The largest firm in Delaware and one of the oldest, Wilmington
firm Richards, Layton Finger guides professional sports teams,
investment bankers, financial institutions, insurance companies,
chemical manufacturers, government agencies, game developers, hedge
funds and public, retail and telecommunications companies through
all manner of legal matters. The firm is home to the largest
corporate practice in the state and has a special focus on
bankruptcy and corporate restructurings.
The firm's origins date back to the very end of the nineteenth
century. In 1899, Robert H. Richards moved to Wilmington to begin
his law practice. He was soon joined by Aaron Finger, who enviably
managed to escape the gruel of law school, and became a partner
sans college or law degree by "reading" for law under Richards.
Next to come was Caleb Layton, whose arrival as partner in 1929
gave the firm its current name of Richards, Layton Finger. As it
grew, Richards, Layton Finger also set several diversity precedents
for Delaware firms, being the first major firm in the state to hire
a Jewish attorney and to have women and African-American
Today, Richards, Layton Finger has grown to become the largest
law firm in the state of Delaware. Richards, Layton Finger has been
acclaimed by prestigious publications Benchmark
Litigation, Chambers and Legal 500 and its
lawyers have been included in World's Leading Patent
Practitioners 2013 and International Who's Who lists
in areas of M&A, Commercial, Litigation and Real Estate.
Richards, Layton Finger's corporate and bankruptcy team has been
described by Chambers as "cream of the crop" and for good
reason; the firm is both prolific and successful in restructuring
cases. Richards, Layton Finger has served as debtor's counsel in
more than 100 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in Delaware and The
Deal named it one of the most active debtor's counsel in 2008
The firm often teams up with BigLaw firms in large, high-profile
bankruptcy cases. In 2013, Richards, Layton Finger, along with
BigLaw mainstay Simpson Thacher, served as counsel to the special
committee of Clearwire. The firm advised Clearwire in navigating
its proposed partial asset acquisition by DISH Network Corporation
in the wake of its prior agreement to a stake acquisition by
Sprint. Richards, Layton Finger was also debtor counsel to
lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 with Latham & Watkins LLP
in its restructuring case. The firm advised A123 to sell $256.6
million of its assets to Wanxiang America Corp. and $2.25 million
of its government business to Navitas Systems.
Summer Associate Rotations and Mentoring
Richards, Layton Finger's summer associate program is noteworthy
for the heavy level of experience and mentoring it offers. Before
joining the program, summer associates are asked to rank practice
areas in order of preference, and, upon joining, follow a rotation
system designed to promote exposure to different legal areas.
Summer associates are assigned one area to start in, and then
halfway through the summer, change to another area in which they
work until the end of the program.
Extensive mentoring is also part of the program. Summer
associates receive not one mentor but two: both a director and an
associate, who are in charge of providing them with general
guidance, managing their assignments, and answering their
questions. As if that weren't enough, summer associates are also
given junior associate "buddies" during an informal orientation.
Summer associates are given opportunities and workload on par with
full-time associates, attending client meetings, transactional
closings, hearings, trials and depositions, and receive formal
evaluations twice over the course of the summer: halfway through
the program and at its end.