Retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland this week was elected “door tenant” at London’s 3 Hare Court, becoming the first former American jurist to affiliate with a leading English set of chambers.
The honorific title allows Holland, the longest-serving judge to ever sit on the state’s high court, to work with the commercial chambers from Delaware, where he serves as senior of counsel in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati‘s Wilmington office.
Throughout his two decades on the bench, Holland earned a reputation as a constitutional law expert and an ambassador for both Delaware’s renowned system of corporate law and the U.S. courts, serving as a past president of the American Inns of Court and writing about English legal history. He has also taught internationally and developed deep ties with the English bar.
Holland, 71, said he sees a “direct correlation” between his current practice and the advisory role he now plans to play overseas.
“It will be completely complimentary, but it won’t take up most of my time,” he said. “It’s just one of those extremely nice honors.”
Jeffrey Golden, who took over as the joint head of 3 Hare Court in April, said Holland was top of mind as he began to think about the chamber’s international strategy in an increasingly globalized legal market. The two exchanged emails in the spring and quickly realized that the arrangement would be “mutually beneficial,” he said.
“His career has been very special, if not unique, and we were all thrilled this has come together the way it has,” said Golden.
“Justice Holland has a great deal of experience we can benefit from.”
Holland said he cleared the offer with Wilson Sonsini and has already fielded requests for consulting work with 3 Hare Court in London, where he plans to contribute as an arbitrator and expert witness in commercial matters.
Typically, door tenants are professionally associated with chambers, but do not operate out of the physical space that barristers rent. It is less common for door tenants to be based in another country, but never has a retired American judge served in such a capacity, chambers leaders said.
“Having appeared in Delaware myself, possibly the world’s senior corporate and insolvency court, I am delighted to welcome into our midst this legendary judge and jurist,” said Simon Davenport QC, 3 Hare Chambers’ joint head. “It is a significant message of our intent and reach at 3 Hare Court that we would attract someone of his caliber and standing to our chambers.”
Holland’s time away from the bench, Holland said, has allowed him to remain flexible, practicing law and staying involved internationally.
He has visited London each of the past eight years for the opening of the Inns of Court. Since retiring from the Supreme Court, he has taught a two-week course in London for the University of Iowa College of Law, and he plans to return again in January.
In 2007, Holland published “Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution,” a book he co-authored with retired English Judge Eric Stockdale about the involvement of British lawyers and the American Revolution.
Among his historical subjects was John Dickinson, the attorney from Philadelphia and Wilmington, who became known as “The Penman of the American Revolution” after studying law just down the road from where 3 Hare Chambers resides.
“It’s really something, with my love of history, to think I’ll be associated with legal London and Temple Lane, where John Dickinson studied law,” he said.