About Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.

Richards, Layton & Finger, Delaware's largest law firm and one of its oldest, has been committed from its founding to helping sophisticated clients navigate complex issues and the intricacies of Delaware law.  The firm advises Fortune 500 companies, global law firms, financial institutions, hedge funds, venture capital firms, local businesses, and prominent individuals on their most significant Delaware law issues.

Richards Layton is home to the largest corporate practice in the state, with a transactional team that handles the M&A mega-deals governed by Delaware law and a litigation team that has been involved in many of the landmark cases defining the state's influential corporate laws. For the past 17 years Richards Layton has topped the storied M&A league tables in The Deal, serving as Delaware counsel on more transactions valued at or above $100 million than any other firm in the state.  Richards Layton has litigated many textbook case law staples, including The Walt Disney Company Derivative Litigation, Lyondell Chemical Co. v. Ryan, and Unocal Corp. v. Mesa Petroleum Co., and continues to be a go-to firm for complex, high-stakes corporate litigation. 

The firm's influence extends far beyond the corporate realm. Richards Layton also houses the state's largest alternative entities practice, working hand-in-hand with BigLaw teams to structure sophisticated LLPs and LLCs for a wide range of high-profile clients.

Richards Layton has one of the state's leading intellectual property litigation practice, nationally recognized for tackling some of the most difficult IP matters that emerge in the Delaware District Court, one of the leading venues for IP litigation in the United States.  The firm's top-notch bankruptcy and corporate restructuring practice is widely considered a leader in the Mid-Atlantic region, described by Chambers USA as the "cream of the crop."  Respected bankruptcy firms throughout the country regularly tap Richards Layton to serve as their co-counsel in many of the largest and most complex bankruptcy cases filed in Delaware.

The firm also has highly regarded real estate and employment practices. Richards Layton's real estate lawyers are nationally recognized for expertise in handling all phases of commercial property transactions, and the employment team is known for its customized solutions to ensure compliance with labor laws, minimize employee conflicts, and maximize advantages in employment law disputes.  Richards Layton's Tax and Trusts & Estates lawyers advise many of the nation's most prominent financial institutions, trust companies, and high net worth individuals on tax and estate-planning strategies that reflect the unique advantages of Delaware law.

Richards Layton attorneys have long played key roles in drafting and amending many of the state's influential business statutes, including the Delaware General Corporation Law, the Delaware Limited Partnership Act, the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act, and the Delaware Statutory Trust Act.  The firm and its lawyers are regularly acclaimed by prestigious legal directories such as Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon 500, IAM Patent 1000, and Who's Who Legal.

Wilmington Origins

The firm's origins date back to the 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 a law degree by "reading" for law under Richards. Next 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 set several diversity precedents in Delaware; in 2016 it became the first major Delaware law firm with an executive leadership team comprised of a female majority and the first to appoint an African-American partner. 

Summer Associate Rotations and Mentoring

Richards Layton'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 two mentors, a director and an associate, who provide them with general guidance, manage their assignments, and answer their questions.

IN THE NEWS

June 2017
Going for Gold

Richards, Layton & Finger and three of the firm's directors, Fred Cottrell, Kelly Farnan, and Jeffrey Moyer, have been named among the top patent firms and attorneys in Delaware in IAM Patent 1000-The World's Leading Patent Professionals 2017. Richards Layton received IAM's highest gold ranking and is the only Delaware firm with two attorneys ranked in the top gold band.

May 2017
A Lawdragon Addition

Richards, Layton & Finger directors Catherine G. Dearlove and Gregory P. Williams have been named in the 2017 edition of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, marking the 10th consecutive year that Mr. Williams has been named to this elite list. Lawdragon, a respected provider of high-quality legal journalism, annually identifies the lawyers and judges who are "the best of the best" in the United States and beyond. In recognition of their exceptional skill and significant accomplishments, Ms. Dearlove and Mr. Williams are among six lawyers and three judges in Delaware named on the 2017 Lawdragon 500 list.

March 2017
A 17 Year Multi-Million Dollar Run

Richards, Layton & Finger placed first in Corporate Control Alert's 2016 rankings chart of Delaware firms serving as legal counsel on high-value M&A transactions. Posting 69 deals, Richards Layton handled as many transactions in 2016 as the other listed Delaware firms combined. Richards Layton has led the state in both Corporate Control Alert's and The Deal's annual rankings of transactions valued at or above $100 million for 17 years running.

A Delaware Standout

The Best Lawyers in America names 53 Richards Layton attorneys-more than from any other Delaware firm-and lists the firm as first in the state in 8 areas of law. Chambers USA lists 36 of Richards Layton attorneys, more lawyers than from any other Delaware firm, and recognizes 6 of the firm's practice areas for excellence.

February 2017
The Right Fit
Richards, Layton & Finger is delighted to announce the opening of our state of the art on-site Fitness Center, available for use by all employees free of charge.

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Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.

One Rodney Square
920 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 651-7700

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • President: Gregory V. Varallo
  • Hiring Partner: Paul N. Heath
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 156

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    14 out of 14 (2Ls only) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Banking • Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring • Business Trust and Agency Services • Chancery/Corporate Litigation • Commercial Transactions • Corporate Advisory and Governance • Intellectual Property • Labor and Employment • Limited Liability Company and Partnership Advisory • Litigation • Real Estate • Tax • Trusts and Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Wilmington, DE