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Don S. Williams

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Thought Leadership

Don 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, mergers and acquisitions and public offerings. Mr. Williams has been recognized as one of the top China-based private equity/venture capital lawyers by Chambers Asia-Pacific in each year from 2009 through 2016. Mr. Williams is also co-chair of the Legal Committee of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

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.

In 2016, Chambers Asia-Pacific commented: “Don Williams of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton handles a number of venture capital and equity finance transactions, especially for clients in the e-commerce and TMT sectors. Interviewees are particularly impressed by his "very good skill set and commercial stance."”

In 2015, Chambers Asia-Pacific indicated: “Don Williams of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton impresses clients as someone who ‘is practical and knowledgeable, and thinks in the shoes of the client.’ He is experienced in overseeing transactions for clients in the technology and e-commerce sectors.”

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.”

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...”           

Over the years, Mr. Williams has represented private and public companies across many industries, including Alibaba, Alipay (支付宝(中国)网络技术有限


  • Recommended by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016: Private Equity/Venture Capital - Foreign firms, 2016
  • Named to "China Private Equity" list of "leading individuals" in Chambers Asia: Asia's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Recognized for his six years of service as Chair of the Legal Committee by AmCham Shanghai


China Law Blog Posts 


  • Co-chair, Legal Committee, The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai