Richards Layton Director’s Report as Special Counsel Relied Upon by Court of Chancery
May 9, 2011
The national legal media and corporate law practices throughout the country highlighted the recent work of Richards, Layton & Finger director (and corporate department chair) Gregory P. Williams, appointed special counsel to the Court of Chancery in Scully v. Nighthawk Radiology Holdings, Inc. Williams was appointed to advise regarding potential changes to judicial procedures and rules pertaining to multi-forum litigation. In his December 22, 2010 letter appointing Williams, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster stated that he selected Williams “because he is a distinguished Chancery practitioner with extensive experience handling representative action settlements and multi-jurisdictional litigation.”
Williams’ report, filed on March 11, 2011, reviewed extensive precedent regarding potential collusive forum shopping in the settlement of stockholder litigation. Williams concluded that the settlement at issue in the Nighthawk litigation was not the result of collusion. Williams also presented certain recommendations to the Court as to how the settlement process can be improved.
Numerous legal publications and law firm newsletters commented on the report. The Am Law Daily discussed the “high stakes” involved in this matter and wrote, “At stake for everyone else: the rules and guidelines for plaintiffs and defense lawyers litigating a swelling wave of merger-related class actions.”
In a letter decision dated April 12, 2011, Vice Chancellor Laster labeled the special counsel’s report as “excellent” and stated that he “agreed with special counsel’s analysis of the law and assessment of what took place” in the Nighthawk matter.
Richards Layton associate Blake Rohrbacher worked closely with Williams to prepare the report.