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Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

Wilmington

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP - Wilmington
  • 1313 North Market Street
  • Wilmington
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • 19899-0951
  • Chairman Donald J Wolfe Jr
  • Number of partners 39
  • Number of other lawyers  52

Firm Overview: 

Founded in 1826, Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP has developed a national reputation in the areas of corporate litigation and counseling, structured finance and alternative entities, intellectual property, commercial litigation, business and commercial law, and bankruptcy. Labor and employment, healthcare, trusts and estates, insurance recovery litigation and product liability practice areas round out the firm’s primary services.

Main Areas of Practice:

Delaware Corporate Litigation & Counseling:
The Corporate Litigation Practice centers on litigation seeking injunctive and other equitable and compensatory relief, often on an expedited basis, in connection with disputed questions of internal corporate governance. These suits most frequently focus on the fiduciary obligations of care, loyalty, good faith and disclosure owed by directors and officers in the context of corporate acts and business combinations, including mergers, tender offers, sales of assets and proxy fights. The Counseling Practice also encompasses the many statutory summary proceedings authorized by the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL), as well as Delaware’s alternative entity statutes, and committed to the subject matter jurisdiction of the Delaware Court of Chancery, viewed by many as the most influential state tribunal in the nation. The practice includes transaction specialists retained to advise corporations and their directors with respect to a multitude of questions and interpretations – ranging from matters of day to day management to the interpretation of the DGCL in matters involving bylaw and charter amendments, annual meetings, indemnification obligations, stock sales and issuances, mergers and acquisitions, and dissolutions. The firm regularly acts as special Delaware counsel in nationally prominent mergers, acquisitions, tender offers, divestitures, spin-offs and other types of business transactions.

Structured Finance & Alternative Entities:
The Structured Finance and Alternative Entities Practice focuses primarily on the use of alternative and special purpose business entities (partnerships, limited liability companies, statutory trusts and special purpose corporations) in a wide array of financings, including secured and unsecured financings, acquisition financings, asset-backed and structured financings, project financings, and bankruptcy-remote structures. The attorneys represent lenders, borrowers and other parties in the formation, utilization, termination and dissolution of all forms of alternative entities. The practice’s attorneys frequently render third-party legal opinions, which are relied upon by other parties to the transaction, by rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, and by governmental authorities such as the SEC. In the area of bankruptcy-remote transactions, Potter Anderson is one of only two Delaware law firms with a form of legal opinion approved by Standard & Poor’s.

Intellectual Property Litigation & Counseling:
Potter Anderson’s intellectual property practitioners provide services relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights, including preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications in the USPTO and preparation of legal opinions regarding intellectual property rights. Potter Anderson has long represented national and local clients in disputes regarding patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, particularly in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Commercial Litigation:
Attorneys represent clients in a wide array of business and commercial litigation matters. For example, in insurance coverage litigation, the firm represents corporate policyholders in actions against their insurers for CGL,D&O,E&O, product hazard and other coverage. The firm also represents clients in litigation involving contract claims, product liability, the Uniform Commercial Code, antitrust, franchise and commercial lending.

Labor & Employment:
Labor and employment attorneys represent employers around the country in court and administrative proceedings involving employment discrimination and reverse discrimination claims, non-competition and trade secret controversies, and breach of employment contract claims. Potter Anderson also counsels employers on organized labor issues,workforce restructuring processes, internal investigations, and compliance with the numerous federal and state laws that govern the workplace.

Business & Commercial Law:
Potter Anderson provides advice to clients on a full range of legal issues arising from the formation and day-to-day operation of business organizations. Clients include both privately held and public companies with local, regional, national and international operations. The firm provides sophisticated corporate structuring and tax advice in a broad range of transactions, including business formations and choice of entity, mergers and acquisitions and financings.

Bankruptcy & Restructuring:
Potter Anderson represents both debtor and nondebtor entities in some of the largest Chapter 11 cases filed across the country. Non-debtor clients include official committees, institutional creditors, debtor-inpossession financiers, acquirers, shareholders, trustees and plan administrators. The firm takes a leading role for its clients in large and middle market bankruptcy cases in Delaware and on the national stage, and also partners as Delaware co-counsel with many preeminent bankruptcy firms. In addition, Potter Anderson assists clients in other restructuring areas, including out-of-court workouts, assignments for the benefit of creditors, state court dissolutions, receiverships and other secured transactions.

Clients:
AT&T Inc.; Bank of America; Chrysler LLC; Citigroup Inc.; City ofWilmington; Daimler Trucks North America LLC.; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.; El Paso Corporation; Exxon Corp.; General Motors Corp.; The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Google; Hewlett- Packard Company; Intel Corporation; Kao Corporation; Morgan Stanley; The Nemours Foundation; NRG Energy; Norfolk Southern Corporation; Omnicare, Inc.; Philips Electronics Corporation of North America; Qualcomm Incorporated; State of Delaware; Tyson Foods, Inc.; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; The Walt Disney Company; Wells Fargo Bank N.A.; Winterthur Library and Museum.

Branches

  • Hercules Plaza,
  • 1313 North Market Street ,
  • Wilmington,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • 19899-0951
  • Tel +1 302 984 6000
  • Fax +1 302 658 1192
  • Website : www.potteranderson.com

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Delaware

THE FIRM This team of seven lawyers is especially renowned for its creditor practice, although recently it has increased its presence in debtor and creditors' committee representation. The group is also active in other creditors' rights areas, including out-of-court restructurings and state law receiverships.

Sources say: "They exhibit the highest ethics and prompt service, and provide knowledgeable and relevant advice and counsel, excellent legal analysis and presentation, highly polished legal briefs and pleadings, as well as effective and formidable courtroom appearances, at both trial and appellate levels."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Laurie Selber Silverstein is "a first-class bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer with significant experience." She "knows bankruptcy law inside-out," "practices at the most sophisticated level" and "exhibits the highest possible integrity in all her dealings." She is especially noted for her expertise in representing both creditors' committees and individual creditors.

Chancery - Delaware

THE FIRM This large group of more than 30 lawyers handles both transactional and litigation matters. It is able to tackle the largest cases, and is frequently engaged as lead counsel in some of the biggest matters before the Court of Chancery. The large client roster includes Intel, Bank of America, AIG and News Corp.

Sources say: "They have a great sense of the actions and conduct that the judges accept. They can be fierce advocates, are very able counselors and in reacting to arguments made by others they are fully capable of handling litigation on their own." "Highly skilled in the Delaware law." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Donald Wolfe is described as "the full package," due to his "terrific ability to explain ideas" and his abilities as a litigator. He is "very good at cutting through the garbage and can point right to the issues." He recently led the team defending Robert Rosenkranz, controlling stockholder of Delphi Financial Group, against shareholder litigation arising from Delphi's acquisition of Tokio Marine Holdings.

"A fabulous lawyer," Peter Walsh "knows his stuff inside out." Described as "very persuasive in oral arguments," he is also "smart, focused and polite – and extremely effective." He is "very good at positioning his arguments" to "craft a solution to get to that right answer." He recently represented Hewlett-Packard in several matters relating to the severance of Mark Hurd as CEO.

Kevin Shannon is "a good litigator" who specializes in valuation work and appraisals, in which he is "certainly one of the best." He has "good judgment" and is "a good sounding board" to bounce ideas off.

Stephen Norman maintains a busy practice working in the Court of Chancery and acting as a counselor to stockholders, officers and directors. He was involved in the team representing Wal-Mart in responding to claims of failure to comply with the FCPA with respect to allegations of bribery in Mexico.

Michael Pittenger is primarily active on the advisory transactional aspects of chancery work. He was second chair in the defense of David Sokol against allegations of insider trading.

The "extraordinarily energetic" Matthew Fischer is "undaunted by even Herculean amounts of work that have to be done in a very short time period." A "tremendous team player," he is "very much the type of person you want on your side in the heat of battle." He maintains a broad practice which includes shareholder derivative, class action suits and alternative entities litigation.

Michael Goldman maintains an "excellent reputation" as a senior lawyer whose practice primarily consists of giving advice and formal opinions under Delaware law.

Berton Ashman is "a real workhorse" who is tipped for future success in the Court of Chancery. He was on the team representing Answers Corporation and its directors in litigation arising from the acquisition of Answers.

Corporate/M&A - Delaware

THE FIRM This large group handles both corporate and alternative entity work. The team routinely advises boards of directors and significant stockholders of corporations on a broad range of obligations under Delaware law. It recently advised key client DuPont on the acquisition of Bunge's stake in Solae a joint venture, and provided counsel to the committee of the board of Quest Software on negotiating its sale for approximately $2.5 billion.

Sources say: "Excellent work delivered timely and professionally." "They're very smart and know the Delaware law intricacies, because they deal with it every day."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Morton advises on a range of matters, but is especially noted for his work representing special committees. He was the lead partner advising the special committee in the sale of Quest Software, and was also counsel to the committee of independent directors in the sale of BJ's Wholesale Club.

Michael Tumas is an "excellent and practical lawyer" much admired for his work on structural transactions. "Extremely responsive," he is also "very practical in terms of giving advice." Work for key client DuPont remains a significant portion of his practice, and he took the lead role during the acquisition mentioned above.

John Grossbauer is "smart and reasonable," and peers and clients alike state that "it is always a pleasure working with him." He took the lead role in assisting LinkedIn to draft its constituent corporate documents, which included a dual-class common stock structure.

Robert Symonds and Matthew O'Toole recently joined the firm from Stevens & Lee PC. Symonds is an experienced corporate and transactional lawyer. He regularly gives third-party legal opinions on various aspects of Delaware law. "Very responsive to clients' needs," he is noted for his keen intellect. O'Toole is a "sharp and well-respected" lawyer who maintains a broad practice, covering all aspects of Delaware corporate law and alternative entities.

Another new addition to the firm, Thomas Mullen recently joined from Prickett, Jones & Elliott PA. He is an expert on business transactions. Focusing particularly on limited liability companies and partnerships, he "works very hard" and is "easy to spend time with."

Intellectual Property - Delaware

THE FIRM This IP team takes on cases in areas such as trademarks, patents and copyright litigation. Retained as both lead and local counsel, it represents both plaintiffs and defendants. Key clients include Barnes & Noble, Genentech and GE.

Sources say: "Excellent – absolutely professional, thorough and competent."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Horwitz is a renowned litigation expert and is engaged by both plaintiffs and defendants. Sources praise his "knowledge of the court and judges, familiarity with Delaware juries and sound judgment." He "brings a tremendous amount of knowledge" to cases and "knows the ins and out of litigation in Delaware." He recently acted for key client DuPont on patent procurement and licensing arrangements.

Philip Rovner is regularly retained in all areas of IP litigation, but is especially noted for his work in trade secrets. Sources praise his "ability to grasp and articulate IP legal concepts," his "ease of courtroom style" and his "willingness to work hard for the success of the team." He recently acted for Barnes & Noble as lead counsel in a multiparty patent infringement action.

David Moore is regularly engaged for his litigation skills and recently acted as co-counsel in a patent infringement case which went to trial and subsequently found in favor of his client.

Janet Reed heads the firm's IP transactional practice and is praised by clients for her expertise in technical matters.

Labor & Employment - Delaware

THE FIRM This sizable team takes on work pertaining to general labor and employment, employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Its clients include Delaware State University, Chrysler Group and Wal-Mart. The team recently undertook a case in the Delaware Supreme Court in the state's first examination of the Whistleblower Protection statute.

Sources say: "I find these individuals to be top of their class and always on top of current law and precedents. The research is thorough and they always treat us as a favorite customer, even though we are just another client."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Kathleen Furey McDonough handles the gamut of labor and employment disputes. She advises a number of higher education institutions, such as Modern Think and the West Virginia Higher Education, on all aspects of employment law.

Wendy Voss provides counsel to various businesses across the country. She is noted for her "professional, dedicated service" and her "upbeat attitude," and clients also appreciate her responsiveness.

Jennifer Brady is a renowned healthcare and labor and employer lawyer. She advises clients on issues such as unionization, employee supervision and sexual harassment. She is "one of the best attorneys I have worked with in a local counsel capacity," said one client.