Michelle Reed Quoted on Delaware’s Drop in Litigation Climate Survey

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump litigation partner Michelle Reed in the story “Delaware Loses Face Despite Biz-Friendly Moves,” regarding a recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showing that Delaware no longer ranks as the friendliest litigation hub for business. The state dropped from first place to 11th, with South Dakota now taking the top spot.

According to the article, there is some irony in the results because the latest survey period includes several rulings perceived by some as very business-friendly. At the same time, there were also several court and legislative moves that contradicted business interests’ expectations.

“These stand out because it’s Delaware,” said Reed. “Delaware has been king in corporate litigation for a long time.”

The article reports that Delaware’s 2015 law banning fee-shifting cast a large shadow over the state, though it was not the sole reason for the drop in the survey. Reed said that decisions in appraisal litigation, books-and-records demands and other cases rocked some of the stability the business universe expected from Delaware. Still, she said that even with the drop in the survey, the reality is that Delaware, where more than 60 percent of U.S. businesses are incorporated, will have to take many more lumps to be unseated from what has traditionally been its top perch.

“Businesses are not going to suddenly unincorporate in Delaware,” Reed said. “If you have a choice, Delaware is still going to be a top spot.”