With over 15 years' experience advising clients in China, having relocated from Silicon Valley to Shanghai in 2005 (to open the office of a leading Silicon Valley law firm), Don Williams is well regarded and highly experienced in 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' ecosystems, including VC/PE funds and investment banks.

Over the years, Don has represented private and public companies across many industries, including Acorn, Alibaba, Alipay (支付宝(中国)网络技术有限公司), Ant Financial Services (蚂蚁金融服务), Autodesk, BCD Semiconductor, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Cisco Systems, Cyte Therapeutics, FunPlus Games, Grab, Hanson Robotics, Kuaidi Dache (快的打车), Newport Corporation, PharmaLegacy, Polycom, RealD, SeaWorld, Sigma Designs, Smarter Micro, and SMIC.

Today, Don's practice encompasses a broad range of clients and provides general corporate and transactional advice in the PRC and elsewhere around the world. Clients look to Don's knowledge and experience in advising on private equity and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings.

Don has represented venture capital and private equity funds, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Angelvest, 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 is recognized as one of the top China-based private equity/venture capital lawyers by Chambers Asia-Pacific (2009 through 2021). Don has also been recognized by Legal 500 and was awarded a "China Top 15 M&A Lawyer" ranking by Asian Legal Business in 2019.

"Don Williams is adept at handling venture capital financings, most notably in the technology sector. One client appreciates that he ‘goes above and beyond’ on mandates and describes him as ‘a trusted partner who is very thorough, experienced and commercial, and has the ability to work with a number of personalities.’"

Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020

Awards and recognitions


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

Private Equity, China
Legal 500 Asia Pacific


China Top 15 M&A Lawyer
Asian Legal Business

Education and admissions


J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 1993

B.A., Stanford University, with honors and distinction, 1989

Bar admissions and qualifications


Representative experience

Acted for Alibaba in more than 75 projects, primarily PE/VC and M&A transactions in China, the United States, and elsewhere around the world.*

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

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

Represented Focus Media in its acquisition of CGEN.*

Represented Autodesk in its acquisition of Discreet Logic, Buzzsaw, and other companies.*

Represented Xicor in its acquisition by Intersil.*

Represented Zeevo in its acquisition by Broadcom.*

*Matter handled prior to joining Hogan Lovells.

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