee includes staffing agency HireCounsel, car service Inta Boro Acres Inc., and equipment lessor Winthrop Capital. Representing former Dewey partners are David Bicks, Cameron MacRae, John Kinzey, and John Campo, all of whose ties to the firm go back to predecessor firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
Dewey—the twenty-eighth-highest-grossing law firm in the United States last year, according to Am Law 100 data published by The American Lawyer in its May issue—ended weeks of speculation about how its rapid collapse would officially play out by filing for Chapter 11 protection on May 28. The firm has acknowledged outstanding debts totaling at least $325 million, including approximately $225 owed to a syndicate of secured creditors. JPMorgan Chase is acting as collateral agent to that group, which is mostly made up of hedge funds.
In landing their respective assignments, Brown Rudnick and Kasowitz join several other firms that have already taken roles in the Dewey bankruptcy. Albert Togut of bankruptcy boutique Togut, Segal & Segal is representing the firm’s estate. Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel partner Kenneth Eckstein is working for JPMorgan. Mark Zauderer, a name partner at New York’s Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer, Tracy Klestadt, a name partner at New York boutique Klestadt & Winters, and Dorsey & Whitney are lining up to represent groups of former partners and retirees. And Kathryn Coleman, a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, submitted papers Friday to the court showing that she is representing Dewey’s former executive director Stephen DiCarmine in connection with the bankruptcy.