Shaun J. Mathew is a corporate partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Shaun counsels public companies and their boards of directors on shareholder activism and hostile takeover response and preparedness, investor engagement, and complex corporate governance matters. In addition, Shaun is a member of Kirkland’s Crisis Response practice group, counseling clients on internal and external communications in high-profile crisis situations. His recent experience includes representing public companies across industries in responding to activist campaigns involving a number of activist investors, including Elliott Management, Carl Icahn, Starboard Value, JANA Partners, and Engaged Capital.


Thought Leadership


"#MeToo Compliance — Two Years In, “Wait-and-See” Is No Longer An Option," Kirkland Governance Update, October 3, 2019

"New SEC Policy for No-Action Requests to Exclude Rule 14a-8 Shareholder Proposals for 2019–2020 Proxy Season," Kirkland Governance Update, September 9, 2019

"Purpose, Culture and Long-Term Value — Not Just a Headline," Kirkland Governance Update, February 11, 2019

Surviving Activist Shareholders, Passive Index Funds and Corporate Crises,” Corporate Board Member, September 10, 2018

Shareholder Activism – Evolving Tactics,” Kirkland M&A Update, August 9, 2018

Advance Notice Bylaw Deadlines – A Warning Shot,” Kirkland M&A Update, May 16, 2018

Advance Notice Bylaws – Advantage Confirmed,” Kirkland M&A Update, April 16, 2018

“Takeaways from BlackRock’s 2018 CEO Letter,” Law360, January 26, 2018

“Diversity Poised To Take Center Stage In 2018 Proxy Season,” Law360, December 14, 2017

Select Seminars

Preparing for Shareholder Activism: What You Need to be Doing Now 2019, Practising Law Institute (October 2019)

Shareholder Activism & Engagement: Lessons from the Trenches, Governance Week (June 2019)

Governance Issues, Why ESG Issues Matter to Energy Companies and How to Handle Them (January 2019)

Shareholder Activism: Adapting to a New Era of Investor Relations, Equilar Webinar (November 2018)

Shareholder Activism Spotlight, Merrill Insight (September 2018)

How to Handle Post-Deal Activism, DealLawyers.com (January 2018)

Shareholder Activism and Contested Corporate Elections: Lessons from the Trenches, American Bar Association (November 2017)

M&A and Shareholder Activism Panel, Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, Dubai (October 2017)

Press Mentions

Quoted, “Another Summer of Discontent,” The Deal’s DealMaker Quarterly, September 26, 2019

Quoted, “M&A, Active Managers Among Catalysts for H1 Insurgencies,” The Deal, August 30, 2019

Quoted, “Activist Investors Gain Clout as Stocks Tumble,” The Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2018


Recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Shareholder Activism: Advice to Boards, 2019

Memberships & Affiliations

Harvard Association of Law and Business (Co-Chair, Alumni Advisory Board)

NYU Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program (Advisory Board)

Ashoka Foundation (Ashoka Support Network)


Admissions & Qualifications

  • New York
  • Texas


  • Harvard Law SchoolJ.D.cum laude

    Founder, Harvard Association of Law & Business

  • New York UniversityB.A., Economics & Politicssumma cum laude
  • London School of Economics and Political ScienceGeneral Course