Donald F. Parsons Jr.

Senior Counsel

(302) 351-9327 T
(302) 425-3010 F

Succeeded in bringing together the three major Delaware legal service agencies as part of the award-winning Combined Campaign for Justice.

Former Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr. is senior counsel, consulting on various corporate and intellectual property matters. He served on the Delaware Court of Chancery from 2003 to 2015. 

With a focus on alternative dispute resolution, his practice draws on his past mediation experience in various business and intellectual property disputes before the Delaware Court of Chancery as well as the Federal Circuit. He also advises on matters of corporate governance, special committee assignments, internal investigations, mergers and acquisitions, stockholder activism, and alternative entities. 

In his 12-year judicial tenure on the renowned business court, Don issued hundreds of decisions and rulings addressing significant questions concerning corporation law, alternative entities, trademark and intellectual property law, and other complex commercial matters. He presided over many high-profile cases in a range of areas, including, Third Point v. Ruprecht, a challenge to Sotheby’s adoption of a novel “poison pill” takeover defense during a proxy contest; In re Bear Sterns Companies, Inc., a class action challenge to the then-proposed merger of Bear Stearns and JPMorgan brokered with the assistance of the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury at the inception of the subprime mortgage crisis; In re Cogent, Inc., addressing the validity of rapidly developing transaction structures and “deal protection” provisions in negotiated public company merger agreements; Zucker v. Andreessen, a derivative case challenging the severance benefits paid by Hewlett-Packard to its CEO following his unexpected termination; PharmAthene v. Siga, which resulted in an approximately $195 million damages award for breach of a binding agreement to negotiate a pharmaceutical license in good faith; and numerous cases involving the governance of private and publicly traded alternative entities, such as Twin Bridges v. Draper, Zimmerman v. Crothall, In re Encore Energy Partners, and In re K-Sea Transportation Partners

In 2016, former Vice Chancellor Parsons was awarded a diploma in international arbitration by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has also been certified in commercial law arbitration by the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA). In August 2013, he began a four-year term as a member of the Governing Council of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. From 2009 to 2010, he served as president of the American College of Business Court Judges. In 2009, he became a fellow ofASTAR (Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center), completing several in-depth science, technology and forensics courses. He also has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, most-recently as a leading Delaware attorney for Arbitration and Mediation. As past-president of the DSBA, Don helped create the award-winning Combined Campaign for Justice to provide legal services for those in need.

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Professor regarding Alternative Entities at the Washington University (St. Louis), University of Iowa, University of California – Berkeley, and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools, and the Georgetown University Law Center
  • Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center (“ASTAR” fellow)
  • American Bar Association Business Law Section (member; business court representative; co-chair of the Judges Initiative; business law advisor, Governing Council, 2013-2017)
  • American College of Business Court Judges (president 2009-2010)
  • Delaware Bar Foundation (board member 2000-2003)
  • Delaware State Bar Association (president 1999-2000)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (mediator, Appellate Mediation Pilot Program, 2006-2015)
  • Widener University School of Law (Board of Overseers 2001-2005)

Community Activities

  • Combined Campaign for Justice (former co-chair)
  • Jewish Community Center (board member 2016-present)
  • Jewish Fund for the Future (board member 2009-2015; 2016-present)
  • Jewish Federation of Delaware (vice president 1996-1998 and 2000-2002; annual campaign chair 2002-2003)
  • Kutz Home Capital Campaign (co-chair 1994-1995)
  • Milton and Hattie Kutz Foundation (board member 2000-present)
  • Milton and Hattie Kutz Home Inc., a non-profit nursing home (past president 1992-1994)

News

32 Morris Nichols Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018

Wilmington, DE (August 15, 2017) – Thirty-two attorneys from Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.  The results are based on peer-review evaluations from more than 83,000 eligible attorneys. Six firm attorneys earned “Lawyer of the Year” designations (noted... Continue Reading

Don Parsons Q&A Featured in The Deal’s Corporate Control Alert

This month’s Corporate Control Alert features an in-depth Q&A interview with former Vice Chancellor and Morris Nichols senior counsel Donald F. Parsons, Jr.  Reflecting on his 12 years on the Chancery bench, Don discusses the Court’s evolving approach to M&A-related fiduciary duty litigation and several important cases from his tenure,... Continue Reading

Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons, Jr. Joins Morris Nichols

Wilmington, DE (February 17, 2016) – Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP is pleased to announce that former Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons, Jr. will be joining the firm as Senior Counsel in March 2016. Vice Chancellor Parsons retired from the Delaware Court of Chancery in October 2015. During his tenure on the bench, Vice Chancellor... Continue Reading

Articles

Events

ACI’s 2016 Forum on Minimizing Legal Risks in the Design, Implementation & Administration of Executive Compensation

11.30.2016 through 12.1.2016 in New York, NY - Corporate Counseling, Corporate & Business Litigation
Donald F. Parsons Jr.

The American Conference Institute hosts a forum on executive compensation from November 30 to December 1, 2016 in New York City. Morris Nichols senior counsel Don Parsons speaks in the “Litigation Roundup: Focus on Director Pay Plan and Executive Compensation” session on December 1.  Panelists will discuss Delaware court developments, ethics... Continue Reading

2016 Delaware Trust Conference

10.25.2016 through 10.26.2016 in Wilmington, DE - Trusts, Estates & Tax
Todd A. Flubacher, Donald F. Parsons Jr.

Morris Nichols is a silver sponsor of the annual Delaware Trust Conference from October 25 to 26, 2016 in Wilmington, Del. Hosted by the Delaware Bankers Association, the event draws top trust, legal, and wealth management professionals to discuss Delaware trust developments. On October 25, Morris Nichols partner Todd Flubacher will speak in the... Continue Reading

2016 ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting

The Business Law Section of the American Bar Association hosts the 2016 annual meeting from Sept. 8-10 in Boston. Many Morris Nichols attorneys are active Business Law Section members and will attend the conference as speakers and committee leaders. On the first day of the conference, Eric Klinger-Wilensky and Don Parsons speak in the Private... Continue Reading

2016 ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting

The Business Law Section of the American Bar Association will host the 2016 Spring Meeting in Montréal from April 7 to 9, 2016. Five Morris Nichols attorneys will participate in speaking roles at the conference, discussing developments in LLCs, M&A, and dispute resolution.  Morris Nichols partner Tarik Haskins serves as a panelist in the... Continue Reading