Peter Allan Atkins is an internationally recognized leading attorney involved in the firm’s corporate and securities practice areas, with extensive experience in the mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance fields.
Mr. Atkins has represented acquirors (both U.S. and non-U.S.), targets and investment banks in a large number of mergers, acquisitions, takeovers (negotiated and contested), leveraged buyouts, spin-offs and joint ventures. He also counsels clients on a broad range of corporate, securities and business-related matters, including directors’ duties and responsibilities and other aspects of corporate governance, disclosure issues, corporate compliance matters and internal investigations. This advice often is provided to boards, independent directors and special committees of directors in crisis situations and where the satisfaction of their fiduciary duties is subject to particular scrutiny.
Mr. Atkins has had substantial transactional involvement in numerous industries, including airline, defense and aerospace, energy, financial institutions, forest products, health care, information technology, insurance, media and telecommunications, retail and utilities.
Corporate Governance: Mr. Atkins’ corporate governance-related experience includes advising boards of directors and board committees regarding the changing corporate governance environment and regarding current and prospective governance requirements and attitudes (including under Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC rules, NYSE/NASDAQ rules and state law).
Representative corporate governance situations involving crises or the prospect of particular scrutiny regarding whether directors satisfied their fiduciary duties include:
- Special committees responding to related party buyout, or controlling shareholder minority takeout, proposals (e.g., Maguire Properties, Inc.; Edison Schools; US Unwired Inc.; Seminis Inc.; RJR Nabisco, Inc.; Infinity Broadcasting Corporation; Azurix Inc.; Jostens Inc.; Fort Howard Corporation; and Telerate, Inc.);
- Target company boards responding to unsolicited takeover bids or shareholder activism (e.g., The Brink’s Company; NRG Energy, Inc.; TRW Inc.; AMP Incorporated; Warner-Lambert Company; Time Inc.; Great Western Financial; OfficeMax; PP&L Resources, Inc.; PSI Resources, Inc.; The Mead Corporation; and Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc.);
- Boards of companies responding to claims of accounting improprieties/corporate misconduct (e.g., Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.; Enron Corporation; Kmart Corporation; HealthSouth Corporation; and McKesson Corporation).
Firm Role; Professional Activities: Mr. Atkins is involved in the firm’s senior management, including as a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. He writes and lectures on corporate and securities topics, including mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.
- LL.B., Harvard University, 1968
- B.A., Brooklyn College, 1965
Admissions : New York
- Dean’s Advisory Board, Harvard Law School
- Board of Advisors, Harvard Law School, Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
- Member, A Better Chance, Board of Directors
- Member, New York Regional Board, Anti-Defamation League
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