Duane Morris LLP
222 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1600
Wilmington, DE 19801-1659
Phone:+1 302 657 4900
Fax:+1 302 657 4901
Established in 1985, the Wilmington, Delaware, office is an integral part of the firm's national and international practice and is fully equipped to meet the needs of our clients in all significant areas of the law. According to the Insider's Guide to Law Firms, "Duane Morris has evolved over the years, from . . . a regional powerhouse . . . to an emerging 'national player' today." Our Delaware attorneys are established trial and transactional attorneys experienced in handling matters in the three key areas for which Delaware is nationally and internationally renowned:
- Delaware corporate law and governance issues and corporate litigation matters in Delaware's Court of Chancery
- Intellectual property disputes in Delaware's United States District Court
- Bankruptcy/financial reorganizations in Delaware's United States Bankruptcy Court
The attorneys in our Delaware office also represent clients in connection with many different types of complex litigation matters, including federal and state securities claims, civil RICO, breach of contract, covenants-not-to-compete, deceptive trade practice claims and consumer class actions.
In addition, the Delaware office handles incorporations, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and banking and insurance transactional and regulatory matters; issues formal opinions on Delaware law for both domestic and international transactions; advises arbitrageurs on pending Delaware lawsuits; provides government relations and lobbying services; offers guidance on labor and employment matters; provides public finance services, commercial real estate guidance; and handles administrative hearings, as well as a wide variety of transactional matters. With firmwide practice group integration and leading-edge technology, our attorneys have the ability to call upon colleagues in any of our offices in connection with matters being handled by our Delaware office, enabling us to combine necessary resources to address the special requirements of a particular case or transaction.
The Delaware office also has a significant "local Delaware counsel" practice and is often called upon by other law firms, large and small, from all across the country and around the world to serve as local or special counsel for Delaware actions. In fact, the Delaware office works regularly with many of the largest national and international firms on cases pending in all of Delaware's courts, and is frequently called upon for opinions on Delaware law issues for transactions handled by those firms in other jurisdictions.
Delaware's Unique Place in the Legal Arena
The depth and experience garnered by Duane Morris' Wilmington-based attorneys, as well as the office's working relationships with other law firms, stems from Delaware's unique position in the legal arena. Delaware has long been known as a center for corporate and commercial law and has been referred to as the "Corporate Capital of the World" because it is the state of incorporation for the majority of the Fortune 500 and most companies whose securities trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq and other exchanges.
The state's preeminence in business law has developed primarily through the work of the Delaware Court of Chancery – nationally, the forum of choice for resolving corporate disputes. The state's reputation has been enhanced in recent years by a series of business law innovations that have led to the creation of many new business entities designed to meet the needs of corporate America.
Today, the Delaware Court of Chancery issues nationally significant corporate law decisions concerning challenges to actions by boards of directors and claims of breach of fiduciary duty. The Court of Chancery handles merger and acquisition litigation and all other aspects of corporate governance and compliance with the Delaware General Corporation Law, as well as issues of individual director and officer liability.
As a consequence of the volume of incorporations in Delaware and the ability to obtain jurisdiction based on the state of incorporation, Delaware's Superior Court and the federal court in Delaware have also become popular for multiparty commercial disputes. A 2002 assessment conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce of the court systems in all 50 states ranked Delaware No.1, noting the Delaware courts' fairness and reasonableness, competency and impartiality of the judiciary and timeliness in resolving disputes.
With regard to intellectual property litigation, in the last ten years some of the most significant patent and trademark decisions and jury verdicts have come from Delaware's federal court. The National Law Journal has referred to the District Court in Delaware as the "preeminent patent court in the United States."
Delaware has also emerged in the last decade as a preferred forum for national bankruptcy filings and litigation. The United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware now handles the vast majority of the largest chapter 11 reorganizations and other bankruptcy filings in the United States.
Beyond being the presumptive favorite for incorporation and the forum of choice for corporate litigation, over the past 20 years Delaware has also developed into one of the most significant banking centers in the United States, and is home to some of the nation's most dynamic and diversified financial services providers, including the country's most successful credit card banks.
Range of Services
The firm's practice in Delaware focuses on:
- Corporate Law and Governance Litigation
- Securities Litigation
- Partnership Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Class Action Litigation
- Bankruptcy Law and Litigation
- Corporate Transactions, Incorporations and General Business Matters
- Formal Opinions on Delaware Law
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Civil RICO Litigation
- Antitrust Litigation
- Financial Services Regulation and Litigation
- Insurance Law and Regulation
- Securities Law and Regulation
- Advice to Arbitrageurs on Pending Litigation
- Delaware Regulatory and Administrative Proceedings
- Hospitality Litigation
- Environmental Matters
- Commercial Real Estate Development Transactions
- Health Law
- Legislative Drafting and Lobbying
- State and Federal Work Place Regulation
- Labor and Employment Litigation
- Constitutional Law and Litigation
- White-Collar Criminal Defense
- Internal Corporate Investigations