Male voices have long dominated the all-important Court of Chancery in Delaware. But that appears to be changing, with more women taking important roles on the bench and as leaders for the state’s largest law firms.
Women are also taking more leading roles arguing in court. Morgan Lewis partner Laura McNally is among them. Named by Law360 as a Rising Star, McNally has served as a lead trial attorney in the Court of Chancery. More recently, after returning from her fourth maternity leave, she argued a case for Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc., a medical device company, and its officers and directors. Zimmer shareholders named them in a derivative lawsuit in connection with an inspection by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration that led to a temporary halt of shipments from a Zimmer facility.
The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants knew about the firm’s compliance issues at the facility but hid them from the market and facilitated stock sales by private equity funds. The complaint made claims for breach of fiduciary duty, insider trading, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.
Due to Covid restrictions, McNally made her appearance at the oral argument from a conference room in Morgan Lewis’ Philadelphia office. There she argued that the defendants had failed to plead demand futility.
McNally argued before Vice Chancellor Lori W. Will, a former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati attorney whom the Delaware Seate confirmed in April. In one of her first published opinions, Vice Chancellor Will dismissed the complaint with prejudice on August 25, adopting all of McNally’s arguments.