William T. Allen (1944-2019)

NYU Stern School of Business

William T. Allen was of counsel in the Corporate Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. In that capacity, he consulted on matters of corporation law and corporate governance with members of the firm and its clients. Since 1997, William Allen served as the Jack H. Nusbaum Professor of Law & Business at New York University where he was also the founding director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, a center designed to serve as an academic bridge between the NYU School of Law and the NYU Stern School of Business.

From 1985 to 1997, Judge Allen was the chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery. As chancellor, he wrote hundreds of corporate law judicial opinions. Notable among these were the Caremark case, which addressed the duty of corporate directors to monitor corporate legal compliance; the Time-Warner case that addressed the board’s ability to resist a hostile offer while it was seeking to effectuate its own business plan; and the Blasius case, which announced a heightened standard of judicial review when director action sought to interfere with a shareholder vote.

While a judge, William Allen taught corporation law and corporate governance as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 1996, he served as Rabin lecturer at Yale Law School.

Judge Allen wrote, consulted and lectured on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. His writings on corporate law and governance were numerous, including the widely adopted student text, “Commentaries and Cases on the Law of Business Organization,” co-authored with Harvard Law School professors Reinier Kraakman and Guhan Subramanian (5th ed. 2016, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Publishing). Judge Allen received his B.S. from New York University, his J.D. from the University of Texas and a honorary doctorate degree LL.D. from Dickinson Law School. He was a member of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other professional organizations.