WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, grassroots advocacy organization Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware called on Governor John Carney to sever all government contracts with the beleaguered law firm of Skadden Arps, a firm conflicted with numerous ethical challenges, including its involvement in the Ukranian voter suppression scandal, and a staggering lack of diversity among its partner and associate classes.
Skadden Arps has been awarded millions of dollars in contracts and no-bid legal fees from Delaware’s Government and Court of Chancery while making no meaningful improvements on supporting Black lawyers or partners. In June, Reverend Al Sharpton called on Skadden, Arps to increase inclusion and support of Black lawyers and Partners but the firm ignored the request. Skadden Arps lack of diversity is striking; over the past three years, Skadden Arps has named 38 new partners, only two of whom are Black and the firm’s Wilmington office has zero Black partners and only one Black Associate.
As prominent social justice organizations across the country call for governments to acknowledge systemic racism and support black-owned businesses and increase the representation of people of color, Governor John Carney continues to appoint from and give contracts to Skadden Arps regardless of their nascent diversity numbers. Recently, Delaware’s Chancery Court, led by Chancellor Andre Bouchard, was again noted for its questionable connections to Skadden Arps, his former place of employment.
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) Campaign Manager Chris Coffey said, “Skadden Arps received over 15 million dollars from the TransPerfect case alone when Chancellor Bouchard appointed his former colleagues as the Custodian. Governor Carney and the state of Delaware cannot continue filling the pockets of these white lawyers with no bid legal fees and contracts that should go to firms with real diversity numbers that support Black lawyers and partners. If Skadden Arps refuses to make meaningful improvements on diversity, it is essential that Governor Carney exerts his power and stands up for the racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity of Delaware’s communities. We must demand better from our leaders if we want better for our communities.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.