Sidley Austin adds partner to M&A and private equity group

Sidley Austin LLP has named Derek Zaba as a partner in the firm’s global M&A and private equity group. Zaba will also serve as co-leader of the shareholder activism practice. Previously, he worked at PJT Camberview Partners.


Palo Alto/San Francisco – Sidley Austin LLP is pleased to announce that Derek Zaba has joined the firm. He will be a partner in Sidley’s global M&A and Private Equity group and co-leader of the shareholder activism practice. A highly regarded shareholder activism defense adviser, Mr. Zaba is joining Sidley in Northern California from PJT Camberview Partners, a leading provider of investor-led advice to public companies.

Mr. Zaba will focus his practice on counseling boards and C-suite executives of public companies in shareholder activism matters and contested M&A transactions, as well as on corporate governance concerns.

“Derek will augment our impressive shareholder activism practice,” said Kai Liekefett, Sidley partner and leader of its shareholder activism practice. “With shareholder activism at record levels, Derek’s extraordinary skill set and deep knowledge will enhance our ability to serve clients facing these issues.”

Mr. Zaba’s hire solidifies Sidley’s reputation as a leader in the shareholder activism arena. Sidley is one of only a few law firms with a dedicated shareholder activism defense team. Following Mr. Zaba’s arrival, this team now includes two partners who devote 100 percent of their time to this practice. In the last five years, Mr. Liekefett and Mr. Zaba have been involved in more than 70 proxy contests, according to FactSet SharkRepellent.

Mr. Zaba joined Camberview in 2015 and ultimately served as the head of its activism and contested M&A practice. At Camberview, he advised clients of all sizes and industries on activism-related matters. Previously, Mr. Zaba was an investment professional at two hedge funds. He started his legal career as a corporate attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

“Derek’s close relationships with board members and C-suite executives will be an asset to the firm,” said Sharon Flanagan, managing partner of Sidley’s San Francisco office and member of the firm’s Management Committee. “Part of our strategic vision includes attracting a talent like Derek to our winning Sidley team. He has excellent command of the legal issues in the space and will fortify the practice’s strong track record of success.”

With 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices around the globe, Sidley is a premier legal adviser for clients across the spectrum of industries. Follow Sidley on Twitter @SidleyLaw.

Attorney Advertising – Sidley Austin LLP, One South Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60603, +1 312 853 7000. Sidley and Sidley Austin refer to Sidley Austin LLP and affiliated partnerships as explained at