David Williams is a Partner in the Corporate Department of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and is the founder and Co-Head of the Firm’s Latin America Practice. Fluent in Spanish, David has focused on cross-border transactions in Latin America for more than 25 years. He specializes in mergers and acquisitions, corporate and project financings, restructurings, corporate governance and other complex corporate matters.
Recognized as the “International Lawyer of the Year” in 2018 by Latin Lawyer and described by clients and counterparts as an “extraordinary lawyer” who “truly understands the Latin American environment,” David is the only international lawyer with The Legal 500’s highest ranking of “Leading Lawyer” for Latin America in the two categories of both “Corporate and M&A” and “Banking and Finance.” He has been consistently cited as a leading lawyer in numerous practice directories and peer reviews including The Legal 500, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Chambers Global, Latin Lawyer’s Guide to Latin American Leading Business Law Firms, Chambers Latin America, Euromoney’s Guide to World’s Leading Capital Markets Lawyers and The World’s Leading Banking Lawyers.
In mergers and acquisitions, David’s experience includes a range of cross-border acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and other business combinations including the merger of Bavaria and SABMiller, the acquisition of Terpel by Compañía de Petróleos de Chile, the merger of CorpBanca with Banco Itaú Chile and the combination of their operations in Colombia, the merger of Avianca and Taca Airlines and Avianca's subsequent strategic alliance with United Airlines, the sale of Grupo Financiero Uno to Citibank, the acquisition of BTG Pactual by UBS, the repurchase of GECC’s investment in Banco Colpatria and the subsequent sale of a majority stake in Banco Colpatria to The Bank of Nova Scotia and the sale of San Miguel Industrias PET S.A. to the Nexus Group.
In corporate financings, he has advised issuers, underwriters, borrowers and banks in initial public offerings, investment grade and high yield debt offerings and other debt and equity financings throughout the region, including in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. He advises leading companies throughout the region and has handled a range of debt and equity financings for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Itaú, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS, among others.
In debt restructuring transactions, David has advised a range of creditors and debtors in many prominent Latin American restructurings, including for Alestra, Autopistas del Sol, Capsa, Central Térmica Guemes, Coto, Banco Hipotecario, Grupo Iusacell, Hidroeléctrica Piedra del Aguila, Loma Negra, Mastellone, OCA, Telefónica de Argentina, Transener and Transportadora de Gas del Norte.
In project financings, David has represented sponsors and lenders in a range of hydroelectric, coal-fired, gas-fired and hydroelectric generation facilities, ports, energy transmission and distribution infrastructure, desalinization facilities and other projects including the Montes del Plata industrial facility in Uruguay.
David joined Simpson Thacher in 1983 and became a Partner in 1991. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and its section of International Law and Practice.
David received his B.A. from Tufts University in 1977 and his J.D. from Georgetown University School of Law in 1982, where he was the managing editor of the Law and Policy in International Business
journal. He served as law clerk to the Hon. Roszel C. Thomsen from 1982 to 1983.