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  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
    5.0 out of 5
  • Michael Kelly is described by a source as "one of the most highly respected attorneys within the community." - Chambers USA, 2014


  • J.D., Dickinson School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

Judicial Nominating Commission, State of Delaware, 2009 to present

Community Advisory Board of the Wilmington News Journal

Rodney Inns of Court

Pro Bono Inns of Court

Board of Trustees, Tower Hill School

Defense Counsel of Delaware, Founding Member

Secretary and General Counsel, News Journal W. Frank Scholarship Trust

General Counsel, Sojourner’s Place Homeless Shelter

Board of Directors, Police Athletic League

Delaware State Bar Association, Treasurer, 1992 - 1994

Chairman, New Castle County Zoning Board of Adjustment, 1989 – 1995

Board of Directors, Delaware Council on Crime and Justice

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services

Executive Committee and Past President, St. Thomas More Society

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Member – Wilmington Rotary Club

Michael P. Kelly

  • |
Chairman of the Firm
  • T: 302.984.6301
    F: 302.984.2493

Michael Kelly is one of the top trial lawyers in the United States. He has litigated hundreds of high profile cases nationally in both the state and federal courts, including commercial and other civil disputes, toxic torts, products liability, environmental law, antitrust, shareholder disputes, Hatch Waxman and other intellectual property cases. He has brought more than 300 of these cases to trial and has argued more than 20 cases before the Delaware Supreme Court.

Mr. Kelly’s most recent noteworthy case is the Seroquel® litigation, one of the largest pharmaceutical mass tort suits ever. He served on AstraZeneca’s National Senior Management Team for the case and was lead trial counsel in Delaware. Mr. Kelly obtained summary judgment in the first Seroquel case filed in Delaware (Hopkins v. AstraZeneca) and a sweeping statute of limitations decision (Burrell et al v. AstraZeneca). These decisive victories paved the way to over 28,000 settlements in similar cases, at a fraction of the cost of the settlements of comparable tort cases. Mr. Kelly served as lead negotiator in the settlement negotiations.

Mr. Kelly was also lead defense trial counsel most recently in the In re Metoprolol antitrust litigation, which involved alleged damages in excess of $3 billion. In a 2005 Lanham Act trial, Mr. Kelly won not only a favorable judgment in excess of $100 million, but $12 million in attorney's fees, one of the largest fee awards in Delaware history. Mr. Kelly represents numerous Fortune 100 companies and for many years was the attorney for former boxing heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier. He has a very active practice in the Delaware Chancery Court, where he has obtained several groundbreaking decisions with respect to Delaware corporate law.

Michael Kelly has been a leader in Delaware for his entire legal career. He currently serves on the State of Delaware Judicial Nominating Commission. Early in his career he served as the General Counsel to the Resins Group at Hercules Incorporated, after serving as the company’s chief environment litigation attorney.  Mr. Kelly began his career as a trial attorney at the Wilmington firm of Pricket, Jones, during which time he served as Treasurer of the Delaware State Bar Association and was a founding member of the Defense Counsel of Delaware. A sought after speaker for both his trial experience and his knowledge of Delaware law, Mr. Kelly lectures on litigation and trial strategy and has appeared as a legal commentator on live national television and radio. He has testified as an expert at trial and has offered legal commentary in Newsweek, Barrons and the Wall Street Journal. He frequently contributes articles to legal publications and presently serves on the faculty of the University of Virginia Law School Trial Advocacy Institute. Mr. Kelly was Chairman of the New Castle County Board of Adjustment from 1989 to 1995, and presently serves on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

In addition to his role as a trial attorney and commitment to his clients, Michael Kelly is Chairman of the Firm and serves on the firm's Executive Committee and Compensation Committee.

Mr. Kelly has been recognized as a Chambers USA “Leaders in their Field” lawyer for 2014. 


Conference of Chief Justices, Delaware
Michael Kelly featured speaker with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and other judges
University of Virginia Law School Annual National Trial Advocacy College, Charlottesville, Va.
Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Delaware
Wilmington - Sponsored by Lorman Education Services
Michael P. Kelly and Co-Speaker, Honorable Mary Pat Thynge - Judge, Wilmington, DE
Delaware - NBI, Inc.