In the News
Sidley Represents Box in Successful Proxy Contest Against Starboard Value
Sidley represented Box, Inc. (NASDAQ: BOX) in its successful proxy contest against activist hedge fund Starboard Value. All incumbent directors up for election were reelected by the stockholders at the 2021 annual meeting.
Rankings and Achievements
Sidley Recognized as “Activist Defense Adviser of the Year” by The Deal
Sidley has been selected as “Defense Adviser of the Year (Large Cap)” by The Deal for the firm’s work in 2020. The Deal Awards Research team said of Sidley’s win: “During the awards review period Sidley Austin was a leading adviser to companies involved in or preparing to face activist investors. The firm worked on some of the most impactful and hotly contested deals over the last year, and their teams impressed The Deal’s judging panel across a range of disciplines.”
Sidley Ranked No. 1 in H1 2021 by FactSet for Corporate Defense and by Bloomberg for Activism Defense
Sidley was ranked No. 1 in FactSet’s Flashwire Advisor Quarterly for corporate defense and No. 1 in Bloomberg’s Global Activism Market Review Adviser Rankings for activism defense among law firms during the first half of 2021. For Bloomberg, Sidley received the top ranking for campaigns globally and in the United States across all measures of campaign activity — number of campaigns, market capitalization of companies represented, and cumulative size of activist stake. Sidley was also ranked No. 1 for representing companies in the Technology and Industrials sectors. This new ranking follows Sidley’s previous No. 1 rankings in the activism defense league tables of Bloomberg, FactSet, Refinitiv (previously Thomson Reuters), and Activist Insight for 2020.
A Wake-Up Call Not Only for Big Oil: The Intersection of Economic Activism and ESG
Kai Liekefett and Derek Zaba
In the latest Ethical Boardroom magazine, Kai Liekefett and Derek Zaba published an article titled, “A wake-up call not only for Big Oil: the Intersection of Economic Activism and ESG.” Their article discusses recent success by shareholder activists against Big Oil in the U.S. 2021 proxy season and how these dynamics extend to all public companies regardless of sector. These triumphs reflect the growing and effective pressure that investors are exerting on public companies to improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.
SPACs: A New Frontier for Shareholder Activism
Derek Zaba, Kai Liekefett, and Joshua G. DuClos
In NIRI’s IR Update, Derek Zaba, Kai Liekefett, and Joshua DuClos published an article titled, “SPACs: A New Frontier for Shareholder Activism.” Their article discusses how the SPAC boom has created a new breeding ground for activism targets and how SPACs should prepare for an activist attack.
SPACtivism: Navigating the New Frontier
Thursday, October 21, 2021
As SPACs spawn a different breed of newly public companies, shareholder activists are taking notice, leaving these companies vulnerable to both traditional long activism and short activism attacks. The risk and nature of activism can vary greatly across all stages of the SPAC life cycle. During this webinar, hear from the leaders of Sidley’s Shareholder Activism and SPACs practices as they discuss what to do to prepare for SPACtivism.
CLE credit for this program is pending.
Society for Corporate Governance 2021 Eastern Regional Fall Conference
Thursday, October 21, 2021
The Society for Corporate Governance has partnered with Sidley on two upcoming multidisciplinary panels on Shareholder Activism. Sidley partner Kai Liekefett will be moderating one panel, and Sidley associate Charlotte Newell will be speaking on another.
Shareholder Activism, Bidding Wars and Hostile Takeovers – Recent Developments
This panel will analyze the 2021 proxy season, including the high-profile proxy fights at Exxon Mobil and Box. The panelists will also discuss the recent surge in bidding wars as well as increased hostile takeover activity (e.g., the battle over Cubic). This panel comprises of a leading defense banker, lawyer and proxy solicitor as well as a representative of one of the largest institutional investors in the world.
Litigation in Shareholder Activism Campaigns and Proxy Fights
This panel will explore how litigation is used in activist campaigns and hostile takeover battles. Moderated by one of the leading defense bankers in the world, the panel comprises a leading securities lawyer, public relations expert and proxy solicitor who will discuss the potential claims of action, PR considerations and vote implications of these kinds of cases.
CLE credit for these programs is pending.
Do Proxy Advisors Add Value?
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Sidley partner Kai Liekefett will speak at a virtual roundtable held by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in Northern California. The panel will address the ongoing debate about how proxy advisory firms affect corporate decisions.
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