Corporate > Shareholder Activism

With decades of experience representing both the world’s leading investment funds and public corporations, Akin Gump brings a 360-degree view to shareholder activism campaigns. Among other things, we have:

  • advised activists in successfully affecting dramatic change and unlocking shareholder value, including by unseating recalcitrant directors and removing entrenched management; and
  • proactively protected the interests of public companies, including devising governance structures and takeover preparedness strategies.

Our clients benefit from our diverse experience, which enables us to “see around corners” by understanding our counterparty’s strategy and anticipating its tactics. Our approach is based on this experience. Our team includes M&A, corporate governance, investment funds and litigation lawyers, all with significant experience on both sides of the table.

Advising Activist Shareholders

Akin Gump has played a role in many high-profile activist and precedent-setting contests for prominent investment funds. Our advice includes:

  • Campaigning for:
    • Changes to board composition, executive leadership and other governance structures
    • Mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of a business unit or whole company
    • Stock dividends, buybacks and other corporate finance transactions
  • Advising activists commencing initiatives in US, UK, German and Hong Kong companies on building stakes and launching campaigns against companies in those markets
  • Public relations and shareholder communications campaigns
  • Litigation in connection with advancing an activist strategy
  • Multijurisdictional antitrust analysis and advice.

Advising Companies and Boards

Our team represents public companies and their directors on devising governance programs designed to facilitate collaborative relationships with shareholders and for takeover preparedness. We frequently advise special committees charged with maximizing shareholder value in connection with an M&A transaction. Our team advises on:

  • board composition
  • corporate governance, including compliance and ethics programs
  • audit, compensation and nominating committee practices
  • reporting and disclosure obligations
  • shareholder communications, including via social media
  • special committee representations in connection with interested party, strategic and change of control transactions
  • shareholder proposals, demands and other activism
  • poison pills
  • director fiduciary duties
  • charter and bylaw amendments
  • securities enforcement and litigation.