William M. Lafferty

Partner

(302) 351-9341 T
(302) 425-4679 F

Named a Delaware Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation and described as an “extraordinary” litigator by Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers.

Bill is a member of the Corporate & Business Litigation Group.  He has spent more than 25 years focusing on Delaware corporate and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on cases involving mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and consent solicitations, and shareholder class and derivative actions.  His litigation practice concentrates on cases pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery and Delaware Supreme Court as well as matters in the federal court both in Delaware and in other jurisdictions.  He also advises corporate clients and boards of directors with respect to litigation and transactional matters including representations of special negotiating committees and special litigation committees.

Bill has acted as lead or co-counsel in numerous significant litigations involving Delaware corporate law issues, including companies such as Third Point LLC, Tory Burch LLC, eBay, Inc., Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., Google Inc., Facebook, Inc., Caremark CVS, Inc., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., ConAgra Foods, Inc., Regal Entertainment Group, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Netflix, Inc. and United Technologies Corporation.

Bill also has represented numerous private equity firms in litigations in Delaware arising from M&A transactions, including Texas Pacific Group, Angelo Gordon, Bain Capital, Francisco Partners, Golden Gate, Insight Venture Partners and Sun Capital Partners, Inc.

He is a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers and serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, University of Delaware.

Bill is the author of numerous articles on Delaware corporate law and is a chapter contributor on appraisal rights and inspection of corporate/partnership books and records to a five volume corporate law treatise.  He frequently presents before business and professional audiences on Delaware corporate law, and has been a guest instructor at M&A law classes at the Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, New York University and Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

Bill is frequently recognized as a leading litigation attorney in Delaware.  He has been named a Delaware Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.  He has been described as an “extraordinary” litigator by Chambers USA: Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers and has been recognized as a leading Delaware litigator in Super Lawyers – Delaware, U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers and LawDragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Business Law Section, Committee on Business and Corporate Litigation; Securities Litigation Committee, M&A/Proxy Litigation Subcommittee, Co-Chair)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
  • Court of Chancery Rules Committee (Chairman)
  • Delaware Board of Bar Examiners (appointed by Delaware Supreme Court, 2000-2006)
  • Delaware Commission on Continuing Legal Education (Chairman, 2004-2007)
  • Delaware State Bar Association (Corporation Law Section and Committee on Professional Ethics)
  • John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, University of Delaware (Advisory Board)

Community Activities

  • Sanford School (President of Board of Trustees; Board Trustee, 2008-Present)
  • Arsht-Cannon Fund (Advisory Board)
  • William H. Heald Scholarship Committee (Chair)

News

The Legal 500 Ranks Morris Nichols as a Leading M&A Firm in the United States

Wilmington, DE (June 3, 2015) – Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP has been ranked as a leading M&A law firm in The Legal 500 United States 2015. Now in its ninth edition, the U.S. guide organizes various practice areas into a single national ranking. “Only a small number of firms in the United States have a truly national... 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

Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Morris Nichols in 2015 Rankings

Wilmington, DE (September 24, 2014) – The 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation recognizes  Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP as a “Highly Recommended” law firm in Delaware.  The guide notes that Morris Nichols “has developed a national reputation as a leading general commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and... 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... 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 Alert Featured in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Wilmington, DE (November 21, 2013) – Morris Nichols’ Delaware Alert: Don’t Ask/Don’t Waive Standstills & Attorneys’ Fees in Delaware, was featured in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation on November 18, 2013.  It is the second Morris Nichols memorandum presented by HLS... 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... Continue Reading

Morris Nichols Tops Delaware in Benchmark Litigation 2013

Wilmington, DE (May 22, 2013) – Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP is pleased to announce that nine Morris Nichols’ attorneys and three practice areas have been selected as among the best in Delaware by the 2013 edition of Benchmark Litigation. Benchmark’s research included competitors who described Morris Nichols litigators... 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,... Continue Reading

Morris Nichols Trial Team Contributes to eBay's Victory in Shareholder Dispute with craigslist

Wilmington, DE - September 14, 2010 - William Lafferty, Morris Nichols Corporate Litigation Group partner, headed the Morris Nichols trial team that represented eBay Inc. in its successful shareholder dispute against craigslist.  The September 9 opinion in favor of eBay by Chancellor William B. Chandler III of the Delaware Court of Chancery... Continue Reading

Lawdragon Names Four Morris Nichols Attorneys Among 500 Leading Lawyers in America

Wilmington, DE – May 13, 2010 – Morris Nichols partners Rick Alexander, Jack Blumenfeld, Bill Lafferty and Ken Nachbar have been named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America 2010 guide, an independent listing of the nation’s most elite attorneys.  Morris Nichols had more honorees than any other Delaware law... 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,... 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

Presentations & Publications

Dealing with Activist Shareholders: From (a) Board Adoption of Protective Bylaws and a Two-Tier Pill, to (b) Mock Arguments Challenging the Bylaws and Pill in Delaware Chancery Court

In light of the significant role activist shareholders are playing in corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions, Penn State Law’s Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions presented a free, public interest webinar entitled...

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The Expansion of the Delaware Court of Chancery's Jurisdiction to Adjudicate or Mediate Certain “Technology Disputes”—An Evolution, Not a Revolution

Michael Houghton, William M. Lafferty, Andrew H. Lippstone, “The Expansion of the Delaware Court of Chancery’s Jurisdiction to Adjudicate or Mediate Certain ‘Technology Disputes’—An Evolution, Not a Revolution,”...

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