If the judge overseeing the Dewey & LeBoeuf bankruptcy approves a proposed settlement under which former partners would return a total of $71.5 million to the defunct firm’s estate, the lawyers who have agreed to participate in the deal know it will be virtually impossible for them to later claim Dewey owes them any money. If, on the other hand, the settlement proposal fails to win the judge’s consent, court filings show that those partners are ready to join the rest of the firm’s unsecured creditors in pressing the Dewey estate to pay them what they believe they are owed.
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