With good reason, public discourse about Chip Flowers often revolves around his impressive record of service as Delaware State Treasurer. Flowers shepherded the state’s finances through a period of widespread economic turmoil and enacted lasting reforms that will leave Delaware’s government in a far stronger position to weather future crises.
But Chip Flowers shouldn’t be defined by his laudable work at the Delaware Treasury. His incisive legal mind, strong managerial skills and detail-oriented approach to client relationships have earned him another impressive distinction: He’s the founder and principal of the Flowers Counsel Group, a prominent corporate law firm that also happens to be one of the largest minority-owned law firms in the entire Northeast.
Here’s a brief look back at how Chip Flowers attained such a prominent position within his legal niche — and a glimpse of the new heights he might reach in the near future.
Chip Flowers lays the groundwork
It’s impossible to talk about Chip Flowers’ legal achievements without mentioning his impeccable educational pedigree. His B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania is certainly worth a mention, but the most salient credentials here have to be his dual JD and MBA from Georgetown University, secured during a whirlwind four years of study between 1996 and 2000. It’s worth noting that, during his time at Georgetown, Flowers somehow found the time to work at the White House and a joint Congressional committee — work that no doubt inspired his future political career.
After Georgetown, Flowers applied for a competitive position at Skadden Arps, a well-known corporate law firm. Naturally, he got the job, an associate’s gig in the M&A division at Skadden’s Delaware office. For the next four years, Flowers put in long, steady hours — often working nights and weekends — to handle the firm’s crushing workload, becoming a veritable M&A expert in the process.
Early days, steady growth
In 2004, Flowers parted ways with Skadden. He didn’t found his own law firm right away; there was one more notch left to make in his educational belt. That fall, Flowers enrolled at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Master of Public Administration program, a coveted course of study typically taken by elite managers at the highest levels of government.
Fresh out of Harvard, in mid-2006, Flowers founded the Flowers Counsel Group — a bold step for an attorney who’d always had an independent spirit. From the outset, he envisioned a firm with four core practice areas:
- Corporate transactional services
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Corporate governance and formation
- Corporate procurement services
It didn’t take long for Flowers’ firm to accumulate some high-profile clients, including many close to Flowers’ heart. Representative Flowers Counsel Group clients include:
- AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical company
- DuPont, an industrial conglomerate
- Harvard University, Flowers’ alma mater
- Barclays, a multinational bank
- Exelon Company, a regional utility
A rising profile lifts all boats
The Flowers Counsel Group steadily grew during the late 2000s, hiring talented lawyers and support staff who specialized in its core practice areas. Importantly, Chip Flowers chose not to completely step away from day-to-day operations after his election to the state treasury, keeping a watchful eye on the firm from afar. Flowers’ newly raised profile as one of just 50 state treasurers brought additional visibility to the Flowers Counsel Group, building trust among existing clients and entrenching the firm as one of the Northeast’s elite corporate law firms.
Today, the Flowers Counsel Group is one of the largest minority-owned firms in the region and a key participant in civic life. The firm enjoys membership and certification with several state minority enterprise authorities, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and the American Association of College and University Attorneys.
Where does the Flowers Counsel Group go from here?
Chip Flowers is no longer the state treasurer of Delaware. In fact, he’s no longer a full-time resident of Delaware at all. After leaving office, he relocated to Boston, keen to face the next round of challenges head-on.
In Boston, Flowers expects to be even closer to the high-profile financial firms, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions — including Harvard, his alma mater — that have given his practice so much. Though only time can tell what the future holds, you’d have to be a stalwart pessimist not to agree that that future looks very bright indeed.