American Lawyer to Revise Dewey’s FinancialsBY PETER LATTMAN
The American Lawyer magazine plans to revise the last two years of financial results for Dewey & LeBoeuf, the New York law firm struggling with a wave of partner departures.
On its Web site AmLaw Daily late on Tuesday, the magazine said it was making substantial adjustments to Dewey’s numbers in its annual Am Law 100 rankings, which are published in May. The American Lawyer is the chief trade publication for the nation’s largest corporate law firms.
The changes came after news reports about Dewey cited the firm’s management saying that earnings were $250 million last year, a number that was far less than the 2011 earnings number reported for the Am Law 100 database three weeks earlier
AmLaw Daily also said that while Dewey’s management told the magazine that the firm had collected $935 million in revenue in 2011, the actual revenue figure was about $782 million. Profit per partner was about $1 million, not $1.8 million as was initially reported, the magazine said.
Dewey issued a statement to the American Lawyer saying that it saw no need for the magazine to restate its numbers, which it defended as accurate. The firm said they were arrived at using a different methodology than the one used for the recently published numbers.
Here is Dewey’s statement in full:
We shared our methodology for arriving at the numbers we gave to American Lawyer prior to your publication of that data. Using that methodology, the numbers we gave you were accurate at that time and they remain accurate now. Having discussed our approach with you and answered your questions before publication, we assume that if AmLaw had a problem with, or took exception to, the use of that methodology — which was consistent with our presentation for prior years — you would have told us so. We also assume that if our approach was inconsistent with the methodology being used by other law firms, you would have told us that too.There is no reason or rationale now to change or restate our numbers, since as we said before, the numbers are accurate. The numbers in the Bloomberg were derived using a different methodology. If any change is contemplated, before that change is made we would want to understand upon what basis that change is being made, what methodology is being used to arrive at the new numbers, and whether American Lawyer has confirmed that every other law firm whose numbers it publishes, is using the same methodology.