Sabastian V. Niles
Sabastian V. Niles is a Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz where he focuses on rapid response shareholder activism and preparedness, takeover defense and corporate governance; risk oversight, including as to cybersecurity and crisis situations; U.S. and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, investments, divestitures, and strategic partnerships; and other corporate and securities law matters and special situations.
Sabastian advises worldwide and across industries, including technology, financial institutions, media, energy and natural resources, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, construction and manufacturing, real estate/REITs and consumer goods and retail.
He has counseled boards of directors and management teams on self-assessments, engagement with institutional investors and proxy advisory firms and navigating activist situations involving Barry Rosenstein/JANA Partners, Bill Ackman/Pershing Square, Carl Icahn, Daniel Loeb/Third Point, David Einhorn/Greenlight Capital, Glenn Welling/Engaged Capital, Jeff Smith/Starboard Value, Jeffrey Ubben/ValueAct, Jonathan Litt/Land & Buildings, Keith Meister/Corvex, Mick McGuire/Marcato, Nelson Peltz/Trian, Scott Ferguson/Sachem Head, Paul Singer/Elliott Management, Relational Investors and Tom Sandell/Sandell Asset Management, among many others.
In addition to serving as Consulting Editor for the New York Stock Exchange’s Corporate Governance Guide, Sabastian writes frequently on corporate law matters and has been a featured speaker at corporate strategy and investor forums. His speaking engagements have addressed topics such as Shareholder Activism; The New Paradigm of Corporate Governance; Hostile Takeovers; Strategic Transactions and Governance; M&A Trends; Board-Shareholder Engagement; Confidentiality Agreements in M&A Transactions; Negotiating Strategic Alliances with U.S. Companies; Current Issues in Technology M&A; Corporate Governance: Ethics, Transparency and Accountability; and Developments in Cross-Border Deals.
Sabastian received his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he co-founded the Harvard Association of Law and Business (and continues to serve on the Advisory Board) and won the U.S. National ABA Negotiation Championship representing the Harvard Program on Negotiation. He received B.S., B.A., and B.S. degrees in Finance, Economics and Decision & Information Sciences, respectively, from the University of Maryland, where he won two National Championships and four Regional Championships in intercollegiate mock trial.
- Getting Board Ready: Shareholder Activism, Corporate Governance and the Hunt for Long-Term Value,
in Ethical Boardroom, Spring 2018.
- The State of Shareholder Activism,
in C-Suite Vol. 2, Issue 2, 2015.
- Passive investments, not passive governance,
in Activism Monthly, Volume 5 Issue 3, April 2016.
- Corporate Board Diversity Requirements Expand: Guidance for Corporations,
in The Lexis Practice Advisor Journal, Winter 2018.
- It's Time to Adopt the New Paradigm,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, February 11, 2019.
- Dealing with Activist Hedge Funds and Other Activist Investors,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, January 25, 2019.
- Addressing Rule 14a-8 Shareholder Proposals During and After the Shutdown,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, January 19, 2019.
- REIT M&A in 2019,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, January 4, 2019.
- SEC to Study Quarterly Reporting & Earnings Guidance and their Contribution to Short-Termism,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, December 22, 2018.
- The Shareholder Communications Proxy Rules and Their Practical Effect on Shareholder Activism and Proxy Contests,
in A Practical Guide to SEC Proxy and Compensation Rules (Wolters Kluwer, 6th ed. 2018).
- SEC Sanctions Investment Firm for Inadequate Cybersecurity and Identity Theft Prevention Policies,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, October 12, 2018.
- Corporate Governance, Investor Stewardship and Engagement,
in The International Comparative Guide to: Corporate Governance 2018, Global Legal Group, London, Eleventh ed.
- U.S. chapter,
in The International Guide to: Corporate Governance 2018 (S.V. Niles, contributing editor), Global Legal Group, London, Eleventh ed.
- The Corporate Governance Review,
U.S. chapter, Law Business Research, London, Eighth ed. 2018 (Seventh ed. 2017, Sixth ed. 2016, Fifth ed. 2015).
- An ESG Setback? DOL Sounds Cautionary Tone on ESG-Related Proxy Voting, Shareholder Engagement, and Economically Targeted Investments,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, May 2, 2018.
- Risk Management and the Board of Directors (updated August 2018),
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, September 5, 2018.
- Market Trends: Proxy Enhancements and Shareholder Proposals,
in Lexis Practice Advisor, February 2018.
- A Synthesized Paradigm for Corporate Governance, Investor Stewardship, and Engagement,,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, April 17, 2017.