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News

Morris Nichols Elects Patricia Vella, John DiTomo as Partners; Katherine Betterly as Special Counsel

Wilmington, DE (January 7, 2013) – Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP is pleased to announce that Patricia O. Vella and John P. DiTomo have been elected partners, and that Katherine H. Betterly has been promoted to Special Counsel, effective January 1, 2013. Rick Alexander, Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee, made the announcements.

Patricia Vella joined Morris Nichols in 1997 and is a member of the firm’s Delaware Corporate Law Counseling Group, where she has served as Special Counsel since 2004. Patricia provides advice on corporate governance matters and a variety of corporate transactions for publicly traded and privately held corporations. She advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, financings, asset sales and other significant transactions. Her work includes structuring complex transactions and often involves counseling boards of directors and board committees on their fiduciary duties and the technical aspects of Delaware corporate law. She also provides formal legal opinions on issues involving Delaware corporate law. Patricia is actively involved with the ABA’s Mergers & Acquisitions Committee and is Co-Chair of the ABA’s Joint Task Force on Governance Issues in Business Combinations. She was appointed in 2012 by the Delaware Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Court’s Board on Professional Responsibility. Patricia is a frequent speaker on Delaware corporate law issues at venues such as the ABA Business Law Section meetings and The University of Texas School of Law Mergers and Acquisitions Institute. Patricia is a 1996 graduate of Villanova University School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Villanova Law Review. She was Law Clerk to the Honorable Randy J. Holland, Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.

John DiTomo joined Morris Nichols in 2006 and is a member of the firm’s Corporate and Business Litigation Group. His practice includes corporate and commercial litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery and appellate practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware. He has been involved in the litigation of many recent significant Delaware corporate law cases including In re Del Monte Foods Company Shareholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 6027-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 14, 2011), Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. v. Airgas, Inc., 2010 WL 3960599 (Del. Ch.), In re Art Technology Group, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, C.A. No. 5955-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 20, 2010), Kistefos v. Trico Marine Servs., 2009 WL 1124477 (Del. Ch.), and La. Mun. Police Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Crawford, 918 A.2d 1172 (Del. Ch. 2007).  In addition, he regularly represents boards of directors and special committees in internal investigations and stockholder demands. John is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Associate, and Research Editor, for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. He was Law Clerk to the Honorable William B. Chandler III, former Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Katherine Betterly joined Morris Nichols in 2001 and is a member of the firm’s Commercial Law Counseling Group and Real Estate Group. Her practice involves commercial real estate transactions, representation of companies in unclaimed property audits, alternative entity matters and general acquisition and contract law matters as well as the representation of government entities, such as the Delaware River and Bay Authority and the Port of Wilmington.  She is also involved in the preparation of third-party legal opinions in connection with a range of transactions. Kate is the Chairperson of the Commercial Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association and is also a member of the Uniform Commercial Code Subcommittee. Kate is a 2001 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as an Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law.