Don Williams | Silicon Valley | Hogan Lovells

Don Williams

Partner Corporate & Finance

Languages

English, Mandarin, Spanish

Williams Don

Don Williams
Williams Don
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Credentials
  • Insights and events
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Don Williams takes a hands-on approach to manage our deals, and expeditiously responds to our requests.

Chambers Greater China, 2022

With almost 20 years' experience of advising clients in China after more than a decade practicing in Silicon Valley (having relocated to Shanghai in 2005 to open the office of a leading Silicon Valley law firm), Don is well regarded and highly experienced in representing private and public companies on a broad spectrum of complex transactional mandates, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, minority investments and other strategic business transactions. Don has extensive experience including advising TMT companies throughout their entire lifecycle from startup to mature public company (VC/PE financing, day to day corporate needs, M&A and capital markets transactions) as well as these companies’ ecosystem, including VC/PE funds and investment banks.

Over the years, Don has developed a great depth of expertise across the technology and emerging growth industries and served as the primary counsel in numerous high-profile and cross-border transactions. His clients include Acorn, Alibaba, Alipay, Ant Financial Services, Autodesk, BCD Semiconductor, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Cisco Systems, Cyte Therapeutics, FunPlus Games, Grab, Hanson Robotics, Kuaidi Dache, Newport Corporation, PharmaLegacy, Polycom, RealD, SeaWorld, Sigma Designs, Smarter Micro, and SMIC.

Clients particularly appreciate Don’s hands-on approach to manage complex deals and his responsiveness, experience, and ability to solve tricky problems and dynamics (Chambers Greater China, 2023).

Don has represented venture capital and private equity funds, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Aramco Ventures, BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Chengwei Ventures, DFJ Dragon Ventures, Fidelity/Eight Roads, GGV, Global Founders Capital, GSR Ventures, IFC, JAFCO, KPCB China, Ping An, Sequoia Capital, Qiming Ventures, Rocket Internet and Softbank China Venture Capital, in connection with portfolio investments and other transactions as well as investment banks in connection with public offerings.

Don has been recognized as one of the top China-based private equity/venture capital lawyers by Chambers Asia-Pacific for 16 consecutive years (2009 through 2024). Don has also been recognized as a “Leading Individual” by Legal 500 2024 and was the winner of "Private Equity Lawyers of the year" at Legal 500 China Awards 2023. He was also named one of the "China Top 15 M&A Lawyers" by Asian Legal Business in 2019.

Don has been active as a committee chair with The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai for well over a decade and is Chair of the Ethics Council of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

 

Representative experience

Represented Global Founders Capital (GFC)/Rocket Internet, a leading venture capital firm based in Berlin and active worldwide, on investments and other matters relating to more than 400 portfolio companies since January 2021, ranging from early-stage SAFE and equity investments to token deals to day-to-day corporate needs to later-stage financings and exits.

Acted for Alibaba in more than 80 projects, primarily PE/VC and M&A transactions in China, the United States, and elsewhere around the world.*

Represented a leading China-based technology company in establishing a cloud-service joint venture in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi state-owned telecommunication company and others; the multibillion RMB sale of cloud services solutions, including related assets, to a leading China-based short-video company; and in its investment in a Singapore e-commerce company.

Represented a Switzerland-headquartered video game developer, with operations in China, Singapore and Spain, in its over USD1 billion sale to a China listed company; its RMB50 million investment in a leading Chinese game studio; and its RMB10 million investment in a MCN company based in China.

Represented Aramco Ventures Investments Limited in financing transactions totalling approximately US$35m raised by VirtAI, a China-based AI company; and similar China investments in technology companies, as well as an investment in Zhen Partners Fund VII.

Represented Alibaba in its acquisition of CNZZ and various other companies.*

Represented Grab Holdings, Inc., Southeast Asia's leading ride-sharing company, in its US$2.5bn Series G financing, led by DiDi and Softbank.*

Represented Focus Media in its acquisition of CGEN.*

Represented Kuaidi Dache (快的打车) in its acquisition of Da Huang Feng (大黄蜂).*

Represented Zeevo in its acquisition by Broadcom.*

*Matter handled prior to joining Hogan Lovells.

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 1993
  • B.A., Stanford University, with honors and distinction, 1989
Bar admissions and qualifications
  • California

Recognition

Private Equity: Buyouts & Venture Capital Investment (International Firms) in Greater China, Leading Individual

Chambers Asia Pacific

2009-2024
Private Equity, China, Leading Individual

Legal 500 Asia Pacific

2014-2024
China Top 15 M&A Lawyer

Asian Legal Business

2019
Private Equity Lawyer of the year

Legal 500 China Awards

2023