Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman
Vice Chair, Shareholder Activism Practice

Elizabeth R. Gonzalez-Sussman

Preeminent in her field, Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman advises hedge funds and other large investors in activist-related engagements with boards and management teams to maximize shareholder value, including behind-the-scenes engagements, withhold campaigns, proxy contests, and making unsolicited acquisition proposals. She is vice chair of Olshan’s Shareholder Activism Practice and a member of the firm’s Corporate/Securities Law Group.

Elizabeth possesses a clear understanding of market practices, deep knowledge of the law, and extensive experience in advising clients on all aspects of shareholder activism. A talented lawyer and an excellent negotiator, she zeros in on the key issues, helps clients evaluate their situations, devises actionable, strategic plans, and provides exceptionally practical advice based on both her clients’ immediate goals and their long-term vision.

Hedge funds and other large investors in shareholder activist situations regularly rely on Elizabeth for legal and strategic guidance on everything from large stock accumulations, private engagements, letter-writing campaigns, consent and exempt solicitations, submitting shareholder proposals, negotiating settlements, running proxy contests, and making unsolicited offers.

Corporate directors and management teams at both public and private companies retain Elizabeth for advice when board-related issues or disputes arise. She has negotiated settlements for various investor groups at well-known companies including Primo Water Corporation, Kohl’s Corporation, and Bed Bath & Beyond. She represented an investor group in its successful proxy campaign for control at EQT Corporation and advised on the successful unsolicited acquisitions of Perry Ellis International by its founder George Feldenkreis, and R.R. Donnelley & Sons by Chatham Asset Management.

Both public and privately held companies also rely on Elizabeth’s guidance in mergers and acquisitions, capital-raising transactions, tender and exchange offers, and general corporate and securities law matters, including SEC reporting and corporate governance.

Elizabeth has been recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in Corporate/M&A: Shareholder Activism by Chambers USA, achieved Tier 1 “Leading Lawyer” recognition in The Legal 500 United States guide for M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Shareholder Activism - Advice to Shareholders every year since 2020, and has been recognized numerous times by Crain’s New York Business. She also was profiled in Business Insider as one of the top go-to lawyers for activist investors.

  • Represented Legion Partners in its nomination, litigation and subsequent settlement at Primo Water Corporation, resulting in two of its nominees replacing two incumbent directors and certain bylaw changes.

  • Represented Impactive Capital in its first nomination and subsequent settlement with Envestnet, Inc., resulting in two of its nominees joining the board and a third added by the company.
  • Represented an investor group led by Macellum Capital in connection with its nomination of directors at Kohl’s Corporation. Subsequently negotiated a settlement to add three new independent directors to the board.
  • Represented Legion Partners in connection with its withhold campaign against two founders of Guess, one of whom has numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against him.
  • Represented Chatham Asset Management in its successful acquisition of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company following its unsolicited bid to acquire the company.
  • Represented George Feldenkreis, founder and former executive chairman of Perry Ellis International, Inc., in his $437 million acquisition of Perry Ellis, which received “Deal of the Year” and “Activist Campaign of the Year” by The Deal. 
  • Representing LICT Corporation in its spin-off of Michigan Businesses.
  • Represented GAMCO Investors in going dark.
  • Represented Legion Partners, as lead investor in a PIPE financing at Lifecore Biomedical.
  • Represented a shareholder group led by Toby Rice (the Rice Team) in their  activist campaign at EQT Corporation, the largest natural gas producer in the United States, resulting in the election of all seven of the Rice Team’s nominees and replacement of the CEO with Toby Rice. The proxy contest involved the use of a universal ballot, a first in the United States involving a control slate of directors, in which all of the company and dissident’s nominees appeared on their respective proxy cards.


Speaking Engagements



Honors & Recognitions

  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” in Corporate/M&A: Shareholder Activism by Chambers USA since 2021
  • Recognized as a Tier 1 “Leading Lawyer” in The Legal 500 United States guide in M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Shareholder Activism - Advice to Shareholders since 2020 and previously was recognized as a “Recommended Lawyer” in the same category, 2019
  • Named to the Top Women in Dealmaking list by The Deal, 2023
  • Named one of the top 13 attorneys in the shareholder activism space by Business Insider, 2022
  • Named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list since 2022
  • Named among the “Notable Diverse Leaders in Law” by Crain’s New York Business, 2022
  • Named among the “Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s New York Business in 2019,  2020 and 2023
  • Awarded “Deal of the Year” and “Activist Campaign of the Year” by The Deal for representation of George Feldenkreis in his nomination of directors and successful unsolicited acquisition of Perry Ellis


  • Board of Directors, Columbia Law School Association since 2018


J.D., Columbia Law School, 2004

B.A, cum laude, New York University College of Arts and Science, 2001


  • New York
Jump to Page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.