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April 23, 2012 1:43 PM

D.C. Dewey Partner Heads to Allen & Overy

Posted by Sara Randazzo

The number of partners to depart Dewey & LeBoeuf so far this year has officially hit 70.

The latest defector is Washington, D.C.–based project finance partner Gregory Smith, who is now with Allen & Overy.

Smith represents clients in the development, financing, and privatization of infrastructure projects, particularly in emerging markets, according to a cached version of his Dewey Web site bio. A 1993 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, he is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, the bio states.

Smith and Allen & Overy U.S. managing partner Kevin O'Shea did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday. A Dewey spokesman had no comment on Smith's departure.

Smith appears to be the first Dewey partner this year to head to Allen & Overy, which has offices in 27 countries, including U.S. offices in New York and D.C. The Magic Circle firm launched in D.C. last June with the addition of three O'Melveny & Myers attorneys. At the time, O'Shea told sibling publication The National Law Journal that he envisioned the office giving Allen & Overy U.S. expertise in intellectual property, Federal Communications Commission enforcement and litigation, antitrust, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act work.

News of Smith's departure comes on the heels of a week that saw Dewey lose at least 14 partners, including a five-partner energy and infrastructure team to Hunton & Williams in New York; a pair of corporate partners to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in New York; four partners to Dechert in London and Dubai; and individual partners to Cozen O'Connor, Dorsey & Whitney, and O'Melveny & Myers.

At least six of the 70 partners to leave Dewey so far this year were based in D.C., including the former head of the office, Abraham Shashy, who went to King & Spalding in early February. The office is now run by Charles Landgraf, a member of Dewey's new five-pronged office of the chairman.

With partner losses mounting and questions swirling about its finances, Dewey is weighing various options for its future, with the filing of a so-called prepackaged bankruptcy reportedly under consideration. Greenberg Traurig, meanwhile, has confirmed that it has held preliminary talks about taking on an unspecified number of Dewey lawyers.

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