Dewey & LeBoeuf’s bankruptcy estate wants to make good on promises it says were made to three employees from the once-thriving firm’s finance department who have stayed on to help wind down Dewey’s operations. In a filing made last week, Dewey’s chief restructuring officer Joff Mitchell argues that director of finance Frank Canellas, director of billing Lourdes Rodriguez, and collections manager Lisa Sucoff all deserve bonuses to be drawn from the Chapter 11 estate’s coffers. Mitchell says in court papers that the three, as well as other nonattorney staff, routinely received bonuses when the firm was alive—often in amounts that were more than half of what each earned in annual base salary. The latest proposed bonuses—$165,000 to Canellas, $50,000 to Rodriguez, and $5,000 to Sucoff—represent “the balance of certain bonuses promised during the prepetition period.” If U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, who is overseeing the Dewey case, does not sign off on the payments, “it is expected that the Eligible Wind-Down Employees will find new employment or pursue other opportunities, leaving the Debtor without essential services during this and other important periods in the case.” Without the three employees on the team, Mitchell himself “will have great difficulty in performing his job,” according to one of several filings related to the bonuses.
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