Prominent Wilmington attorney Michael P. Kelly has died after a long illness. He was 65
Kelly was a partner and Chairman Emeritus of the firm of McCarter & English.
Kelly joined New Jersey-based McCarter in June, 2000. Despite being based away from the firm’s headquarters, he served as Chairman of the Executive Committee from 2009-2019 and helped broaden the firm into a national presence during his tenure.
He may be best known for his recent work on the defense team for former Wilmington Trust executives charged with fraud in regulatory disclosures prior to the collapse of the bank that became part of Buffalo, NY-based M&T. The convictions were overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“He was a pillar in the Delaware legal community and litigated thousands of high-profile cases in state and federal courts nationwide throughout his career. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he brought hundreds of cases to trial and argued countless appeals, including more than 25 cases before the Delaware Supreme Court. Beyond the courtroom, Mike was a respected mentor who was known for his integrity and loyalty, and for treating all people, regardless of their status, with respect,” according to a McCarter & English statement.
As a lifetime resident of Wilmington, he served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations and described his pro bono activities as his true passion, the firm noted.
He was owner of Kelly’s Logan House, a landmark Irish restaurant-bar in the Trolley Square neighborhood in Wilmington that was founded by his family.
Visitation will be offered on Thursday, January 13 from 2-8 p.m. at the McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. Overflow parking will be available at the adjacent Brandywine YMCA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered the following day, Friday January 14, at 1 p.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Wilmington. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 185 Salem Church Rd., Newark 19713; The Ministry of Caring 115 E. 14th St. Wilm. Del.19801; Limen House-Triad (limende.org); or the NAACP (naacpldf.org).