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Morris Nichols Mourns the Loss of Retired Chancellor William T. Allen

10.14.2019

Morris Nichols is saddened to learn of the passing on Sunday of its former partner William T. Allen. Bill left Morris Nichols in 1985 to become Chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery.  When he left the bench in 1997, Bill returned to his undergraduate alma mater, New York University, where he became the Jack H. Nusbaum Professor of Law & Business and founded the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business. He also re-entered private practice at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Bill was a titan of the Delaware Bar.  As Chancellor, he presided over many landmark cases that helped elevate Delaware’s stature in the area of corporate law.  While at Morris Nichols, he was one of the architects of The Financial Center Development Act, a significant piece of legislation that transformed Delaware’s economy.

“I had the good fortune as a young associate to work with Bill and learned a great deal from him about what it meant to be a good Delaware lawyer.” said Andrew M. Johnston, chair of the firm’s Executive Committee.  “What I will personally remember from working with him at Morris Nichols, is his sense of humor and his humanity.”

“Bill was one of the finest jurists anywhere and an even finer human being,” said William M. Lafferty, a senior litigation partner at Morris Nichols.  “When I was a clerk for Vice Chancellor Hartnett, Bill took a real interest in me. His guidance has had a powerful influence on my career.”

“Bill was a valued contemporary of mine while at Morris Nichols,” said Gil Sparks, Morris Nichols of counsel.  “As a jurist, he was tremendous.  Bill was a judge at a time when the case law surrounding takeovers was rapidly developing.  He was a shining beacon in bringing the intellectual structure that would apply in those cases.  As a litigant, I always knew that Bill was not only considering how the law would apply to the case at hand, but also the broader jurisprudence.”

Morris Nichols sends its deepest condolences to Bill’s wife, children, and family.