June 5, 2012 / 3:58 AM / 7 years ago

Dewey creditors' committee taps law firm Brown Rudnick

A man moves boxes out of the offices of Dewey & LeBoeuf in New York May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The law firm Brown Rudnick has been tapped to represent the committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of legal giant Dewey & LeBoeuf - a bankruptcy that is expected to be contentious and could drag on for years.

Dewey, which was once one of the largest law firms in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection on May 28 after the vast majority of its partners defected to rivals amid concerns about its heavy debt load and ability to compensate its lawyers.

Edward Weisfelner, who heads the bankruptcy and corporate restructuring practice at Brown Rudnick, confirmed his firm’s role in Dewey’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Lawyers representing various interests have begun to position themselves for a role.

On Monday, the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman notified the bankruptcy court in New York that it is proposing to represent the official committee of former Dewey partners.

Mark Zauderer, a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer who says his firm represents more than 60 former Dewey partners, is also seeking a seat at the table. Zauderer said he is concerned about clawback lawsuits initiated by the Dewey estate.

“Any misrepresentations or other wrongdoing by the management of the firm will have to be taken into account,” he said in an email to Reuters. “We are not going to sit back and be told that we have to pay the firm money.”

The case is In re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-12321.

Reporting by Andrew Longstreth; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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