Kerry E. Berchem is the head of Akin Gump’s corporate practice and the chair of the firm’s audit committee.
Practice & Background
Ms. Berchem advises companies, including boards of directors, and private equity funds in mergers, acquisitions and private equity investments, capital markets transactions, corporate governance matters, and reorganizations and recapitalizations. She serves as outside general counsel to several publicly traded and private companies. In 2016, she was named one of New York Law Journal’s “Top Women in Law.”
Ms. Berchem serves on the New York City Bar Association’s Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Control Contests Committee, the Business Law Partner Advisory Board of Thomson Reuters Accelus and the Corporate Advisory Board of the Practical Law Company.
Ms. Berchem’s recent engagements include serving as counsel to:
- CIFG Holding Inc. in its $450M acquisition by Assured Guaranty Corp.
- Capmark Financial Group Inc. in its $410 million acquisition of Orchard Brands Corporation
- WMIH Corp. in connection with:
- a strategic investment in the company by subsidiaries of KKR & Co. L.P.
- $600 million 144A offering of Series B Convertible Preferred Stock
- U.S. Concrete, Inc. (NASDAQ:USCR), a manufacturing company, in a $200 million Rule 144A/Reg. S offering of senior secured notes
- Alterra Capital Holdings (NASDAQ:ALTE), a Bermuda-based reinsurer, in its $3.1 billion sale to Markel Corporation. Ms. Berchem acted as outside general counsel to Alterra, and advised it and its predecessor, Max Capital Group (NASDAQ: MXG), in connection with:
- Max Capital’s $3 billion merger of equals with Harbor Point Limited to form Alterra
- Max Capital’s $3 billion attempted merger with IPG, including responding to a competing tender offer and proxy contest
- Anchor Glass Container Corp., one of the largest glass container manufacturers in the United States, in its $880 million sale to Ardagh Group SA, a Luxembourg-based glass and packaging manufacturer. Prior to the sale, representation of Anchor included advising on:
- Its chapter 11 restructuring, where Ms. Berchem advised the company’s official committee of unsecured creditors
- Its $350 million leveraged recapitalization, where Ms. Berchem advised the company’s board of directors
- Tekelec, Inc., a leading provider of mobile broadband solutions, in its $780 million sale to a consortium of investors led by Siris Capital Group, LLC
- Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLRE), a Cayman Island reinsurance company, in connection with its formation, its initial $250 million capitalization, and its $212 million initial public offering and concurrent $50 million private placement.
Ms. Berchem is an active participant in the National Charity League, a not-for-profit organization of mothers and daughters intended to foster community responsibility through participation in philanthropic work, educational activities and cultural events.
Awards & Accolades
- Named one of New York Law Journal’s “Top Women in Law,” which recognizes those “making strides to push the legal profession forward for women,” 2016
- Named in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer in the area of corporate/M&A, 2006-2016
- Legal 500 (2015-2016) – M&A: middle-market
- Recipient of Diversity Journal's 13th Annual "Women Worth Watching" award, 2014
- Named to Lawdragon’s Leading Lawyers in America, 2012-2015
- Named to the American Lawyer’s “45 Under 45” list, recognizing the top female lawyers in private practice, 2011
- Moderator, General Counsel track, Corporate Board Member Mid-Cap Board Committee Peer Exchange
- Using Evaluations to Enhance Board Effectiveness, Annual Corporate Board Member Boardroom Summit