Foreign Language Bio
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 1993, cum laude
- B.A., Stanford University, 1989, with honors and distinction
- Mandarin Chinese
Mr. Williams is the Managing Partner and Chief Representative of the firm's Shanghai office and a partner in the firm's Corporate Practice Group.
Areas of Practice
Mr. Williams' practice encompasses a broad range of general corporate and transactional matters in both the PRC and US, including private equity and venture capital financings, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Williams has been recognized as one of the top China-based private equity/venture capital lawyers by Chambers Asia-Pacific in each year since 2009. Mr. Williams is also co-chair of the Legal Committee of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
In 2013, Chambers Asia-Pacific reported: “‘Professional, experienced and detailed,’ Don Williams of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton continues to impress market observers. He has considerable experience of handling a wide variety of private equity and venture capital financings, and remains a popular choice for clients...” In 2014, Chambers Asia-Pacific also noted: “Don Williams leverages his Silicon Valley background to advise a variety of private equity and venture capital funds. He lately represented Alibaba with respect to purchasing a US$294 million stake in Nasdaq listed mapping and navigating company Autonavi.”
A well regarded expert in corporate and securities law and cross-border transactions, Mr. Williams relocated from Silicon Valley to Shanghai in 2005 to open the office of a leading Silicon Valley law firm and represent Google in strategic investment and M&A transactions in China.
Over the years, Mr. Williams has represented private and public companies across many industries, including Alibaba, Asian Green Agriculture Corporation, Autodesk, BCD Semiconductor, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Cisco Systems, FunPlus Games, Google, Honeywell, Innovation Works Limited, Kuaidi Dache (快的打车), PharmaLegacy, Polycom, Samsung, Sigma Designs, Smarter Micro, SMIC and SunSun Lighting.
Mr. Williams has also represented venture capital and private equity funds, including Chengwei Ventures, GSR Ventures, Granite Global Ventures, KPCB China, Sequoia Capital, Qiming Ventures, Softbank China Venture Capital, IFC, JAFCO, Vantage Point Venture Partners, and Advanced Technology Ventures, in connection with portfolio investments and other transactions as well as investment banks, including Credit Suisse First Boston, JMP Securities, Morgan Stanley, and UBS, in connection with public offerings.
Mr. Williams also has represented both buyers and sellers in a large number of M&A transactions, including: Alibaba in its acquisition of CNZZ; Kuaidi Dache (快的打车) in its acquisition of Da Huang Feng (大黄蜂); Kingstone Semiconductor in its acquisition by Amtech Systems; Focus Media in its acquisition of CGEN; Autodesk in its acquisition of Discreet Logic, Buzzsaw, and other companies; Equator in its acquisition by Pixelworks; PeoplePC in its acquisition by Earthlink; Polycom in its acquisition of PictureTel and other companies; Caretta Integrated Circuits in its acquisition by Cirrus Logic; Xicor in its acquisition by Intersil; Zeevo in its acquisition by Broadcom; and Google in multiple transactions in China.
- Named to "China Private Equity: Venture Capital Investment" list of "leading individuals" in Chambers Asia: Asia's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014
- Co-chair, Legal Committee, The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai