Will Pearce
  1. Partner

Mr. Pearce is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the London office. He advises corporate, private equity and investment banking clients on public and private M&A transactions, takeovers, and securities offerings and listings, as well as on corporate governance, shareholder activism and restructuring matters.

With over 20 years' experience of advising on the Takeover Code and the Listing Rules, he is one of a handful of law firm partners in the U.K. to have been recognized as a leading lawyer for both corporate/M&A and equity capital markets.

Mr. Pearce has been recognized as a “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer and The Deal and an “MVP of the Year” by Law360. Clients quoted by Chambers say he is “exceptionally talented and very creative” and “highly experienced, insightful and commercial. He focuses on the issues that really matter and doesn't get stuck in the weeds.”


  • American Lawyer – "Dealmaker of the Year," 2019
  • Law360 – "M&A MVP of the Year," 2018
  • The Deal Europe Awards “Dealmaker of the Year,” 2018
  • Chambers UK and Europe – Corporate/M&A: High-end Capability
  • Chambers Global – Corporate/M&A (International & Cross-Border)
  • According to Chambers, clients say Will is “very available and always goes the extra mile” and is “one of those people who won't miss a trick and is very happy to go beyond the narrow legal sphere and steer from a commercial and tactical perspective.”
  • Will “has a very thorough knowledge of the sponsor regime and the Takeover Code,” clients quoted by Chambers say.
  • Legal 500 UK – M&A: Upper Mid-market and Premium Deals, £500m+, London
  • IFLR1000 – Capital markets: Equity, M&A, England & Wales
  • Who’s Who Legal – M&A, Global Leader


Of Note

  • Co-Author, “Underwriting Practice and Procedure,” Chapter 8, European Securities Law, 3ed., Oxford University Press, April 2021
  • Editor and contributor to "Private M&A", Lexology GTDT, September 2017 to 2021
  • Contributor to "Shareholder Activism and Engagement", Lexology GTDT, January 2016 to 2018
  • Co-Author, “Acquisitions and Disposals by Listed Companies”, ICSA Solutions, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, October 2013
  • Co-Author, “The Listing, Prospectus, Disclosure and Transparency Rules”, Chapter 5, Financial Markets and Exchanges Law, 2ed., Oxford University Press, November 2012
  • Editor and Principal Contributor, “A Practical Guide to the UK Listing Regime”, 1ed. and 2ed., Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, May 2008 and July 2011
  • Author of various chapters in Tolley's Company Law, contributor of articles to IFLR, Practical Law and a number of industry journals and regular speaker on a wide range of U.K. and European corporate finance topics

Professional History

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

Bar Admissions

  • England and Wales


  • LL.B., European Law, University of Warwick, 1995
    • with honours


  • French
  • Spanish