Ralph Wellington, who served as Chairman of the Firm from 1998 to 2010, is a partner in the Litigation Department. His practice has included significant matters throughout the United States in class actions; aviation and railroad law; business and corporate disputes; art law; and trusts and estates. He serves as the co-chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.
Mr. Wellington’s litigation practice has included representation of chemical and transportation companies in environmental class actions; aviation and railroad companies in commercial and accident cases; financial institutions in commercial and fiduciary disputes; and non-profit foundations in complex matters. He has also argued many appellate matters, including before the United States Supreme Court, several of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and numerous state appellate courts. Mr. Wellington has also been retained by corporations to conduct internal investigations in response to alleged inappropriate use of corporate funds. He has served as well as an arbitrator and mediator in numerous matters.
News & Publications
- 2019 Harrison Awards for Pro Bono and Community Service
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2020
- Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- Schnader Wins Notable Victory in Cy Pres Litigation
- Ralph Wellington Featured in Legal Intelligencer’s Coverage of Philadelphia Diversity Law Group Symposium
- Benchmark Litigation Recommends Schnader
- Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2019
- Ralph Wellington Honored as a 2018 Inquirer Influencer of Law
- Many Schnader Lawyers Named to PA Super Lawyers
- Schnader Attorneys Receive Recognition for Pro Bono Efforts
- Ralph Wellington Joins CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals
- Schnader Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers 2017
- 40 Schnader Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2018
- Schnader Wins Precedent-Setting PA Supreme Court Decision for Wells Fargo
- Schnader Recognized for PA Supreme Court Victory
- Benchmark Litigation Recommends Schnader
- Many Schnader Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers 2016
- Thirty-Seven Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2017
- Schnader Litigation Practices and Attorneys Recognized in the 2016 Benchmark Litigation Guide
- Hiller Hits All the Right Notes as Musician and Lawyer
- Ralph Wellington Participated in Lutheran Settlement House’s “Men Can Rally in Love Park”
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2016
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2015
- Schnader’s Nonprofit Organizations Group Recognized in The Legal 500
- Schnader Litigation Practices and Attorneys Recognized in the 2015 Benchmark Litigation Guide
- Thirty-Two Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2015
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2014
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Again Nationally Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA
- Aviation Happenings – Winter 2014
- Schnader Ranked as “Highly Recommended” in the 2014 Benchmark Litigation Guide
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2013
- Thirty-One Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2014
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA
- Ralph Wellington Noted in The Barnes Foundation Symposium Report 2013
- Ralph Wellington and Alison Finnegan Keep NJ Train Derailment Suit in Federal Court
- Ralph Wellington Sheds Light on the Barnes Gallery Move to Philadelphia
- Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP on Shortlist for Northeast Appellate Firm of the Year and Pennsylvania Firm of the Year
- Schnader Ranked as “Highly Recommended” in the 2013 Benchmark Litigation and Appellate Guides
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2012
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2013
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2012
- Ralph Wellington Quoted in New York Times Article
- Legal 500 Recognizes Schnader’s Aviation Group Among the Best Practices in the U.S. for 2012
- Schnader Attorneys Discuss Barnes Foundation Legal History
- Ralph Wellington Elected to the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Ralph Wellington Named One of the Region’s Top Attorneys
- Schnader Appellate Team Obtains Significant Victory in Trust Case for Wells Fargo
- Schnader Ranked as “Highly Recommended” in the 2012 Benchmark Litigation and Appellate Guides
- Schnader’s Ralph Wellington Interviewed by KYW 1060 Radio Regarding the Recent Barnes Museum Decision
- Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2011
- Thirty Schnader Attorneys Recognized as “The Best Lawyers in America” for 2012
- Firm Obtains a Significant Victory in Gates v. Rohm & Haas
- Schnader’s Aviation Group Listed Among the Best in the U.S. for 2011 by Legal 500
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2011
- Schnader Lawyers Win Before the Third Circuit in Appeals Case on Behalf of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board
- Schnader Ranked as “Highly Recommended” in the 2011 Benchmark Litigation Guide
- Thirty-Two Schnader Attorneys Recognized as “Best Lawyers in America” for 2011
- Pro Bono Newsletter Summer 2010
- Schnader’s Aviation Practice Group Listed Among the Best in the U.S. for 2010 by Legal 500
- Schnader Attorneys Successful in a Pro Bono Asylum Matter
- Noted Litigator Steps Down as Firm Chairman
- Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2010
- Four Schnader Attorneys Recognized for Bet-the-Company Litigation by Best Lawyers in America 2010
- Pro Bono Newsletter Fall 2009
- Schnader Appellate Team Obtains a Groundbreaking Decision in Pennsylvania Trust Law
- Many Schnader Attorneys Honored as 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Wellington Quoted in Multiple Articles on Arguments Made Before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Rendell v. State Ethics Commission
- Schnader Receives 2009 Chancellor’s Award from Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent
- Wellington Represents Schnader at a Tribute to William T. Coleman, Jr.
- Schnader Chairman Quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal on the Effects of the Economy on Law Firms
- Four from Schnader Are Fellows of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Eight from Schnader Are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- Twenty-Eight from Schnader in Best Lawyers in America 2009
- Wellington Comments on the Economic Downturn’s Effect on Law Firms
- Wellington Quoted in Legal Intelligencer Article on How the Uncertain Economy Is Affecting Law Firms
- Schnader Honored with Phila. VIP’s Chancellor’s Award
- Schnader Supports Settlement Music School
- Schnader Establishes Arlin M. Adams Professorship in Legal Writing at Drexel
- Twenty-Four from Schnader in Best Lawyers in America 2008
- Wellington Presents Task Force Report at Pa. Bar Meeting
- Wellington Serves on Settlement Music School’s Selection Panel
- Wellington Comments on Wal-Mart Class Action
- Twenty from Schnader in Best Lawyers in America 2007
- Thirty-Five Schnader Attorneys Are 2006 Super Lawyers
- Firm Conducts Legal Clinics at Caton Village
- Gormley, Wellington Named to Judicial System Task Force
- Thirty-Three Schnader Attorneys Honored as ‘Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’
- Wellington Again Serves on Legends of the Bar Committee
- Wellington Quoted on Rohm and Haas Case
- Wellington Chosen to Serve on Selection Committee for Settlement 100
- Wellington Comments on Trend Toward Online Auctions for Legal Services
- Wellington Quoted on Trend in Curative Damages
- Schnader’s 70th Anniversary Highlighted in The Legal Intelligencer
- Schnader Attorneys Feted as Super Lawyers
- Ralph Wellington Quoted on Barnes Litigation
- The Lawyer’s Role in the Pursuit of Justice
- Ralph Wellington Quoted in N.Y. Times Regarding Barnes Appeal
- Relocating the Barnes Raises Challenges
- Barnes Foundation Move Likely To Be Affirmed on Appeal
- Schnader Lawyers Noted as ‘Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ in 19 Categories
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
- Kalamazoo College, B.A
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers since 1999
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers since 1997
- Member, Board of Directors, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2012-2018
- Member, CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals
- Member, Arbitration Panel, American Arbitration Association
- Board member, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 2003-2013; vice president, 2008-2013
- Board member, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, 1993-2003; president, 1999-2001
- Trustee, Kalamazoo College,1993-2006
- American Bar Association; Philadelphia Bar Association (past chair of many committees)
- Board member, Lutheran Settlement House, 2009-2016
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Appellate Law, “Bet-The-Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Banking and Finance Litigation, and Trusts and Estates Litigation, 2007-2020
- Recognized as a “Local Litigation Star” for Pennsylvania in Benchmark Litigation, 2011-2019 and Benchmark Appellate, 2013
- Named one of the region’s top attorneys by SmartCEO for the “Legal Elite Readers Choice” award, 2011
- Listed in Who’s Who in American Law
- Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Named a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” for business litigation, 2004-2019
- One of 78 attorneys selected worldwide for providing superior client service in independent survey of Fortune 1000 companies
- One of 10 lawyers and judges asked by the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives to testify on issues leading to class action reform legislation
- Honored by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a 2018 Influencer of Law
Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience
Has served as an arbitrator or mediator in numerous complex disputes, including the following representative matters:
- Dispute between a former partner of a prominent law firm and his former firm over substantial fees to be paid from various class action lawsuits.
- Dispute among several major insurance companies and a corporate insured arising from decades of liability claims. Issues included stacking, policy interpretation, exhaustion and allocation.
- Multi-million dollar software contract dispute among three companies.
- Dispute between two law firms over proper allocation of fees from major contingency case.
- Claims of sexual discrimination and wrongful termination by a former attorney in a law firm.
Has served as counsel in multiple ADR matters, including:
- Dispute among several nationally prominent class action law firms over division of very substantial fees from a major settlement. Ultimately resolved during mediation process.
- Arbitration between two companies over liability for environmental contamination. Case required several weeks of evidentiary hearings and argument.
- Multiple mediations arising from accidents resulting in deaths and serious injuries.
Four decades of experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer. Areas of trial focus have included significant corporate and business disputes; class actions; securities; trust and estate court matters; aviation and railroad law; professional ethics; product liability; environmental; contract and common law claims.
Representative subject areas include:
- Lead counsel for chemical company in defeating medical and property damage class action brought on behalf of all residents of a nearby town.
- Lead counsel for railroads in defeating medical and property damage class actions brought on behalf of all persons and businesses residing near a train chemical car derailment.
- Lead counsel for construction company in a multi-billion dollar claim alleging fraud in the sale of bonds to fund a nuclear plant project.
- Other cases include:
- Antitrust cases involving allegations of price fixing.
- Insurance practices, including voluntary market premiums.
- Disclosure issues under the Federal securities laws.
- Municipal bond defaults.
- Adequacy of notice given to class members.
- Argument before the U.S. Supreme Court obtaining reversal of two Circuit Courts of Appeals decisions, and clarifying the law of job-related emotional distress claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act.
- Argument before the Delaware Supreme Court, obtaining reversal for clients involving a matter of first impression as to whether there was insurance coverage for a settlement under the False Claims Act.
- Argument before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, confirming that a tenured professor, dismissed for charges of sexual harassment, had been provided due process by the college.
- Argument before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, confirming that qualified judicial immunity or qualified immunity protected Board members from personal suit and liability.
- Before multiple state appellate courts as special appellate counsel.
- Lead trial counsel for the engine manufacturer of the developmental V-22 Osprey aircraft following a crash in the Potomac River, resulting in a defense verdict.
- Lead trial counsel for the corporate owner of a helicopter involved in a mid-air collision with a fixed-wing aircraft, resulting in multiple death and injury claims.
- Lead trial counsel in numerous cases involving general aviation aircraft and their engine and component part manufacturers.
- Conducted internal investigation of a Fortune 100 company concerning Board authorized expenditures directed to a public official.
- Examined the financial activity of senior executives of an international company amid accusations of inappropriate use of corporate funds.
- Lead counsel for the Barnes Foundation in its successful, multi-year effort to amend the original indenture and obtain court permission to create a new art education center in Philadelphia.
- Counsel for financial institutions in several matters where fiduciary responsibilities were alleged to have been breached.
- Lead counsel for a major railroad in a multi-week arbitration involving a construction overrun and delay claim involving the installation of 2,000 miles of fiber-optic cable.
- Has testified as an expert witness on the propriety of legal services rendered by law firms.
Professional Dispute Resolution Training
Has attended numerous training sessions including:
- AAA, Effective Advocacy and Management in Arbitration
- AAA Enough Already! Striking the Right Balance of Discovery in Arbitration
- AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards
- AAA Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators
- AAA Arbitration Performance and Demeanor: Meeting Participant Expectations
- CPR, Annual Meetings
- CPR Spring Meeting
- Ralph Wellington addressed University of Pennsylvania students
- Schnader Sponsors and Hosts the CPR Regional Meeting in Philadelphia on April 30
- 2018 PDLG Symposium: Diversity in the First Chair: Symposium on Women and Diverse Lawyers in the Courtroom and Boardroom
- Ralph Wellington Spoke on Crisis Management at TAGLaw Regional Meeting
- Ralph Wellington Spoke about Lawyering in the Fine Arts at University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Ralph Wellington Spoke at Art Law Conference
- Ralph Wellington a Guest Speaker at University of Pennsylvania
- Ralph Wellington Spoke at Railroad Conference
- Ralph Wellington Presented “Thy Will Be Done: The Legal Impact of the Barnes Foundation Case”
- Ralph Wellington Presented at the Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers 12th Annual Conference
- Ralph Wellington Presented “The Barnes Foundation: A Personal Vision” at the American College of Trial Lawyers 2013 Regional Meeting
- Ralph Wellington Joined Panel of Speakers for CLE Workshop “Expert Lawyers on Expert Witnesses”
- “Thy Will Be Done: The Legal Impact of the Barnes Foundation Case”
- Schnader Presented: Using Contemporary Trust Law to Ensure Antiquated Trust Restrictions Don’t Frustrate Trust Goals
- Schnader Hosts the TAGLaw Northeastern Regional Conference
- Schnader’s Wellington Speaks on the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia
- American Bar Association’s Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar: Disaster in the Alps!
- Panel Discussion: Civil Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 2009 – A Practical Guide for Today’s Litigator
- Introduction to the American Legal System
- Cause for Distress? The Current State of Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims
- Philadelphia Paralegals Education Conference 2006
- Assessing Transactional Costs: E-Discovery, Management of Outside Counsel, and Other Topics
- Current Issues in Partner Compensation
- Ethical and Legal Concerns of the Lawyer as Public Servant
- Civil Litigation in the United States – An Overview and Comparison with Other Legal Systems
- Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel
- Products Liability in the U.S. – What the European Exporter Must, Should and Can Do to Minimize Exposure to Liability
- Rethinking Philadelphia – The Parkway