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Release of Lexis Nexis's inaugural Market Tracker trend report, in collaboration with White & Case, on shareholder activism in the UK

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#1 Legal Adviser to Companies on Activism

Bloomberg Activism League Tables, Europe H1 2020

Lexis Nexis has today released its H1 2020 Market Tracker trend report in collaboration with White & Case, Activist Insight, UBS, Greenbrook and Georgeson. This inaugural edition of the report looks at the recent trends in shareholder activism in the UK and considers the outlook for H2 2020 and beyond. It also provides some useful tips on how companies can prepare for an activist approach and how activists can run a successful campaign in the UK.


Download the full report here.

#1 Legal Adviser to Activists

Bloomberg Activism League Tables, Europe H1 2020

#1 Global Law Firm for Activism

Activist Insight Intermediary Awards 2019


Key takeaways from the report:

  • Whilst we have seen a decline in the level of public campaigns and demands since the COVID-19 pandemic, this is no cause for complacency on the part of UK companies. There is much activity going on below the surface and we expect to see a significant uptick in activism in the coming months, particularly from US activist investors.
  • As we move past the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the issues of sustainability of business models and board diversity (in particular, racial and gender diversity) will be focused on as a central campaign theses.
  • M&A-related activism is expected to return as the wider M&A market returns.
  • We are also seeing an increase in high profile disputes between founder or major shareholders and companies, with these shareholders increasingly running activist campaigns and looking to use tactical litigation.
  • Companies need to be well-prepared for when an activist appears on the register. Knee-jerk or defensive actions rarely get the best outcome. We recommend that companies have in place an "activist approach guide", similar to a takeover defence manual, and a team of trusted advisers who can be called upon without delay. 


As a regular advisor to both public companies and activists, White & Case is uniquely placed to give clients valuable tactical and strategic insight and develop bespoke response plans to guide our clients to a successful outcome. Our dedicated shareholder activism practice, comprising a core team of public M&A, public company advisory, litigation, tax, capital markets and employment specialists, was ranked #1 law firm in the H1 2020 Bloomberg Activism League Tables for both company and activist side work.


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