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A. Gilchrist Sparks III and Michael Houghton Named 2009 Lawyers of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America

Wilmington, DE – February 16, 2009 – Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP partners A. Gilchrist Sparks III and Michael Houghton have been named Delaware Lawyers of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America Guide.  The firm’s lawyers picked up two of the five honors recognizing Delaware’s elite legal counsel.

Gil Sparks, a partner in Morris Nichols’ Corporate Litigation and Corporate Law Counseling Groups was named as Best Lawyers’ 2009 Delaware Lawyer of the Year in corporate law.  Michael Houghton, a partner in Morris Nichols’ Commercial Law Counseling Group, was named as Best Lawyers’ 2009 Delaware Lawyer of the Year in banking law.

Selection as a Lawyer of the Year is determined by particularly high ratings received from Best Lawyers’ peer-review survey of more than 24,000 attorneys nationwide.  2009 is the inaugural year for the Delaware Lawyer of the Year recognition.

“Our firm congratulates Gil and Mike on these well-deserved honors.  None of us who have had the pleasure of working with them is surprised that they have been recognized as Delaware lawyers of the year in the first year that these awards have been given.  Gil and Mike are talented attorneys who are highly valued by their clients and colleagues, as well as in our community,” said firm Chair Jack Blumenfeld.

Gil’s legal career spans four decades and has focused on litigation and counseling arising from mergers and acquisitions and disputes relating to the governance of Delaware corporations.  Chambers USA has described him as the “dean of the [Chancery] bar.”

Mike has served bank, trust, insurance and public utility companies in commercial transactions and before regulatory authorities and state, county and local governments for over 25 years.  He helped draft Delaware’s Bank Insurance Powers Act.