| NEW YORK, March 4
NEW YORK, March 4 Beleaguered Washington D.C.
law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs is working with restructuring
lawyers as it deals with waning revenue and continues to discuss
a merger with a larger law firm, according to people familiar
with the matter.
Al Togut, the bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer who
advised the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf before its collapse in
2012, and through its subsequent Chapter 11, has been consulted
by the 400-lawyer Patton Boggs, said two of the sources who
declined to be named because the matter is not public.
One of the sources said Togut has been formally retained.
Togut could not be reached for comment.
Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry did not
confirm or deny the hiring of Togut. He said in an email that
Reuters was "barking up the wrong tree" by asking about the
"The suggestion that bankruptcy is an issue is so far from
the mark as to be laughable," he said without giving any further
The hiring of Togut does not necessarily mean Patton Boggs
is planning a bankruptcy filing. For example, the firm could be
looking for additional legal help on restructuring the firm's
business, the sources said.
"If the partners stay, the firm will survive," one of the
sources said. "If the partners go, there will be a bankruptcy.
It's all up to them."
Togut's engagement is the latest development highlighting
the precarious financial situation at Patton Boggs. Over the
past year the firm has conducted layoffs of at least 110 lawyers
and staff, asking under-producing partners to leave and
revamping its compensation system.
In 2012 and 2013, the firm saw its revenue slide after major
cases settled, including the defense of New York City amid
claims arising from contractors who suffered while responding to
the Sept. 11 attacks.
In January, the firm reported to partners that 2013 revenue
was $278 million, a 12 percent drop from the previous year,
according to an analysis of figures in an internal memo obtained
A Patton Boggs spokesman on Tuesday confirmed a report in
the Wall Street Journal that it had hired financial advisers,
including restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper.
On Feb. 26, the 1,300-lawyer, global law firm Squire Sanders
announced that it was in merger talks with Patton Boggs
following a Reuters inquiry about the possible deal. Two months
earlier, merger talks between Patton Boggs and the larger Texas
firm Locke Lord were called off after starting in October.
(Reporting By Casey Sullivan, Nick Brown and Tom Hals; Editing
by Ted Botha and Miral Fahmy)