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Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Slams Lack of Transparency and Clear Conflicts of Interest in Recent Chancery Court Nominat

Yet again, Governor John Carney disregarded pleas for racial diversity in the Chancery Court through the recent nomination of former Skadden Arps lawyer Lori Will to join the Court as a Vice Chancellor, replacing outgoing Chancellor Andre Bouchard, while picking current Vice Chancellor Kathleen McCormick to rise to Chancellor.

DOVER, Del. , April 13 /Businesswire/ - On April 9, 2021, Governor John Carney nominated Lori Will, a white woman, to replace the open seat left by Chancellor Andre Bouchard. Despite pastors and community leaders calling for a Black justice on the court, Governor Carney once again nominated an elite white lawyer to a court whose decisions affect thousands of Black workers.

Lori Will’s background includes a stint as a litigation associate at Skadden Arps, a firm which has charged tens of millions of dollars in egregious, non-itemized bills to TransPerfect despite the unprecedented forced TransPerfect sale being finalized years ago. Will also clerked for then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr., who upheld contentious decisions in the case.

In the same slate of nominations, Carney nominated current Vice Chancellor Kathleen McCormick, former Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP partner, to become the new Chancellor of the Court of Chancery. This comes despite the fact that Vice Chancellor McCormick’s former firm, Young Conaway, represented H.I.G. capital, the financial backer of Lionsgate, which hoped to acquire TransPerfect during the public auction forced by the Chancery in 2016. Given ongoing litigation involving TransPerfect in the Chancery Court, this presents a clear conflict of interest for McCormick, who will be charged with overseeing the TransPerfect case.

The nomination process lacked even basic oversight and transparency measures such as a public judicial nominating commission or public list of final candidates. In the face of such a rigged process and yet another failure of diversity, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is calling on the Delaware Senate to specifically question how Will plans to deliver justice to Delaware’s communities of color, who comprise nearly 40% of the state’s population.

Said Chris Coffey, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager, “This is another embarrassing example of Delaware’s Black community being left in the lurch by Governor Carney in a decision that affects thousands of Delawareans of color across the state. Rather than listening to community leaders, Carney continues to perpetuate the ‘old boys’ club’ in Delaware which leads to lawyers from the same firms and elite circles being selected for prestigious positions over and over again, despite the numerous Black candidates qualified for such positions.

“Unfortunately, Governor Carney has proven his fealty to the status quo even when it contradicts racial justice and transparency. By choosing a former Skadden lawyer, Carney is offering his approval to a firm mired in conflicts of interest that has clearly over-billed TransPerfect to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. And promoting Vice Chancellor McCormick to Chancellor after her former firm worked with H.I.G. capital in hopes of having Lionsgate purchase TransPerfect during the company’s unprecedented forced sale reeks of the same conflict we saw with Bouchard and his former Skadden colleagues. It is shameful that this closed-door process has led to such a disastrous outcome for Delaware’s Black community and all Delawareans who support transparency, racial justice, and good government. We hope the Delaware Senate does the right thing and demands real, substantive answers from Lori Will and Kathleen McCormick on how they plan to help Black Delawareans.”

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives, and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.


STORY TAGS: Delaware, Professional Services, Courts, Public Policy/Government, State/Local, Consumer, African American, Legal, United States, North America,

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