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Senate confirms Will to Chancery seat

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WILMINGTON – A week after confirming Vice Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick to replace Andre G. Bouchard at the head of the vastly influential Delaware Court of Chancery, a Delaware State Senate committee has confirmed her vice chancellor replacement, Lori W. Will.

Lori W. Will | PHOTO COURTESY OF WILSON SONSINI

The confirmation of Will, a Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati attorney, returns three women to the Chancery bench for the first time in more than a year, after former Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves was promoted to the Delaware Supreme Court.

“Thank you to the Delaware Senate for confirming several distinguished Delawareans to serve on our world-class judiciary. All of these nominees have the experience, knowledge, and judgment to serve Delaware well in these positions,” Gov. John Carney said in a Wednesday night statement following the Delaware Senate Executive Committee’s approval of Will along with Kent County Superior Court Judge Reneta Green-Streett and Court of Common Pleas Judge Katharine Mayer.

With the Court of Chancery being the home venue to the legal disputes for the state’s more than 1 million legal incorporations, any appointments to the bench are scrutinized by corporate America. It is the judges, who are expected to have a large degree of business litigation experience, and not juries who hear the cases that involve shareholders, executives, and corporate boards.

Will has focused on corporate, commercial, and federal securities litigation, especially in the Court of Chancery, during her more than four years at the firm. Before joining Wilson Sonsini, Will was a senior associate in the litigation department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and served as a law clerk to then-Vice Chancellor Leo E. Strine Jr., who would later serve as chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.

Susman Godfrey partner Shawn Rabin, who worked closely with Will in WeWork’s case against SoftBank, where she represented WeWork and he represented its former CEO Adam Neumann, said he was impressed with his colleague’s “mastery of Delaware law and unmatched work ethic.”

“Lori is a consensus builder. In the WeWork case, she was able to work with many different teams and find ways for everyone to reach a resolution. During depositions, she had the perfect tone and demeanor, combined with a mastery of the facts, that made the witnesses feel at ease in providing testimony in an otherwise contentious case,” he said in a statement. “A great judge has to have a combination of smarts and extraordinary work ethic. Lori excels at both.”

The Chancery judiciary has seen several changing faces in the past two years. After Carney appointed Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. in 2019, he nominated Montgomery-Reeves to fill Seitz’s vacated seat on the state’s top court. Replacing Montgomery-Reeves was Paul A. Fioravanti Jr., who joined the Court of Chancery last year.

The court’s other vice chancellors are Travis Laster, Sam Glasscock III, Joseph Slights III, and Morgan Zurn.

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