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Will Pearce


Head of Europe practice. Advises clients on private and public M&A transactions, takeovers and mergers, and securities offerings and listings.

Will is head of our Europe practice and leads our M&A practice in London. He advises corporate, PE and investment banking clients on domestic and cross-border private and public M&A, takeovers and mergers, and securities offerings and listings, as well as on corporate governance, shareholder activism and restructuring matters.

With over 25 years’ experience of advising on the UK’s Takeover Code and Listing Rules, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer for both corporate/M&A and equity capital markets, and named as a “Dealmaker of the Year” by the American Lawyer and The Deal, an “MVP of the Year” by Law360 and one of Europe’s most influential lawyers by Financial News.

Clients quoted by Chambers say he is “an exceptional lawyer, very technical and commercial” who “works hard to understand our business drivers and dynamics”, his “knowledge is deep across practice areas”, and he is “not only a deal maker, but will go the extra mile in providing creative ideas to help solve problems.”

Experience highlights

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Financial News – “Most Influential Lawyers,” 2022 and 2023

American Lawyer – “Dealmaker of the Year,” 2019 and 2023

Law360 – “M&A MVP of the Year,” 2018

The Deal Europe Awards – “Dealmaker of the Year,” 2018

Chambers Europe – Corporate/M&A: High-End Capability

Chambers UK – Corporate/M&A: £800 million and above

Legal 500 UK – M&A: Upper Mid-Market and Premium Deals, £750m+, Hall of Fame

IFLR1000 – M&A, United Kingdom, Highly Regarded

Who’s Who Legal – M&A and Governance

Who’s Who Legal – Firm Management, Thought Leader

MergerLinks – “Top FinTech Lawyers in EMEA,” 2022

MergerLinks – “Top Healthcare Lawyers in EMEA,” 2022


LL.B., European Law, University of Warwick
  • with honours

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2013
  • Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, 2006-2013
  • Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills, 1998-2006

Qualifications and admissions

  • England and Wales
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