One of the oldest firms in the country, Delaware firm Potter
Anderson has been involved in historic and influential cases since
its inception. Operating from only one office, it continues to
serve corporate heavyweight clients locally, nationally and
internationally and Fortune 500 companies. Its clients are in
industries from retail (Wal-Mart, BJ's Wholesale Club) to media
(Walt Disney), technology (AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Google,
Intel), energy (General Electric, Exxon) and banking and finance
(Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase, Bank of America,
Not So Humble Beginnings
Founded in 1826, Potter Anderson is well past its hundredth
anniversary and closer to its two-hundredth. Delaware bar member
and recent law school grad Andrew C. Gray began the firm in the
city of New Castle. Gray, who also became the president of the
Farmers Bank of State of Delaware and part of the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal Company was joined in 1863 by his son George Gray.
Father and son moved the firm, which in its early days specialized
in corporate and litigation, to Wilmington in 1881, and twenty
years later, in 1901, the addition of Herbert H. Ward created the
firm Ward & Gray. The firm underwent three more name changes to
reflect changes in its ownership, morphing from Southerland Berl
& Potter Berl to Berl Potter & Anderson to its current
incarnation Potter Anderson & Corroon, the name it has held
From its beginnings, Potter Anderson had a habit of grooming
talented and prominent Delaware public officials. Starting with
founder Andrew C. and son George Gray, who were two of three
Delaware Attorney Generals, the third being Clarence Southerland,
who was also the first Chief Justice of Delaware. The junior Gray,
George, served two full terms in the U.S. Senate, was a member of
the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit, and retired in 1914 only
to be appointed a judge for the then newly-created Court of
International Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
Chambers USA ranks Potter Anderson a leading firm in
six practice areas: Corporate Litigation & Counseling,
Bankruptcy & Restructuring, Business & Commercial Law,
Intellectual Property Litigation & Counseling, Structured
Finance & Alternative Entities and Commercial Litigation.
Benchmark Litigation 2011 names Potter Anderson a "highly
recommended" Delaware litigation firm for reasons elaborated on by
Corporate Counsel 2010, which names it a"Go-To Law Firm"
for IP law for Amazon, Apple, Intel, IBM and Fortune Brands and IP
and Labor and Employment for DuPont.
Leave it Up to Chancery
Potter Anderson is a regular at the Delaware Court of Chancery,
a well-known arena of influential corporate law cases of national
significance. Every few decades, Potter Anderson takes it one step
further to the Supreme Court and cements its place as a corporate
law-shaping firm with landmark cases like Guth v. Loft,
Inc. in 1939, which concerned the duty of loyalty, Revlon
Inc. v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. in1986, which
dealt with hostile takeovers, and In re Walt Disney Co.
Derivative Litigation in 2005, which concerned business
Defenders Now and Then - Brown v. Board of
Potter Anderson has a deep connection to the history book-making
1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which
dealt a decisive blow to public school segregation.
AssociateCollins J. Seitz, who had joined the firm only 8 years
earlier, wrote the only Supreme Court-approved decision in the
case. More than half a century later, Potter Anderson found itself
battling again in 2012, this time pro bono for the preservation of
the Hockessin School 107C, which played such an integral role in
the case and is now struggling with debt.