Sabastian V. Niles is a Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz where he focuses on rapid response shareholder and stakeholder activism, proxy fights and preparedness, takeover defense and corporate governance; risk oversight, including ESG, 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.
Sabastian has been recognized repeatedly by Chambers USA as one of the highest-ranked Corporate/M&A Takeover Defense attorneys (with clients noting: “His care of the company is extraordinary”), by Lawdragon as a leading U.S. dealmaker, and as a BTI Client Service All-Star. Sabastian is an elected Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel (where he served as Co-Chair of the 2021 “ESG and the Boardroom” masterclass program). He is also a member of the Harvard Association of Law and Business Advisory Board and the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance Advisory Board at the University of Delaware.
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 Paul Singer/Jesse Cohn/Jeff Rosenbaum/Elliott Management, Jeff Smith/Peter Feld/Starboard Value, Bill Ackman/Pershing Square, Barry Rosenstein/JANA Partners, Carl Icahn, Daniel Loeb/Third Point, Scott Ferguson/Sachem Head, Arnaud Ajdler/Engine Capital, David Einhorn/Greenlight Capital, Glenn Welling/Engaged Capital, Jeffrey Ubben/Mason Morfit/ValueAct, Jonathan Litt/Land & Buildings, Keith Meister/Corvex, Mick McGuire/Marcato, Nelson Peltz/Ed Garden/Trian, 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 and guest lecturer at leading law and business schools. His speaking engagements have addressed topics such as EESG, Corporate Purpose, and Stakeholder Governance; M&A Trends; Shareholder Activism; The New Paradigm of Corporate Governance; Hostile Takeovers; Strategic Transactions and Governance; 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 is a director of the non-profit organization Literacy Partners and of the Harvard Law School Association of New York City. He received his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he co-founded the Harvard Association of Law and Business 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 the intercollegiate mock trial.