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April 16, 2012 5:27 PM

Latest Dewey Losses Span the Globe, Push 2012 Departure Figure Above 60

Posted by Sara Randazzo

Monday brought news of another batch of departures from troubled Dewey & LeBoeuf, with the defectors scattered among Dubai, London, and Washington, D.C.

The latest losses come as the firm continues to talk with a group of lenders about renegotiating a $100 million line of credit. Jeffrey Kessler, a member of the firm's new five-person office of the chairman, told The Am Law Daily last month that while he would not comment generally about the firm's dealing with its lenders, "I will say we don't feel we have any problem with the banks. It's a routine renewal of a line of credit."

Neither Kessler nor Richard Shutran, another member of the office of the chairman, returned e-mail messages seeking comment Monday. Martin Bienenstock, a third member of the firm's new leadership team, declined to comment on specifics of the negotiations, except to say that Monday was not the deadline for completing those talks.

The latest partners to depart the firm include Michael Klein, an administrative law partner in Washington, D.C. Klein confirmed Monday that he has moved to Cozen O'Connor but declined to comment further. According to his Cozen firm bio, which lists him as a member (Cozen's term for partner), Klein's areas of expertise include wind-power plant projects and natural-gas leasing related to Marcellus Shale. He also represents utilities, municipalities, and corporations on eminent domain, finance and construction law, and other administrative law matters.

U.K. publication Legal Week, meanwhile, broke news of several Dewey partner departures abroad. The overseas defectors include a pair of London-based private equity specialists, Mark Davis and Russell Van Praagh; Legal Week reports that Davis and Van Praagh—who joined Dewey just last summer from Taylor Wessing to launch the firm's private equity group in London—are bound for McDermott Will & Emery

A McDermott representative said the firm could not comment at this time.

Legal Week also reports that a four-partner team led by capital markets attorney Camille Abousleiman has signaled its intent to leave for Dechert. Abousleiman, based in London, will be joined by fellow London capital markets partner Louise Roman Bernstein and Dubai corporate partners Gavin Watson and Chris Sioufi.

A U.S.-based spokeswoman said the firm, which does not currently have a Dubai office, declined to comment on the lateral hires. (Dechert recently expanded into another new location abroad, poaching Chadbourne & Parke's 11-attorney Almaty, Kazakhstan office in early April).

A Dewey spokesman said the firm had no comment on the latest departures. Dewey has lost at least 61 partners to rivals since the start of 2012. For a breakdown on which firms have added to their ranks amid the defections, see our report from earlier this month.

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