Janis Meyer, the longtime general counsel at Dewey & LeBoeuf who helped the firm wind down its affairs in bankruptcy, is joining Hinshaw & Culbertson as a partner advising firms and lawyers on professional responsibility, ethics and risk management.
For about nine years, Meyer was general counsel at Dewey and predecessor firm Dewey Ballantine. She subsequently served with former partner Stephen Horvath overseeing Dewey’s 2012 bankruptcy filing and its wind-down.
Most partners quickly jumped to other firms when Dewey collapsed. But Meyer said there was still work in making sure Dewey closed down properly, such as taking care of legal records, escrow accounts and insurance claims. In recent years, Meyer has taught legal ethics as an adjunct professor at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
While she plans to continue as an occasional consultant to Dewey’s liquidation trust, “I’m at the point where I can really move on to something else,” she said. “For better or worse, over the last 10 years, I’ve learned about law firms. I’m hoping that will translate to my ability to be of service to clients.”
Meyer declined to answer questions about the criminal charges pending against Dewey’s top leaders and the firm’s collapse into bankruptcy. But speaking generally, she said, “I think the whole thing was sad and it’s unfortunate, and to this day, I feel that way. It was not an easy time to go through.”
She added, “A lot of things we did at Dewey were good, and we had a lot of good procedures,” such as training and conflict check programs.
Meyer said she was attracted to Hinshaw for its reputation in representing firms, and she has known Hinshaw partner Anthony Davis for several years. “I’m very excited to be going back to the practice of law,” she said.