Morgan R. “Dick” Jones, 71, a former Chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, died this morning, Friday, December 17, 2010, after a brief battle with pneumonia.   

Jones, who joined Drinker Biddle on December 1, 1965, became a partner in 1970 and served as the firm’s Chairman from 1989 through 2000 (with a brief interruption in 1992-93).  During his tenure, the firm grew from fewer than 200 lawyers located primarily in Philadelphia to nearly 400 lawyers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.  Today, Drinker Biddle has more than 620 lawyers in 12 offices nationwide. 

“We have lost one of our firm’s greatest builders,” said Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., Drinker Biddle’s current Chairman.  “He was a great mentor to many of our lawyers over very many years.  Our collective high regard and fondness for him cannot be overstated.  He will be sorely missed.”

Jones, who was the current chair of Drinker Biddle’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, spent most of his legal career as a corporate lawyer who specialized in corporate finance transactions, mutual funds products, mergers and acquisitions, and technology licensing agreements and joint ventures, as well as dealing with high-net-worth individuals and asset transfers and investments.  He also helped found Drinker Biddle’s highly regarded Investment Management Practice Group more than three decades ago. 

Jones earned his law degree, summa cum laude, from Dickinson Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he spent the 1959 and 1960 seasons as a manager for the football team.  He served as a law clerk to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court before joining Drinker Biddle. 

Jones, of suburban Wyndmoor, Pa., is survived by his wife, Carol; three sons, Morgan, Jr., Brynley, and Evan (married to Suma); three stepchildren, Tucker, Amanda and Stephen Lamberton; and three grandchildren, Kiran, Morgan and Dylan. 

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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