Richards Layton is one of the world’s leading advisors on the use of Delaware statutory and common law trusts in commercial transactions. We are the firm of choice for establishing and administering Delaware statutory and common law trusts—in fact, our lawyers have been involved in forming more Delaware statutory trusts than any other law firm. We are pioneers in the development of numerous financing transactions using a trust structure, such as leveraged leases and asset-backed securities.
Delaware’s largest corporate trust practice
Richards Layton also represents major financial institutions and privately held trust companies that provide fiduciary and agency services to their clients. Our firm has built Delaware’s largest, most successful corporate trust practice.
Our team delivers
The success of our Corporate Trust & Agency Services Group has been built on extraordinary lawyers delivering exceptional legal advice. Our corporate trust lawyers have held numerous leadership positions in the state and national bar and have been recognized in Chambers USA for their excellence. We are positioned, both locally and nationally, not only to review, draft, and comment on the legislation and regulations that impact our industry, but also to drive new legislation to address issues as they arise in structured finance and investment management transactions.
July 29, 2020
The Delaware General Assembly recently enacted amendments to the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “DSTA”) which will become effective August 1, 2020. The amendments make a variety of changes relating to the nature and operation of Delaware statutory trusts (“DSTs”), including amendments (i) clarifying the ability of a DST to enter into contracts between series of…
Delaware Laws & Programs Affecting Business presents an introduction to Delaware and an overview of the laws and programs relating to doing business in the State. Our economy is diverse, and our legal framework is intentionally crafted to foster robust business activity. Our widely copied business laws lead the nation in clarity and predictability. Government…
July 24, 2018
The Delaware General Assembly recently enacted amendments to the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “DSTA”) which will become effective August 1, 2018. The amendments make a variety of changes relating to the nature and operation of statutory trusts, including (i) confirming the ability to use blockchain technology to store trust information, issue shares, and conduct trust…
July 19, 2018
At yesterday’s Delaware Division of Corporations User’s Meeting, we were informed that the base fee for all statutory trust filings will increase from $200 to $500 effective August 1, 2018. The certification fee and expedited service fees remain unchanged.…
July 9, 2018
WILMINGTON, Delaware (July 9, 2018) – Doneene K. Damon, a director of Richards, Layton & Finger, has been honored as one of Savoy magazine’s 2018 “Most Influential Black Lawyers.” Identifying lawyers who are visionaries, leaders, and advocates, Savoy’s annual list features African-American partners from top law firms and general counsel from Fortune 1000 companies…
November 2, 2017
WILMINGTON, Delaware (November 2, 2017) – Richards, Layton & Finger has been recognized for excellence in 23 practice areas in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers 2018 “Best Law Firms” rankings. The firm received the survey’s top Tier 1 Delaware ranking in 19 practice areas, the most Tier 1 rankings of any firm in the…
May 26, 2017
Thirty-eight Richards, Layton & Finger attorneys have been named leaders in their field by Chambers USA, one of the world’s most respected legal directories.
January 20, 2017
Amendments to the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “DSTA”), effective August 1, 2016, provide for the ability to opt out of separate legal entity status. [Read our July 2016 update HERE]. In the five months since the effective date of the amendments, the opt-out provisions of the DSTA have been embraced and utilized by many in…
November 2, 2016
WILMINGTON, Delaware (November 2, 2016) – Richards, Layton & Finger has been recognized for excellence in 22 areas in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers 2017 “Best Law Firms” rankings. The firm received the survey’s top Tier 1 metropolitan ranking in 19 practice areas, the most Tier 1 rankings of any Delaware firm. In this year’s…
September 27, 2016
Recent amendments to the Delaware Statutory Trust Act, effective August 1, 2016, provide for the ability to opt out of separate legal entity status. [Read our July 2016 update HERE] Some practitioners have expressed concern that by opting out of separate legal entity status, a Delaware statutory trust might not qualify as a “person” who can…
August 15, 2016
WILMINGTON, Delaware (August 15, 2016) – Richards, Layton & Finger directors Paul Altman, F. Peter Conaty Jr., Fred Cottrell, Eric Mazie, and William Wade have been selected as 2017 Wilmington, Delaware Lawyers of the Year. The Best Lawyers in America presents this award to a single outstanding lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan…
July 13, 2016
The Delaware General Assembly recently enacted amendments to the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “DSTA”). The amendments are designed to enhance the DSTA and to maintain Delaware’s place as the premier jurisdiction in which to form statutory trusts. The amendments include several important changes relating to the nature and operation of statutory trusts, including the ability…
December 9, 2015
WILMINGTON, Delaware (December 9, 2015) – Richards, Layton & Finger is pleased to welcome 14 new lawyers to the Delaware bar. The lawyers were admitted to practice in the State of Delaware by the Delaware Supreme Court in a ceremony today in Dover. The newly admitted Richards, Layton & Finger associates, and the law schools from…
Practical Law The Journal | November 2015
In commercial real estate transactions, lenders commonly require borrowers to organize as bankruptcy remote entities to limit certain risks associated with a borrower’s bankruptcy filing. This article discusses the fundamentals of using a bankruptcy remote entity to purchase and finance commercial real estate and the key considerations for both lenders and borrowers.
October 22, 2015
Northstar Fin. Advisors, Inc. v. Schwab Invs., No. 11-17187 (9th Cir. filed Sept. 14, 2011), has generated considerable apprehension in the mutual fund industry, particularly with respect to its discussion relating to the ability of mutual fund shareholders to bring direct actions against fund board members and investment advisors. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent denial…
October 14, 2015
Please join Richards Layton directors Doneene Damon and Greg Varallo and counsel Wes Peterson for a discussion of how the recently enacted Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (DRAA) may provide advantages in securitization transactions implementing arbitration provisions pursuant to Reg A/B II and otherwise. To learn more about the Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act (DRAA), please see our dedicated…
October 14, 2015
Please join Doneene Damon, Greg Varallo and Wes Peterson for a discussion of how the recently enacted Delaware Rapid Arbitration Act may provide advantages in secured transactions requiring arbitration provisions under Reg A/B II.
August 17, 2015
WILMINGTON, Delaware (August 17, 2015) – Donald Bussard, Mark Gentile, Tara Hoffner, Gregory Ladner, Jeffrey Moyer, and William Wade, directors of Richards, Layton & Finger, have been named 2016 Wilmington, Delaware Lawyers of the Year. The Best Lawyers in America presents this award to a single outstanding lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan…
August 17, 2015
WILMINGTON, Delaware (August 17, 2015) – Richards, Layton and Finger is pleased to announce that 45 of its directors have been named in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Richards, Layton & Finger has more attorneys ranked in Best Lawyers than any other Delaware firm. In addition, the firm is ranked first…
May 19, 2015
Richards, Layton & Finger also received high marks in six areas of law, including Chambers’ top ranking in the areas of Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chancery, Corporate/M&A & Alternative Entities, and Real Estate.
Practical Law | May 5, 2015
This Practice Note discusses the use of bankruptcyremote entities in commercial real estatetransactions, including different types of bankruptcyremote entities, the separateness provisions oftenrequired by lenders and the consequences ofsubstantive consolidation. This Note discusses thefundamentals of using a bankruptcy remote entityto purchase real estate, including the reasons aninvestor may be required to establish a separateentity to purchase…
April 20, 2015
WILMINGTON, Delaware (April 20, 2015) – Richards, Layton & Finger director Doneene Keemer Damon was presented with the American Bar Association’s 2015 Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award during the ABA Spring Meeting on Friday, April 17. This prestigious award, named for Jean Allard, the first woman to chair the ABA Business Law Section, is given annually…
November 19, 2014
Trustees are increasingly being asked to hold trust assets in their name in securitization and other structured finance transactions in which both New York and Delaware trusts are used. This is a reversal of sorts of a principal advantage introduced in the securitization industry in the late 1980s by the Delaware Statutory Trust Act: the trust…
July 23, 2014
The Delaware General Assembly has recently enacted legislation amending the Delaware Statutory Trust Act. The following is a brief summary of some of the more significant amendments that affect Delaware statutory trusts.
December 11, 2013
WILMINGTON, Delaware (December 11, 2013) – Seven new Richards, Layton & Finger associates were admitted to the Delaware bar on December 11, 2013. Sarah Anne Clark, Cavan Costantino, Laura DiFrancesco, William Dolan, Rachel Horn, Ryan Maerz and David McAloon were admitted to practice in the State of Delaware by the Delaware Supreme Court in a ceremony…
July 17, 2013
A recent Delaware Court of Chancery opinion upholding forum-selection provisions in corporate by-laws against facial challenges should be of interest to registered investment companies organized in Delaware or considering relocating to Delaware.
June 19, 2013
Delaware’s comprehensive statutory framework governing common law trusts, which is reviewed and updated on a regular basis, is designed to promote flexibility, certainty, and predictability in transaction planning.
November 1, 2012
WILMINGTON, Delaware (November 1, 2012) – Richards, Layton & Finger received the top ranking in Delaware in 17 practice areas in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings, and is recognized in a total of 22 practice areas. The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings identify law…
August 28, 2012
WILMINGTON, Delaware (August 28, 2012) – Richards, Layton & Finger is proud to announce that 43 of its attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Richards Layton has more attorneys listed in Best Lawyers than any other firm in Delaware. In addition, the firm is ranked first…
The Investment Lawyer | August 2012
This article will discuss recent Delaware case law addressing derivative actions involving registered investment companies organized as Delaware statutory trusts.
July 31, 2012
WILMINGTON, Delaware (July 31, 2012) – Richards, Layton & Finger directors Doneene Keemer Damon and Robert J. Krapf have been elected to the Executive Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association. Krapf, who has previously served in leadership positions on the Executive Committee, was elected the New Castle County Vice President; Damon will again serve as…
June 28, 2012
The Delaware General Assembly has recently enacted legislation amending the Delaware Statutory Trust Act.
June 7, 2012
Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized 35 Richards, Layton & Finger attorneys for excellence in seven areas of law, far more lawyers than any other Delaware firm.
June 4, 2012
WILMINGTON, DE (June 4, 2012) – Richards, Layton & Finger announced today that Anthony M. Harvin has joined the firm as counsel in its Corporate Trust practice group. “We have worked with Tony for more than two decades and have been impressed by the quality of his work and his commitment to client service,” said Eric…
May 14, 2012
In Protas v. Cavanagh, the Delaware Court of Chancery applied corporate law tests in dismissing direct and derivative actions brought against Black Rock Credit Allocation Income Trust IV, a Delaware statutory trust (“BTZ”), BTZ’s board of trustees and various other parties.
March 30, 2012
WILMINGTON, Delaware (March 30, 2012) – Richards, Layton & Finger director Doneene Keemer Damon has been selected to be a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL). The ACCFL is an exclusive professional association whose mission is to promote and develop the field of commercial finance law. Membership is limited to those individuals…
March 22, 2012
Steve Bigler, Elisa Maas, Greg Varallo, and John Mark Zeberkiewicz will speak at this annual ABA section meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
February 2, 2012
Freedom of contract, including the ability to alter the fiduciary duties and liabilities of trustees, is the hallmark of Delaware trust law and may be the foremost reason for the preeminent position of the Delaware statutory trust in structured finance and investment fund transactions.
November 3, 2011
WILMINGTON, Delaware (November 3, 2011) – Richards, Layton & Finger is ranked in the first tier in Delaware in 14 practice areas in the U.S. News and Best Lawyers® 2011-2012 “Best Law Firms” rankings. The firm is ranked in a total of 21 categories and is also named in the national rankings in 2 practice areas.…
September 13, 2011
WILMINGTON, Delaware (September 13, 2011) – Richards, Layton & Finger is proud to announce that 32 of its attorneys were recently selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Richards Layton has more attorneys listed in Best Lawyers than any other firm in Delaware. In addition, the firm is ranked…
August 18, 2011
Washington, DC (September 7, 2011) – The National LGBT Bar Association is proud to announce the recipients of its second annual Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 award. The LGBT Bar established this award to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal professionals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and demonstrated…
August 4, 2011
Director Doneene K. Damon will speak at this annual ABA event in Toronto.
This guide presents an introduction to Delaware and an overview of the laws and programs relating to doing business in the State.
July 26, 2011
The Delaware Statutory Trust Act, 12 Del. C. § 3801, et seq. (the “Act”), was amended on July 13, 2011 in order to address several technical issues. The amendments to the Act (the “2011 Amendments”) are set forth in House Bill No. 115.
The Investment Lawyer | July 2011
The board members of registered investment companies play a critical role in protecting the interests of shareholders. In order to encourage the diligent discharge of their duties, the board members of registered investment companies in turn need to be protected. Indemnification and advancement, along with insurance, are key components of the protections available to board members with respect to the discharge of their duties.
June 9, 2011
Wilmington, DE – Fred C. Sears II, president and CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF), and Thomas D. Wren, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors, have announced the appointment of Doneene Keemer Damon, a director of Richards, Layton & Finger, to the DCF board of directors. Ms. Damon will serve the remaining time on…
Delaware Banker | Spring 2011
In response to perceived market conditions leading to the recent economic downturn in the United States, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
December 14, 2010
Director Doneene Keemer Damon will speak at this American Bar Association CLE-accredited teleconference which will provide a basic overview of financial statements.
The Investment Lawyer | November 2010
In light of recent public discussion with respect to the use of defensive measures by closed-end funds to counteract takeover attempts, this article addresses some of the more common defensive measures that have been adopted by closed-end funds organized as Delaware statutory trusts and the permissibility of such measures under Delaware law.
July 19, 2010
Consistent with Delaware’s commitment to maintaining statutes that are state-of-the-art with respect to business entities, including statutory trusts, the Delaware Statutory Trust Act was amended on July 15, 2010.
Bloomberg Law Reports | July 2009
This two-part article attempts to make some sense out of the alphabet soup of the federal crisis programs by providing a detailed introduction to each program that has been founded since the passage of EESA in October 2008.
The Investment Lawyer | February 2009
This article discusses the history of the use of trusts organized in series under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act); the series provisions of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the DSTA); the common issues and questions that arise as a result of the use of series; and the future of the series concept…
November 18, 2008
For the first time since the enactment of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “DSTA”) more than twenty years ago, a Delaware court has addressed fiduciary duties in the context of a Delaware statutory trust.
The Investment Lawyer | January 2008
This article highlights the provisions of the Delaware statutory trust likely to be of most interest to investment companies and their advisers (particularly those provisions designed specifically to address the needs of investment companies) as well as provides some practical considerations for the drafting of governing instruments, including with respect to those areas that can prove…
August 16, 2007
On July 18, 2007, Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed into law legislation that provides a comprehensive scheme for the formation of special purpose financial captive insurance companies ("SPFCs").