There was an extraordinary twist in Dewey & LeBoeuf's race towards oblivion when a senior partner fleeing the wreckage paused briefly to claim an astonishing $61m from the firm in his resignation letter.

The departure of M&A megastar Mort Pierce has long been expected. A legend within his field, former firm vice-chairman Pierce was most notable for his proud boast of regularly billing 3,000+ hours a year. That's about 9 hours M&A per day, 365 days a year, due diligence fans. And, as befits a star in the Dewey firmament, he was on a massive retainer, estimated at about $6m per year. But Mort wants more and, when it came to handing in his resignation, he attached a bill for $61m that he reckons the firm owes him.

Given that today will be the last day for many of the firm's support staff in the US, and the firm has warned remaining employees of pending dissolution, here's wishing Mort lots of luck in getting his $61 million.
    Spot the difference: Mort Pierce and a pair of massive brass balls

Mort is off, along with several of his former cabal, to White & Case and, as widely reported, other partners have been fleeing the firm for months. In London, some staff have been taken on by other firms, but the trainees left behind are now scrabbling around for jobs. Six have managed to find berths elsewhere, leaving 14 behind (plus two cohorts still at law school who have suddenly been left dangling).

Earlier this week Legal Week revealed that employees have been told that there is no "definitive assurance" that they'll get their salaries after 31st May. Mort probably didn't hear that though.
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Anonymous 11 May 12 14:24

It's weird, malnurished gunners like this that drive up the targets we have. More than 1,700/1,800 is not do-able if you're actually doing work where you have to think once in a while. But than again, M&A work doesn't require that skill, so keep writing those hours in blocks of 1 hr, Mort.

Anonymous 11 May 12 14:42

Wonder whether his intention is to offset this against monies he may be asked to repay in the future? Any thoughts?

Roll On Friday 11 May 12 23:17

Its immoral that a guy earning millions would try to get more cash from a failed firm which cannot continue to pay its staff. Its a shame that Mort appears to have become so obsessed by getting yet more bunga.