KAI LIEKEFETT is a partner in New York and co-chairs Sidley’s Shareholder Activism Practice. He has 20 years of experience in corporate law in New York, London, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He spends 100% of his time on activism campaigns and proxy fights, and in the last 5 years, Kai has been involved in over 50 proxy contests, more than any other defense attorney in the country. Under Kai’s leadership, Sidley rose to the top of the activism defense league tables in 2019, including the No. 1 ranking by FactSet (for companies with a market capitalization of $100 million or more) and No. 2 ranking by Bloomberg (by aggregate market capitalization).
Kai has been named “2019 Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer for Sidley’s groundbreaking Wynn Resorts proxy contest. He has been recognized in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of Chambers USA as one of only seven leading attorneys for Corporate/M&A: Takeover Defense.
Kai speaks regularly about shareholder activism on panels and at universities around the world. He is frequently interviewed and quoted as an activism thought leader by the national and international media, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, USA Today, Forbes, Law360 and The Deal. Kai sits on the board of the New York Chapter of the NACD.
Kai holds a Ph.D., magna cum laude, from Freiburg University; an EMBA, summa cum laude, from Münster Business School; and an LL.M., James Kent Scholar, from Columbia Law School. He was in the top 0.1% nationwide in his First Legal State Exam (J.D. equivalent) and in the top 1.5% nationwide in his Second Legal State Exam in Germany.
Admissions & Certifications
- New York
- Columbia University School of Law, LL.M., 2006 (James Kent Scholar)
- University of Freiburg, Ph.D., 2004 (magna cum laude)
- University of Münster, MBA, 2003 (summa cum laude)