Donald Nelson Isken

Partner

(302) 351-9222 T
(302) 425-4677 F

Don is top-ranked by Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for real estate in Delaware.

Don is a member of the Commercial Law Counseling group and heads up the Firm’s commercial real estate law practice.

During the past 37 years he has gained a national reputation representing prominent property owners and developers, financial institutions and governmental entities in every facet of their transactional real estate law and land use regulation needs.  Many of his clients are among the most well-known real estate developers and institutional lenders locally and in the United States and include Toll Brothers, Ryan Homes, Trammel Crow, G.E. Capital, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Insurance, M&T Bank, Wilmington Trust, Citizens Bank, The Delaware River and Bay Authority, The Port of Wilmington, and The State of Delaware.

Don regularly engages in matters involving site selection and land acquisition, obtaining land use and project approvals and permits, securing government grants, tax credits and loan financing, development of transportation and utility infrastructure, hiring of construction project managers, architects and contractors, and oversight in project sales and leasing.  He was a member of the team that assisted The State of Delaware with its development of the Wilmington Riverfront district, one of America’s premiere examples of successful urban renaissance, through a public-private partnership, of what was once an abandoned and dilapidated industrial part of the City of Wilmington.

In 1990, Don became one of the youngest attorneys ever to be invited for membership into the prestigious American College of Real Estate Lawyers.  He is a top-ranked Delaware real estate lawyer in Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.  Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years, and in 2014 Best Lawyers named Don “Delaware Lawyer of the Year” for Real Estate Law.  He has been selected for inclusion in Delaware Super Lawyers.  Major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY solicit and report Don’s opinions about current perspectives on issues such as the U.S. subprime and mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Professional Activities

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Bucknell University (Board of Trustees)
  • Delaware State Bar Association (Real Property Committee: Co-Chair of Sub-committee to revise Delaware Unit Property Act, 1989-1992; Community Service Award Recipient, 2012)

Community Activities

  • The Arc of Delaware (Vice President and Board Member; Recipient of the President’s Award for improving the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities)
  • Interfaith Housing Taskforce (Honored for enhancing the availability of affordable housing)
  • Homes for Life Foundation (Board Member)
  • Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (Former Board Member)

Representative Matters

  • Represented purchaser of a major oil refinery in a $1 billion transaction.  Handled all land use, real estate permitting and regulatory matters for the refinery for more than 20 years.
  • Served as counsel to buyer in connection with its $100 million purchase and subsequent refinance of a 440,000 sq. ft. high rise office building in downtown Wilmington, Del.
  • Represented JPMorgan Chase Bank in its development of two $500 million state-of-the-art international data centers.
  • Acted as counsel to an investor in the purchase and subsequent disposition of a multi-state, egg production company to a Japan-based agricultural group.
  • Represented The State of Delaware in various projects connected with the development of the Wilmington Riverfront.
  • Engaged by a consortium of 42 physicians in connection with the development of a major neurosciences health care facility.
  • Represented Condé Nast Publishing in connection with administrative office relocation from New York City to Wilmington, Del.
  • Represents large regional airport in land use regulatory matters and in a wide variety of real estate issues, including leasing of airport facilities, federal grants in aid and dealings with commercial airlines.
  • Represents Port of Wilmington in wide variety of leasing and real estate matters.

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

Chambers USA 2017 Ranks Morris Nichols Band 1 in Four Delaware Practice Areas; 23 Morris Nichols Attorneys Recognized Among the Best in Delaware

Wilmington, DE (May 26, 2017) – The 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business again ranked Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP as a Band 1 law firm in the Delaware categories for Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, Corporate M&A & Alternative Entities, and Intellectual Property. Twenty-three... Continue Reading

16 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2017 Delaware Super Lawyers

Wilmington, DE (May 12, 2017) – Sixteen Morris Nichols attorneys have been selected for inclusion to the 2017 Delaware Super Lawyers list.  William M. Lafferty was named to the “Top 10” list for Delaware.  In addition, attorneys Eric S. Klinger-Wilensky, Kimberly Gill McKinnon, D. McKinley (Mac) Measley, and Curtis S. Miller were... Continue Reading

31 Morris Nichols Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

Wilmington, DE (August 15, 2016) – Thirty attorneys from Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP were selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.  The results are based on peer-review evaluations from more than 79,000 eligible attorneys. Six firm attorneys earned “Lawyer of the Year” designations (noted... Continue Reading

Chambers USA 2016 Ranks Morris Nichols Band 1 in Four Delaware Practice Areas; 25 Morris Nichols Attorneys Recognized Among the Best in Delaware

Wilmington, DE (May 27, 2016) – The 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business again ranked Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP as a Band 1 law firm in the Delaware categories for Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, Corporate M&A & Alternative Entities, and Intellectual Property. Twenty-five Morris... Continue Reading

17 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2016 Delaware Super Lawyers

Wilmington, DE (May 13, 2016) – Seventeen Morris Nichols attorneys have been selected for inclusion to the 2016 Delaware Super Lawyers list.  Jack B. Blumenfeld was named to the “Top 10” list for Delaware.  In addition, attorneys Eric S. Klinger-Wilensky, D. McKinley (Mac) Measley, Curtis S. Miller, and Matthew R. Clark were recognized as... Continue Reading

30 Morris Nichols Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

Wilmington, DE (August 17, 2015) – Thirty attorneys from Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP were selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The results are based on peer-review evaluations from more than 79,000 eligible attorneys. Jack B. Blumenfeld was named the Best Lawyers® 2016... Continue Reading

Chambers USA 2015 Ranks 23 Morris Nichols Attorneys and 4 Practice Groups Among the Best in Delaware

Wilmington, DE (May 19, 2015) – The 2015 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP as a Band 1 law firm in the Delaware categories for Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, Corporate M&A & Alternative Entities, and Intellectual Property. Twenty-three... Continue Reading

16 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2015 Delaware Super Lawyers

Wilmington, DE (May 15, 2015) – Sixteen Morris Nichols attorneys have been selected for inclusion to the 2015 Delaware Super Lawyers.  Jack B. Blumenfeld was named to the “Top 10” list for Delaware.  In addition, attorneys Eric S. Klinger-Wilensky, Curtis S. Miller and Matthew R. Clark were recognized as 2015... Continue Reading

28 Morris Nichols Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015

Wilmington, DE (August 18, 2014) – Twenty-eight attorneys from Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell were selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. The results are based on peer-review evaluations from more than 50,000 attorneys. Two partners received special recognition as 2015 Delaware Lawyer of the... Continue Reading

17 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected For Inclusion in Super Lawyers- Delaware Edition 2014

Wilmington, DE (May 19, 2014) – 17 Morris Nichols attorneys have been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers - Delaware Edition 2013. Jack Blumenfeld and A. Gilchrist Sparks, III, were named to the Best of the Best Top 10 Delaware Super Lawyers list. In addition, attorneys Eric Klinger-Wilensky and Curtis Miller were recognized as 2014 Delaware... Continue Reading

Chambers USA 2014 Names 21 Morris Nichols Attorneys and 4 Practice Groups as Best in Delaware

Wilmington, DE (May 23, 2014) – The 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business today ranked twenty-one Morris Nichols’ attorneys and four practice groups as best in Delaware.  Chambers annually conducts in-depth interviews of commercial users of legal services to assess the strengths and reputations... Continue Reading

2014 Chambers USA Directory Ranks 21 Morris Nichols Attorneys as 'Leaders in their Field"

Wilmington, DE (March, 2014) – The Firm congratulates its 21 attorneys who will be included in the 2014 Chambers USA “Leaders in their Field” legal directory by Chambers & Partners. Several practices and lawyers are recognized in more than one area. Delaware A Gilchrist Sparks III, Chancery & Corporate /M&A Derek... Continue Reading

Morris Nichols Attorneys Named to 2014 Best Lawyers in America - 60 Practice Specialty Selections; 22 Top-Listed Practice areas; 5 Delaware Lawyers of the Year

Wilmington, DE (August 21, 2013) – Morris Nichols is pleased to announce that two thirds of the firm's partnership have been selected for inclusion in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  The firm was noted for 60 individual specialty selections, 22 "Top-Listed" practice specialties, and five individual 2014 Delaware Lawyers... Continue Reading

22 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in Super Lawyers - Delaware Edition 2013

Wilmington, DE (May 23, 2013) – 22 Morris Nichols attorneys have been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers - Delaware Edition 2013.  Rick Alexander and A. Gilchrist Sparks, III, were named to the Best of the Best Top 10 Delaware Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who... Continue Reading

Chambers USA 2013 Names 17 Morris Nichols Attorneys and 4 Practice Groups as Best In Delaware

Wilmington, DE (May 24, 2013) – The 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business today ranked seventeen Morris Nichols’ attorneys and four practice groups as best in Delaware.  Chambers annually conducts in-depth interviews of commercial users of legal services to assess the strengths and reputations... Continue Reading

28 Morris Nichols Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2013

Wilmington, DE (August 31, 2012) – 28 Morris Nichols attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2013 in twenty two practice areas. Morris Nichols lawyers were selected for outstanding reputations and distinguished work in their practice areas based on a confidential peer-review survey of the top attorneys in the country, according... Continue Reading

18 Morris Nichols Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in Super Lawyers - Delaware Edition 2009

Wilmington, DE – June 3, 2009 – Super Lawyers® magazine has named 18 Morris Nichols attorneys as top legal counsel in Delaware for 2009, three more than were listed in 2008. The selections for Super Lawyers are made by Law & Politics who undertakes a rigorous selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent... Continue Reading

Chambers USA 2009 Names 20 Morris Nichols Attorneys and Five Practice Groups as Best in Delaware

Wilmington, DE – June 12, 2009 – The 2009 edition of Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business today ranked twenty Morris Nichols’ attorneys and five practice groups as best in Delaware. Chambers annually conducts in-depth interviews of commercial users of legal services to assess the strengths and... Continue Reading