Kerry E. Berchem, Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, has advised public and private companies, boards of directors, and C-suite executives across multiple regulated and unregulated industries, including (re)insurance, manufacturing and industrial services sectors, for more than 30 years. In addition to leading mid- to large-cap mergers and acquisitions, tax and event-driven transactions, financial restructurings, and capital markets matters, Ms. Berchem has extensive experience working with boards of directors on matters relating to corporate governance, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), shareholder activism, strategic planning, management/succession/compensation/retention issues, internal investigations, and financial restatements.
Ms. Berchem is nationally recognized in the areas of M&A, corporate governance, and shareholder activism, including recognitions from Chambers, M&A (Highly Regarded), Law Dragon, 500 Leading Dealmakers in America, Euromoney, Women in Business Law: Corporate Governance Lawyer of the Year and The Deal, Top Women Deal Makers – Activism. Further, The New York Law Journal named Ms. Berchem as one of its “Top Women in Law” and a “New York Trailblazer.”
Ms. Berchem currently serves as a member of the Management Committee of Akin, a top 25 global law firm with more than 900 lawyers located in 18 offices across four continents and ~$1.4 billion in annual revenues, participating in the development and oversight of the firm’s strategic goals and objectives, budget and asset allocation, and risk management issues. She also co-chairs Akin’s ESG Practice, an inter-disciplinary, cross-office practice that provides customized ESG solutions to corporations and investment funds, and formerly served as chair of Akin’s Corporate Practice, a role in which, for more than a decade, she set strategy, guided significant expansion in the firm’s transactional business development, revenue, profitability, and brand awareness, and oversaw matters relating to talent development, retention, advancement, and compensation for more than 150 lawyers located in nine offices. Ms. Berchem previously also served as chair of Akin’s Audit Committee and as a member of its Succession Committee.
Ms. Berchem regularly writes and is asked to speak about corporate governance and leadership issues and is a member of the NYC Bar Association M&A Committee and Harvard Law Governance Advisory Committee. She received her J.D. degree from Tulane University School of Law and her B.A. degree from Yale College. As a former, two sport varsity athlete at Yale, Ms. Berchem continues her involvement with her alma mater as a Yale alumni interviewer and Nathan Hale Associates scholarship sponsor.