March 25, 2009

Drinker Biddle’s Wilmington Office Adds 10 Litigation & Real Estate Lawyers

A group of 10 litigation and real estate lawyers, including five partners, today officially joined the Wilmington office of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.  With this addition, Drinker Biddle offers clients significant skill, depth and experience in handling complex business and white collar criminal cases in Delaware’s federal, Chancery, Supreme and Superior courts as well as deep local roots in zoning, land use and other real estate matters.  The lawyers were previously with WolfBlock LLP.   

Kathleen M. Jennings, William J. Rhodunda, Todd C. Schiltz, Joseph C. Schoell and Shawn P. Tucker are joining Drinker Biddle as partners while Charles M. Oberly joins as of counsel to the firm.  Jennings and Oberly are experienced litigators with significant backgrounds in white collar criminal defense.  Tucker and Rhodunda are both experienced real estate and litigation attorneys.  

Joining the firm as associates are Jennifer B. Ranji, Chandra J. Rudloff, Karen V. Sullivan and Daniel Turner, Jr.  

“The ability to offer our clients first-hand familiarity with Delaware’s federal and state courts has been part of our strategy since opening our Wilmington office in 2003,” said Drinker Biddle Chairman Alfred W. Putnam, Jr.  “The addition of these top-notch lawyers now gives us a significant presence in Delaware, allowing us to act as experienced counsel in the type of litigation prevalent in Delaware.”  More than 850,000 businesses are incorporated in Delaware, including nearly two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. 

The new Drinker Biddle lawyers’ public service experience in the state spans an impressive array of positions, including Delaware Attorney General, Delaware Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief Counsel to the Governor of Delaware, County Attorney for New Castle County (Del.), Land Use General Manager for New Castle County and Chairman of the Delaware Tax Appeals Board.  The new group is combining with Drinker Biddle’s established restructuring and litigation group in Delaware, which includes William T. Quillen, a former justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, a former chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery and a former judge of the Delaware Superior Court, as well as a former Delaware Secretary of State. The firm now counts more than 15 lawyers in its Wilmington office.

“We are thrilled to add such an excellent group of people who are so well regarded in the Delaware Bar and who bring the skill sets we were looking for in Delaware,” said Andrew C. Kassner, Drinker Biddle’s Executive Partner and chair of the Corporate Restructuring Practice Group.  “These lawyers’ practices have been very successful in Delaware, and we are looking forward to building on that success here at Drinker Biddle.  Our clients tell us that there is tremendous value in our ability to serve them in one of the top jurisdictions in the nation for business litigation and bankruptcy, not to mention other areas such as white collar defense, corporate governance, intellectual property and real estate.” 

Tucker, who will be the new Regional Partner in Charge of the Wilmington office, said that Drinker Biddle was attractive to the group because of its national scope, wide diversity of practice groups and established bankruptcy practice in Delaware.  He added that Drinker Biddle’s structure and culture offer an opportunity for the group to grow its practices significantly. 

“We have enjoyed working with the tremendous lawyers at WolfBlock,” said Tucker.  “We believe our clients will benefit from Drinker Biddle’s national footprint and its large and sophisticated national litigation, bankruptcy, business and real estate practices.  The crossmarketing opportunities the firm offers are exciting.”



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