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Dewey Law Firm Adds Four Partners to Chairman’s Office

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, the New York-based law firm that lost its insurance group to other firms this month, is creating a new chairman’s office with five co-equal members, including the heads of its most profitable groups, according to a letter to the partners obtained by Bloomberg News.

The new members include the heads of its bankruptcy, corporate, litigation and public policy practice groups, according to the letter, which also provides current revenue data. Current Chairman Steven Davis, who will relocate to London, will be joined in the chairman’s office by Martin Bienenstock, who runs the firm’s restructuring group; Rich Shutran, head of the corporate department; Jeffrey Kessler, head of litigation; and Charles Landgraf, who runs the Washington office and the legislative and public policy group, according to the letter.

The new management team is being set up after “internal requests for more hands-on management,” Shutran said in a phone interview yesterday. Once voted in, the new structure will also send a message to clients that the heads of the most profitable practices are committed to the firm’s future, he said.

“We’re responding to a general sentiment that we should be more involved in the executive management of the firm,” he said.

“On insurance, we’re confident that the group’s departure has no impact on our firm’s profitability,” Shutran said. “That group was break-even at best.”

Dewey earned about $250 million last year, Shutran said.

Revenue for the first two months of this year rose 28 percent from a year earlier, and so called billable value increased 13 percent, according to the letter. Revenue for the 12 months through Feb. 29 grew 6 percent with an increase in billable value of 9.7 percent, according to the letter.

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