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Corporate and Business Litigation

"Clients billed this operation as the premier firm in the chancery market.  Sources value the fact that the firm is home to some of the finest practitioners in the state, who really know how to gain an advantage in the system."

- Chambers USA

Corporate Litigation Matters

Our Group represents corporations, directors, substantial shareholders, partnerships, limited and general partners, and limited liability companies in lawsuits involving challenges to mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions, takeover battles and proxy contests, issues under the Delaware corporate and other business entity statutes, and class and derivative actions asserting breaches of fiduciary duty.  We also regularly represent special committees of independent directors in connection with the investigation of potential and pending derivative claims.

Matters of National Significance

Because of the importance of the Delaware corporate law and the Delaware Court of Chancery’s position as the preeminent court in the United States for the resolution of business disputes, the cases in which the Group serves as counsel often involve issues of national significance.  In addition, because Delaware is the chosen state of incorporation for the majority of Fortune 500 corporations, many of the clients that the Group represents are multi-billion dollar national and international corporations, including Viacom Inc., BP Amoco, Wyeth (formerly American Home Products), Hallmark, Unocal Corporation, and Sabre/Travelocity. On a daily basis, members of the Group litigate with and against many of the top lawyers and law firms around the nation.  The attorneys in the Group have argued many of the landmark cases that establish the principles of Delaware corporate law and define the fiduciary duties that govern boards of directors of many of the major corporations in the United States.

Shaping Delaware Corporation Law

In addition to its sophisticated and dynamic litigation practice, the Group also assists the Corporate Law Counseling Group in pre-litigation planning matters such as mergers and acquisitions, conflict transactions, restructurings, and proxy contests and consent solicitations.  The Group also advises special committees charged with reviewing conflict transactions and shareholder derivative claims. Group members play key roles in the drafting and updating of the Delaware General Corporation Law and have testified as expert witnesses on Delaware law issues in courts of other jurisdictions and foreign countries.

Business Litigation Matters

We provide a full range of litigation services to our national corporate clients and locally-based businesses.  Members of the General Business Litigation Group regularly appear before all of the major Delaware trial and appellate courts, state and federal, local boards and administrative agencies, and before trial and appellate courts nationwide.  We represent clients in a wide variety of commercial, contract and employment cases including business disputes of virtually every kind, employment discrimination and sexual harassment, construction, insurance coverage, products liability, banking and financial services, contested guardianships and more.

Litigation Group members have recently represented an international company in construction litigation relating to a power plant in Puerto Rico.  Group members have also represented major pharmaceutical companies in connection with several types of product liability claims as well as in class action suits relating to product advertising.  We have represented a fiber optic networking company in a groundbreaking case before the Delaware Public Service Commission concerning the ability of telecommunication firms to obtain fair and equal access to utility poles for the installation of networks.  The Group also represented the Delaware Insurance Commissioner in litigation related to the breakup of a business affiliation between two large health insurers.  We also continue to represent several major companies in connection with product liability claims relating to tobacco products, benzene, vinyl chloride and asbestos.

Environmental Litigation

The General Business Litigation Group handles a variety of environmental matters for local and national clients.  The Group specializes in environmental litigation brought before Delaware’s Environmental Appeals Board, as well as litigation involving Delaware environmental laws and regulations.  It defends clients in connection with civil enforcement proceedings, both judicial and administrative, brought by state and federal regulators and provides representation in connection with government investigations including negotiation of consent orders or other types of settlements for alleged violations of environmental laws prior to the commencement of litigation.  The Group also has represented clients in actions to recover costs for the cleanup of contaminated sites under federal and state "superfund" laws, and under insurance policies and other contracts.

Trust and Estates Litigation

The Group has an active trusts and estates litigation practice, representing many large institutional and individual trustees as well as beneficiaries of trusts in Delaware and other jurisdictions.  In recent years, the firm has represented trustees and beneficiaries in multimillion dollar disputes including claims of trustee breaches of fiduciary duties as well as trust administration issues such as decisions to implement unitrust distribution policies and to divide trust assets among beneficiary groups.

Morris Nichols' Litigation Suite for Visiting Counsel

Our Litigation Suite for visiting counsel features 4,000+ climate-controlled sq. ft., including seven offices, three workstations, two conference rooms, a war room, shelved document prep areas, a fully stocked kitchenette, multiple supply closets, on-site parking, private entry and 24-hour security.  All rooms and workstations are equipped with high-speed Internet access and direct-dial telephone numbers with voicemail.  There is a separate private network to interface with your computers, as well as multiple area printers, scanners and audio-visual equipment.  High-speed black & white and color copiers are also available.  IT support, litigation support and facility services are included.  Courtroom technology set-ups, equipment acquisitions, in-house copy service, courier service, shuttle, food service, and extended HVAC are also available.  Centrally located in downtown Wilmington in the 1201 Building, the Litigation Suite is within walking distance of courthouses and overnight accommodations at the Hotel du Pont and the Wilmington Sheraton Suites.

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T: (302) 658-9200    1201 North Market Street, 16th Floor, P.O. Box 1347, Wilmington, DE 19899-1347