Alumni Profiles

Daniel F. Lindley

Partner at Duane Morris from 1988-2000
Currently President, The Northern Trust Company of Delaware

Daniel LindleyQ: You recently were elected Vice Chair of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. How did you become involved in that organization?

A: The Blood Bank of Delmarva, Inc. supplies the blood and blood-product needs of hospitals throughout the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, the eastern shore of Maryland and the eastern shore of Virginia). It is a member organization in which each of its members is called upon from time to time to donate blood. In return, the donor and the donor's immediate family are "insured" against any blood replacement charges if they need blood from one of the Blood Bank's member hospitals.

I was invited to join the Blood Bank's board in 1988, and have risen over the years through the ranks of the Blood Bank's governance structure. I have been an at-large member of its Executive Board, Secretary, Chair of the Audit Committee and now Vice Chair. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve an organization that provides a critical component to the health care of this region's residents.

Q: You were an attorney at Duane Morris for 12 years. What prompted you to make a career change?

A: After years of serving in a limited role as Delaware counsel for countless transactions, I wanted to experience a more durable (or at least less episodic) relationship with clients. I was also curious about how all of our Delaware trust legislation was translating into practice. Put another way, I wanted to get into the trenches of fiduciary administration. And, like many of my colleagues who have made the switch, I wanted to measure my day in something other than six-minute increments.

Q: What is your fondest memory of practicing at Duane Morris?

A: Apart from wonderful memories of firmwide revelry at Buck Hill and Skytop, I vividly recall Dave Sykes putting me on the panel for the annual bankruptcy seminar in Philadelphia. Despite my trepidation at the prospect of facing some 300 or more knowledgeable guests, I learned from the experience that I could handle public speaking in a credible fashion.

Q: Which of your professional accomplishments at Duane Morris do you feel made the biggest impact on your career?

A: While I was a partner at Duane Morris, I was the principal author of two Delaware legislative acts -- one repealing the Delaware Rule Against Perpetuities (1995) and the other being Delaware's Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act, allowing the creation of asset protection trusts (1997). Another partner, David Swayze, helped shepherd both pieces of legislation through the General Assembly.

At the time the legislation was enacted, I wondered to myself whether the new laws would turn out to be a fool's errand, because the underlying strategies would have insufficient demand among practitioners. However, since moving over to the corporate side, I have seen firsthand the dramatic results of the legislation, with an ever-increasing stream of dynasty trusts and asset protection trusts coming to Northern Trust in Delaware. In three-plus years, The Northern Trust Company of Delaware has seen its trust assets under administration grow from nothing to more than $4.2 billion. Now that's what I call vindication.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?

A: Travel, tennis and squash, spending time with my family, and collecting artifacts related to the first transatlantic telegraph cable.