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Morris James LLP


Morris James LLP - Wilmington
  • 500 Delaware Avenue
  • Wilmington
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19806
  • Managing Partner: David H Williams
  • Number of partners: 43
  • Number of other lawyers: 18

Firm Overview:
For over 80 years, Morris James has been serving the needs of its clients such as Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, government agencies, law firms and the community. Morris James’ Litigation Group represents a wide variety of domestic and international clients in corporate/fiduciary litigation, bankruptcy business litigation, and employment litigation. Morris James’Transactions Group represents national and international clients, as well as regional clients, engaged in corporate and alternative entity transactions, commercial real estate transactions and business tax and estate planning. The firm’s innovative legal work, creative use of technology and responsiveness to client needs have led to many significant client representations. The firm is a member of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company’s Primary Law Firm Network and ALFA International. Morris James is a leader in alternative fee arrangements and early case assessment procedures as well.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Litigation: Corporate/Fiduciary Litigation:
The firm devotes a major portion of its litigation practice to corporate disputes and disputes involving limited liability companies, partnerships, trusts and other entities in which fiduciary duty constitutes an integral part of the parties’ relationship. Morris James litigators often participate in expedited proceedings before the Delaware Court of Chancery. Members of the Litigation Group have served as counsel for independent board committees to investigate restrictive claims and to negotiate transactions in which certain board members may not be disinterested.
Contact: Lewis H Lazarus

The firm represents creditors, creditors’ committees, lenders, debtors, purchasers, investors and other parties-in-interest before bankruptcy and appellate courts throughout the United States. Morris James bankruptcy attorneys also counsel clients in both reorganization and liquidation cases before bankruptcy courts and in out-of-court workouts and debt restructurings.
Contact: Stephen M Miller

Business Litigation:
The firm has a substantial business litigation practice that involves representing clients in complex contract disputes, tort claims and insurance coverage litigation. This practice includes trials before judges and juries in every trial court in Delaware and appeals to the Delaware Supreme Court. Morris James also has a substantial alternative dispute resolution practice, including mediations before the Court of Chancery and arbitrations of business disputes.
Contact: Joseph R Slights, III

Intellectual Property Litigation:
The firm regularly serves as Delaware counsel in intellectual property litigation, including patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, and associated antitrust disputes. It has also served in a lead role in several trade secret, domain name and IP licensing cases.
Contact: Richard K Herrmann

Employment Litigation:
The firm represents clients in litigation, claims alleging employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, breach of post-employment restrictions, and ERISA violations. This practice includes administrative proceedings, and litigation in Delaware and Federal courts.
Contact: David H Williams

Delaware Entities & Structured Finance:
The firm provides strategic advice to clients who are establishing, managing, investing in or financing business ventures that take advantage of Delaware’s unique corporate, business and tax laws. A substantial portion of the firm’s alternative entity practice involves the use of Delaware special purpose entities in the financing of equipment and facilities and in other structured finance transactions. Morris James transactions attorneys frequently render legal opinions on matters of Delaware and United States federal law, including bankruptcy law, and regularly participate in the drafting of Delaware’s corporate and alternative entity legislation.
Contact: Michael M Ledyard

Real Estate & Land Use:
The firm represents many of the major developers, investors and builders doing business in the Delaware real estate industry in a full spectrum of transactions, land use matters and related litigation, including acquisition, construction and permanent financing, work outs, conveyancing, title, condemnation, environmental issues, leasing, rezoning, subdivision, variances and administrative matters.
Contact: John H Newcomer

Business Tax & Related Planning:
The firm represents clients in a variety of business transactions, including entity formation, acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, mergers and other reorganizations and business succession planning. Morris James tax attorneys counsel clients in federal, state and local tax matters, and provide tax controversy representation before the I.R.S, and state and local tax authorities, both administratively and in litigation. Attorneys in their estates and trust practice offer guidance concerning dynasty trusts, asset protection trusts and other Delaware-advantaged structures, as well as wealth transfer strategies, sophisticated estate planning techniques and fiduciary litigation.
Contact: Mary M Culley

Representative clients include E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Apple, Inc.; McMoRan Exploration Co.; Consolidated Rail Corporation; Deutsche Bank Trust Company of Delaware; Wachovia Bank of Delaware; Christiana Care Health Services; City ofWilmington; Blenheim Homes; Woodlawn Trustees; Cadia Rehabilitation; Wilmington Savings Fund Society; Bellvue Realty, Co.; The Onix Group; M&T Bank; Wilmington Parking Authority. Bankruptcy representative clients include: AFCO Credit Corporation; The CIT Group/Business Credit, Inc.; Windsor Frozen Foods Ltd.; HP Hood LLC;DCT Industrial Trust; Quest Diagnostics Incorporated.


  • 500 Delaware Avenue,
  • Wilmington,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19806
  • Tel 302 888 6800
  • Fax 302 571 1750
  • Website : www.morrisjames.com
  • 29 North State Street,
  • Suite 100,
  • Dover,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19901-3832
  • Tel 302 678 8815
  • Fax 302 678 9063
  • 16 Polly Drummond Hill Road,
  • Newark,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19711-5703
  • Tel 302 368 4200
  • Fax 302 368 6259
  • 803 North Broom Street,
  • Wilmington,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19806-4624
  • Tel 302 655 2599
  • Fax 302 655 8831
  • 107 W Market Street,
  • Georgetown,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19947
  • Tel 302 856 0015
  • Fax 302 856 7116

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Delaware

THE FIRM This seven-strong team represents both secured and unsecured creditors, interested purchasers of assets, creditors' committees and debtors, and is regularly involved in some of the largest Chapter 11 cases filed in Delaware. Clients include ICM, AFCO Credit and Coltec Industries.

Sources say: "Their timeliness, attention to detail, and willingness to go the extra mile in terms of client service make a huge difference to us in our approach to Delaware cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Carl Kunz "has his head screwed on straight" and is "very careful and adept in court," where he is noted for his courtroom presence. He is also highlighted for his exceptional paperwork: occasionally, "his papers are so reliable they end up in judges' opinions."

Group head Stephen Miller is "extremely knowledgeable and strategic in his actions," and "pays close attention to detail." He regularly represents AFCO Credit in a broad range of matters, including financing issues, fraudulent transfers and adequate protection.

Brett Fallon is an experienced litigator who routinely represents both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.

Chancery - Delaware

THE FIRM This distinguished Delaware firm advises and litigates on behalf of clients on disputes ranging from self-dealing transactions for limited partnerships to structuring transactions. Key clients include DuPont, which the team recently represented in a misappropriation of trade secrets case.

Sources say: "You really cannot overstate the knowledge that they bring – both of the judges and of Delaware law. When you talk to them off the tops of their heads, they've got relevant cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clarkson Collins is a "very capable lawyer" who is "a valuable resource in how to present your ideas." He is praised for his knowledge of both the judges and their rulings, and "his knowledge extends beyond Chancery to the District Court as well." Of late he has represented Rob Ellis in his continuing litigation against Paul Touradji relating to Catequil Management.

Peter Ladig's "legal analysis is excellent, his knowledge of Delaware law is brilliant," and he is also a "very personable guy." He is "just about everything that you would want with a co-counsel," say interviewees. 

Lewis Lazarus is "highly intelligent and tough but reasonable," and is noted for his up-to-date knowledge of all the latest cases in Delaware. He receives particular praise for his perspective: "He understands beyond the case and sees the bigger picture."

Edward McNally "knows what he's doing," and "has excellent judgment and is well respected," according to the market. Sources also appreciate his connections and ability to deal with complex cases. He attained a summary judgment against Bonanza Restaurants in a sizable contract claim.

Labor & Employment - Delaware

THE FIRM This three-member team represents employers in a wide range of matters relating to the management of workforces, from litigation to various labor negotiations. The team's client list includes public bodies such as City of Wilmington, Sussex Technical, Indian River School Districts and City of Rehoboth Beach. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Williams takes on a wide variety of work, including litigation-based matters, counseling and arbitration, particularly with respect to collective bargaining agreements. He brings a "thorough, comprehensive and caring approach, uniformly and without exception" to his work, and is noted for his close ties with the education sector.

James McMackin has developed a strong reputation in the field, particularly for his work defending clients in alleged discrimination and retaliation cases.