Lawyer Andre Bouchard was confirmed on April 9 to lead the Delaware Court of Chancery, replacing Leo Strine, who has gone on to become chief justice of Delaware’s Supreme Court. Bouchard, 53, will serve a 12-year term.
The Delaware Court of Chancery consists of one chancellor and four vice chancellors, all nominated by the governor. This non-jury trial court has adjudicated tens of thousands of highly complex and detailed cases concerning some of the largest and most influential corporations in the world. It is recognized as the nation’s preeminent forum for determining disputes involving the internal affairs of Delaware corporations and other business entities. Its exposure to and competence in issues of business law are unmatched.
Bouchard, a Harvard Law School graduate, has nearly 30 years of experience practicing law in Delaware. After founding his own law firm, he went on to experience a long career before the Court of Chancery. In a 2012 shareholder lawsuit, he represented Google Inc’s executive chairman in a case challenging the company’s plan to issue a new class of stock. In 1997, Bouchard represented Walt Disney Co. in one of the court’s most well-known cases when the shareholders' lawsuit failed to hold the company’s board liable for an allegedly wasteful severance package paid to former Disney president Michael Ovitz. This case was handled just a couple of miles from Harvard’s headquarters.
Recently, the state of Delaware hired Bouchard’s firm to handle a high-profile case involving the state’s plan to offer single-game sports betting. Another issue handled by his firm involved allowing Chancery judges to hear private arbitration cases. As Governor Markell noted, "Andy Bouchard has demonstrated a remarkable ability to dissect complex legal issues and vigorously represent his clients. He is well recognized for his professionalism and ability to think quickly on his feet in the courtroom."
"I am really so energized and so excited for every aspect of this job, not just the corporate franchise and the key importance it has for this state which I have total respect for and take as a very serious responsibility and undertaking, but for everything it does for ordinary citizens of the state," Bouchard said after his confirmation. "It's an absolute privilege for me to be able to do it and to be in a position where I can give back to my state after many years of being in private practice."