Delaware’s primary litigation venues—the Court of Chancery for matters in equity and the Superior Court for matters of law—are together widely regarded as the best and most effective business court system in the country. Central to the courts’ effectiveness is the Delaware Uniform Arbitration Act (DUAA), which allows the enforcement of private arbitration agreements and the appointment of arbitrators in the absence of formal arbitration agreements.
Richards Layton litigators have participated in Court of Chancery and Superior Court arbitration and mediation proceedings since the DUAA was enacted nearly 40 years ago. Now, as the rules and procedures for expanded ADR activity are being established, our firm’s integral role in Delaware’s legal landscape means that we have direct input into this evolving new ADR infrastructure.
In fact, our attorneys played key roles in the development of the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (DRAA), a highly specialized arbitration statute that offers entities the option of exceptionally streamlined arbitration proceedings. The DRAA, signed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell in April 2015, provides for broad powers for the arbitrator, ready confirmation, and limited appeal directly to the Delaware Supreme Court. Intended for sophisticated business parties, the DRAA offers a framework for completing an arbitration in as little as 120 days. For an in-depth discussion of the DRAA, please visit http://www.rlf.com/DRAA.
The Delaware Bankruptcy Court, recognized as a leading court for complex and diverse business restructurings, frequently uses ADR procedures to resolve disputes ranging from complex chapter 11 plan issues to resolving preference litigation. Richards Layton bankruptcy attorneys have served successfully and extensively as mediators and as counsel to parties in a wide range of bankruptcy mediations. Our lawyers, who have been involved in virtually all of the significant chapter 11 cases filed in Delaware, have represented debtors, creditors’ committees, debtor-in-possession lenders and other secured lenders, purchasers of businesses, and various other parties in interest. The depth of this experience as counsel and as mediators in Delaware Bankruptcy Court allows us to provide our clients with exceptional representation in ADR proceedings.
In addition to ADR proceedings in Delaware state and federal courts, our lawyers have appeared in proceedings of the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. We are experienced in formal ADR proceedings, and have also conducted negotiation and settlement at every stage of litigation—before, during, and after trial, as well as on appeal.