• You are now in...
  • USA

Morris James LLP


Morris James LLP - Wilmington
  • 500 Delaware Avenue
  • Wilmington
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19806
  • Managing Partner: David H Williams
  • Number of partners: 46
  • 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. duPont de Nemours and Company’s Primary Law Firm Network, ALFA International and State Law Resources. Morris James is a leader in alternative fee arrangements and early case assessment procedures.

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 derivative claims and to negotiate transactions in which certain board members may not be disinterested.
Contact: Lewis H Lazarus

Bankruptcy: 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 practices patent litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and represents clients in a broad range of intellectual property disputes across numerous industries, including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, automotive, biomedical, electronics, internet, and software development, among others. Our attorneys regularly act as counsel in national intellectual property litigation concerning patents, copyrights, trade secret, trademarks, and antitrust dispute 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, wage and hour claims, and ERISA violations. This practice includes administrative proceedings, and litigation in Delaware and Federal courts.
Contact: David H Williams

Transactions: 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. duPont de Nemours and Company; Apple, Inc.; McMoRan Exploration Co.; Consolidated Rail Corporation; Deutsche Bank Trust Company of Delaware; Wilmington Trust, National Association; Christiana Trust; Wells Fargo; Christiana Care Health Services; City of Wilmington; Blenheim Homes; Woodlawn Trustees; Cadia Rehabilitation; Wilmington Savings Fund Society; Bellevue 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
  • 402 Rehoboth Avenue,
  • Rehoboth Beach,
  • Delaware
  • USA
  • DE 19971-3113
  • Tel 302 260 7290
  • Fax 302 727 5886

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Delaware

What the team is known for Excellent track record for creditor representation and large-scale Chapter 11 cases. Experience in representing creditor and equity committees, purchasers and investors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent client service and breadth of knowledge on creditor issues." 

Work highlights Advised Imperial Tobacco Canada in a $525 million litigation relating to the bankruptcy proceedings of Flintkote.

Acted for real estate investment trust DCT Industrial on multiple matters in connection with bankruptcy cases throughout the nation. 

Notable practitioners 

Clients consider the "outstanding" Stephen Miller as "very knowledgeable and very useful." He is renowned for his creativity in solving atypical problems, and for his effectiveness in matters with a complicated transactional background.  

Brett Fallon is highly regarded for his litigation practice and is also noted for advising creditors, and for his work in fraudulent transfers.  

Carl Kunz is well respected for his high-quality work in written documents and is recognized as "a quick study." Sources report that although "he facilitates resolutions and doesn't rush to litigate," he is "very good in court," and continually seeks the best interests of his clients.

Significant clients Fifth Third Bank, Sun Capital, Johnson Controls, Broadcast Music, RPM International.

Chancery - Delaware

What the team is known for Highly respected counseling of special committees of boards of directors, in addition to recognized trial excellence in both Delaware Court of Chancery and Delaware Superior Court.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)  
"They are a good, solid, well-rounded Wilmington firm and have always delivered a first-rate service." 

"A very collaborative and collegial firm, with good team players who know how to work with other firms. They have a collaborative trade culture." 

What's new? Joseph Slights joins the team from the Delaware Superior Court, bringing with him 12 years of experience as a court judge. Albert Manwaring also joins the team from Pepper Hamilton.

Work highlights Defended the inside directors of McMoRan Exploration in a consolidated derivative and class-action suit over alleged breach of fiduciary obligations with respect to the acceptance of a $2.4 billion merger with Freeport Copper and Gold.  

Represented DuPont in a derivative action concerning an alleged breach of fiduciary duties by the company's officers and directors. 

Notable practitioners   

The "fantastic" Lewis Lazarus receives strong praise from interviewees for his litigation and counseling practice. He recently acted for Alcoa in defense of a dispute with Transdigm following the purchase of a business by the client.

Clarkson Collins is well-known in the Delaware corporate sphere, with one interviewee noting that "the depth of his expertise is clearly his strength" and recognizing his "willingness and ability to entertain new thoughts and arguments." He recently acted for Simplexity to seek an injunction enforcing a non-compete agreement against a former CEO.

Peter Ladig recently represented Garda USA to seek an order vacating an arbitration award in favor of SPX. Ladig's areas of focus include shareholder litigation and corporate governance.

Edward McNally handles a broad range of corporate disputes including shareholder disputes, M&A disputes and disputes surrounding contract agreements and fiduciary obligations.

Significant clients Alcoa, JFE Steel Corp, Kongsberg Automotive, National Union Fire Insurance, Wilmington Trust.

Intellectual Property - Delaware

What the team is known for Emerging intellectual property practice covering trademark, copyright and patent litigation. Sector focus ranges from telecommunications and electronics to biomedical and pharmaceuticals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very responsive. They know the procedures and the law, and are active in the chancery and intellectual property area."

"They are very collaborative and collegial. Good team players who know how to work with other firms." 

Notable practitioners  

Richard Herrmann handles a variety of intellectual property matters and is noted for his focus on the technology industry. Peers regard him as a "technically savvy," "well-versed" and "extremely knowledgeable" attorney.

Mary Matterer represents major clients in the pharmaceutical and technology industries and is regarded as a "responsive, capable and knowledgeable" intellectual property practitioner.

Significant clients Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Dell, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, Sony.

Labor & Employment - Delaware

What the team is known for Compact labor and employment practice with a specific focus on the education sector. Areas of expertise include collective bargaining and arbitrations, and litigation concerning noncompete agreements, discrimination claims, and wage and hour disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are the most well-rounded firm I have been acquainted with. Right on through, they offer good customer service, are responsive to your needs and deal with your queries as well as they possibly can." 

Work highlights Successfully defended the City of Wilmington against a series of claims from an employee including whistle-blower retaliation, age discrimination, workers' compensation retaliation and breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

David Williams is well respected for his focus on labor and employment matters pertaining to the education sector. Sources affirm that he is "a consummate professional."

James McMackin is considered to be a rising star of the labor and employment Bar in Delaware, and is noted for his representation of educational institutions in the state. Interviewees name McMackin a "very approachable, respectable and knowledgeable" attorney.

Significant clients City of Rehoboth Beach, Christiana Care Health System, Christina School District, Horizon Services, Indian River School District.