Dewey U.K. May Be Liquidated as German Arm Placed in Insolvency

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s U.K. administrators proposed liquidating the defunct law firm’s British assets last week a day after the German operations were put in insolvency proceedings by a Frankfurt court.

The U.K. partnership, which includes the London and Paris offices, should be moved into liquidation, administrators at BDO LLP said in a July 27 regulatory filing. White & Case LLP attorney Andreas Kleinschmidt was appointed preliminary administrator July 26 in Germany, according to the country’s online insolvency registry.

Dewey’s U.S. partnership failed on May 28 after suffering a loss of dozens of partners. It had drawn $75 million of a $100 million bank credit line when the loan came due on April 16, according to people familiar with its finances. It is the biggest law firm to file for bankruptcy, based on the number of lawyers.

Kleinschmidt said he couldn’t comment on the German case as he had only recently been appointed to the role. Kate Moffat, a spokeswoman for BDO, declined to comment.

The BDO proposal filed at the U.K.’s Companies House said U.K. unsecured creditors are owed 5.2 million pounds ($8.1 million). The amount includes a claim for around 3.8 million pounds by HM Revenue & Customs for unpaid payroll and “other taxes,” the administrators said.

“There will be insufficient assets to enable us to make any distribution to unsecured creditors,” the administrators said in the documents.

The firm, formed by combining Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae LLP in 2007, had more than 1,300 attorneys in 12 countries. New York-based Dewey listed debt of $245 million and assets of $193 million in its Chapter 11 filing.

The German insolvency case is AG Frankfurt, 810 EI 2/12 D.

To contact the reporters on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net; Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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