Shareholder Activism

We act for more FTSE listed clients than any other law firm and regularly advise public company boards and management teams on the full spectrum of activist situations - from private engagement to public requisitions and campaigns, as well as M&A arbitrage and takeover bid defence.

This means you can expect a team that will proactively assess your activist shareholder risk, and help you to develop a strategy that meets the complexity of your business and one that can respond quickly to unexpected developments.

Shareholder activism can take many forms, from stake-building and private discussions between shareholders and companies, to public requisitions and campaigns, as well as M&A-driven demands and arbitrage. The activist “playbook” followed in the UK, the nature of demands and the identity of the “activists” themselves also continues to evolve.
Our unrivalled expertise spans this full spectrum of activist situations. This means we know how different types of activist work, the range of tools and tactics deployed and how companies can prepare and respond.

We can help you with:

  • Continuous monitoring – advising on signs to look out for – such as register changes and the investment structures activists use
  • Corporate Governance – staying up-to-date with governance requirements and hot topics for activism, including ESG and Board accountability
  • Preparation – knowing the activist toolkit, pro-actively anticipating strategic lines of attack and preparing a response plan
  • Board and management briefings – ensuring consensus on strategy and responses and minimising the risk of an activist creating division
  • Responding to a live activist situation – advising on all of the legal requirements, including responding to meeting requisitions, preparing shareholder circulars, M&A “bumpitrage”, and negotiation of relationship or settlement agreements.

#2 law firm to public companies in Europe
Bloomberg Activism League Tables, FY 2021 and FY 2020

#1 law firm to public companies in Europe
Bloomberg Activism League Tables, FY 2019

 

Key Contacts

Andy Ryde
Andy Ryde Partner