“Take my firm, but leave the art”: Bankrupt Law Firm Tries to Retain Artwork

Posted on June 27, 2012


As law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP close down offices from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi, it is abandoning the property within — save for the artwork.

The firm’s restructuring officer explained:

With the exception of a sublease in the Debtor’s former New York City offices (currently being utilized for wind down purposes), the Debtor no longer has a continuing use for the Leases associated with those offices. Additionally, except for certain Artwork in its Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California offices, the Debtor no longer requires the Non-Essential Owned Property contained in its Closed Offices.

AbovetheLaw has reported, “Dewey is quietly removing the art from the walls. Perhaps it belongs to the creditors?”

My instinct is that any artwork in one of the 14 US offices would belong to the firm and, thus, creditors in the event of bankruptcy. However, some firms do not keep a strict record of art is has obtained via less conventional measures such as client gifts. As such, it would be near impossible to track down as property of the firm once it has left the building.

Although, maybe they are just aficionados. “Take my firm, but leave the art.”

Source: Dewey Docket: Dump the Leases, Keep the Art.

Posted in: Art Law