Activism Defense

Latham’s top-ranked shareholder activism defense team acts on behalf of public company boards and management teams to aggressively repel the most sophisticated activist attacks and ensure companies benefit from state-of-the-art defenses.

Why Latham

We know the activists’ playbooks inside and out. We know which funds are most likely to initiate activism, their styles of engagement, and whether they fight or settle. We know how to engage them, can anticipate how they will dialogue with other institutional investors, and how those investors will react to the campaign.

Activists and hostile bidders often use private and public channels to intimidate management and boards. Latham works with financial advisors, proxy solicitors, and public relations firms to prepare equally forceful responses — against the activist directly, with regulators, in shareholder communications, or, if appropriate, in court. We have been in these trenches many times and the activists and fund principals have learned that we will fight for our clients’ points of view and secure a resolution that meets our clients’ objectives.

Drawing on our experience defending against activist campaigns, we also work with our clients to bolster company defenses before activists strike by assessing vulnerabilities and enhancing governance practices, as well as strengthening relations with investors and other stakeholders. Our team regularly monitors companies around the globe regarding changes in their shareholder base and interactions with activist investors to provide clients with the latest market intelligence. Supported by our careful planning and experienced counsel, we help managers and directors avoid and minimize the disruption of activist shareholders.

Awards & Rankings

  • Latham & Watkins Ranked #1 for US Company Activism Defense - February 08, 2022
  • Latham & Watkins Earns #1 Rankings for 2020 Proxy Season Activism Defense - July 20, 2020
  • Latham & Watkins Ranked #1 for Activism Defense - July 21, 2019
  • Latham & Watkins Honored with Three Awards for Middle Market Deals - April 02, 2019
  • Chicago Corporate Partners Receive Emerging Leaders Award - June 27, 2018

Latham & Watkins is ranked in Tier 1 among law firms for Shareholder Activism: Advice to Boards.

– The Legal 500 2020 

#1 for US company defense work. 

FactSet H1 2020

Media Coverage

Corporate Department of the Year: Corporate Governance - Latham & WatkinsActivists in the Boardroom: How to Prepare and Keep the Dialogue Productive Defenders Against Activist Attacks Redesign Their Armor


Firm Advises Kohl’s Corporation on Successful Proxy Contest, Leading to the Re-Election of All DirectorsLatham & Watkins Ranked #1 for US Company Activism DefenseLatham Secures Court Victory for HollySys in Shareholder Dispute

Thought Leadership

Resources for BoardsAnticipating Activism: Implications for Your 2022 Annual Meeting of StockholdersTrending Topics in Activism

Webcasts & Podcasts

Podcast – Energy & Infrastructure: What’s Behind The Wave of ESG Shareholder Activism?