Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor to step down

Delaware’s Court of Chancery, the setting for many business-related disputes, is losing its chief judge. 

Chancellor William B. Chandler III informed the Markell administration Monday of his intention to step down effective June 17th. 

Chandler has headed Chancery Court since 1997.  Under his tenure, the five-member court has heard corporate disputes involving Disney, Yahoo!, Microsoft and other large companies. 

Chandler is 60 years old, and was a Superior Court judge prior to being appointed to the Court of Chancery in 1989.  He has not indicated what his future plans entail. 

In a letter to the Governor, Chancellor Chandler said his service on the court “has been, and likely always will be, the greatest honor and privilege of my life, and I am profoundly grateful and thankful to all who made it possible.”

The Judicial Nomination Commission will accept applications until May 13th.  To fulfull the political balance requirement the nominee must be a Republican, either as Chancellor or as Vice Chancellor if one of the two current Vice Chancellors is elevated to chief judge.  Terms on the court last twelve years. 

Chancery Court has international recognition and is one of the main reasons why many Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Delaware. 

“Chancellor Chandler is known throughout Delaware and beyond for helping make the Court of Chancery one of the most responsive and best regarded courts in the country,” Governor Markell said. 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.