Kathleen Furey McDonough

Kathleen Furey McDonough

Of Counsel
she / her / hers


Kathleen Furey McDonough, a retired Potter Anderson partner, focused her practice on litigation in the federal and state courts in Delaware, with an emphasis on labor and employment, trade secret and commercial litigation.

Kathleen served as Chair of the firms' Executive Committee from 2018 to 2023. She was the first woman to be elected chair of Potter Anderson, as well as the first woman to lead a major Delaware law firm.

Kathleen represented clients before the Delaware Court of Chancery in matters involving restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements. She is the founder of the firm's Labor and Employment practice, representing management clients in all manner of labor and employment disputes as well as representing secondary and post-secondary institutions with respect to education law issues. In addition to her first-chair litigation practice, she has substantial experience in conducting internal investigations. 

Kathleen is a former chair of the Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and served for several years as a mentor in the Federal Trial Practices Seminar established by the judges of the U.S. District Court in Delaware to provide instruction to junior lawyers regarding practice before the Court. She is a member of the board and the Executive Committee of Christiana Care Health System and a former board member and Chair of the Delaware Community Foundation. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Hagley Museum and Library.


Representative Matters

In recent years, Kathleen has:

  • Successfully tried to a Delaware Superior Court jury a retaliation case filed against one of Delaware’s largest employers
  • Successfully represented one of the State’s largest health care institutions in the Court of Chancery in an action seeking injunctive relief based upon the hospital’s medical staff bylaws
  • Represented a Delaware-based global chemical company in trade secret litigation stemming from a dissolved joint venture
  • Successfully sought enforcement in the Court of Chancery of a restrictive covenant barring an executive from becoming the CEO of our client’s competitor

Professional Activities & Recognition

Honors & Recognitions

Recognized by Chambers USA as a leading Delaware practitioner in labor and employment law (management) each year since 2003

Named the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” for Labor Law - Management in Wilmington, 2013 2017, 2020, and 2024

Named the Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law - Management in Wilmington, 2012, 2015, and 2024

Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment, and Labor Law - Management, 2007 - present

Named to the Delaware Super Lawyers list, 2007–present

Recognized as The Best of the Best in 2013 Super Lawyers ranking of Delaware lawyers, signifying 10 lawyers who achieved highest point totals in Delaware rankings 

Rated AV® in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review certification

Selected as one of the nation's top 100 corporate employment attorneys for 2009 by Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon 

Recipient of  the Themis Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the DuPont Women's Network (2008) 

Caleb R. Layton, III Service Award, awarded by the judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in recognition of her service to the Court and the Bar of the Court (2007)

“Strong Smart and Bold Award” presented by Girls Incorporated (2006) 


Delaware State Bar Association; Labor and Employment Law Section (former Chair); Litigation Section 

American Bar Association; Labor and Employment Section; Litigation Section 


Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1985

Saint Joseph's University, A.B., 1979

Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware, 1985

    United States District Court for the District of Delaware, 1985

    United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1988

    United States Supreme Court, 2003


Firm News

Speaking Engagements

Kathleen in the News

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