William Downs has more than 30 years’ experience as a business and transactional lawyer. William has acted for clients throughout the world, negotiating and managing strategic sales, acquisitions, flotations and joint ventures. In addition, William advises boards and senior management on corporate governance.

William is active for clients in a range of sectors including Healthcare, Life Sciences and Energy & Natural Resources. William is a member of the firm's Healthcare leadership team.

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  • Advising US and UK based corporates on global M&A under English law.
  • Advising a FTSE 250 healthcare business on M&A projects.
  • Advising Chinese corporates on UK acquisitions.
  • Advising on the establishment of law firm business, investments in such businesses by non-solicitors (including Private Equity), law firm acquisitions, conversion of a CMC into an ABS law firm and law firm regulatory matters.
  • Advising on UK wind energy M&A and financing.
  • Advising a US client on the creation of a US$600 million joint venture across 16 countries in the business services sector.
  • Advising a FTSE 250 pharma client on market entry in China and South East Asia.
  • Advising businesses on early stage investments by angels and VC funds.
  • Advising on spin-outs and commercialisation of university intellectual property based healthcare & life sciences businesses.
  • Advising on the commercial terms for resolution of shareholder disputes.
  • Advising an owner managed business on an investment by The Business Growth Fund, governance and subsequent acquisitions.


  • University of Cambridge, Downing College, M.A., 1979


  • England and Wales, 1982

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