Chief Justice Strine’s TransPerfect legacy


Outgoing Delaware Chief Justice Leo Strine did not preside over the TransPerfect case, but his departure will not lead to any tearful farewells from parties involved in the TransPerfect case.

The high court, under Strine, upheld controversial Chancery Court decisions In the case that led to co-founder Phil Shawe the go-ahead to buy out Liz Elting.

Both controlled half the stock of the company based in New York City, but incorporated in Delaware.

A former couple, Shawe and Elting’s professional relationship fell apart long after their personal break-up.

The 50-50 ownership deadlock led Chancery Court to appoint a custodian to handle the sale and spend time at the company. The custodian recommended that Shawe buy out Elting, but neither side was happy as legal bills in the case soared to an estimated quarter of a billion dollars.

Shawe later moved TransPerfect’s state of incorporation from Delaware to Nevada, claiming wasunfair treatment.

“ Public service is a noble calling, and we wish Justice Strine the best in his future endeavors. It is unfortunate that his legacy was marred by the unprecedented 5-year injustice of the TransPerfect case,” Shawe stated. “While many Delaware lawyers, consultants, and bankers got obscenely rich on the backs of TransPerfect’s 5,000 loyal employees, the company managed to overcome that adversity and is now stronger than ever. We hope his replacement moves the Delaware courts toward becoming a truly transparent and unbiased administer of justice — a promise that both Delawareans and companies the world over deserve to see fulfilled.

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, a group representing TransPerfect employees that sharply criticized the actions of Chancery, issued the following:

“It is time for the Chancery Court to modernize. We are unveiling a transparency platform tomorrow in Wilmington. We hope the next Chief Justice is open to the reforms that would start to move the Chancery Court up from number 11 rated state and closer to number 1 it used to hold.We also hope the governor looks at making history and appointing a woman, like Justice Valihura to the Chief Justice role. “

Valihura wrote a dissenting opinion in a TransPerfect case.

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