David L. Williams



David Williams represents and counsels clients in the investment management industry, with particular focus on counseling investment advisers on registered investment company fund formation, regulatory requirements and corporate governance. He also counsels institutional investors on fund due diligence and investment management agreement negotiations. A growing part of David’s practice is advising global fund managers on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact funds, and their unique investment and governance considerations. In addition, David counsels investment advisers on the design and launch of closed-end interval and tender offer funds that enhance distribution channels for advisers.

Registered Investment Companies

Mutual Funds
David counsels registered investment companies, their boards and registered investment advisers on SEC registration, operations and regulatory obligations. David advises multi-series and multi-class mutual funds and their boards, including money market funds, exchange-traded funds and multi-manager funds.

Closed-End Funds
David has significant experience advising clients on the registration process for, and ongoing regulatory obligations of, continuously offered closed-end funds, including interval funds and tender offer funds. 

Environmental and Socially Responsible Funds 
David has recognized experience in the formation of socially responsible, ESG and impact funds, and in advising fund managers and sponsors regarding their unique considerations. He advises global money managers on funds, concentrating on investments in socially responsible entities, renewable energy companies and sustainable companies.

Personal Interests

Diversity and Inclusion
David is involved in and committed to diversity and inclusion initiatives at the firm. He is a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has conducted firm-wide implicit bias trainings. David also is a member of the committee that established and maintains the Diverse 1L Internship Program at the firm, which has received national recognition.

Environmental, Social and Governance
Environmental, Social and Governance
David co-leads the firm’s full service ESG team and advises investment management clients on delivering sustainable value.


Bar Admissions



George Washington University Law School
J.D. (2008)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A. (2005)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

David has assisted not-for-profit pro bono clients with the 501(c)(3) application and filing process. He is also a volunteer teacher with the Lawyers in the Classroom Program and a volunteer with the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (DVLC).

Professional Associations

  • National Bar Association — Commercial Law Section
  • Federal Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Metropolitan Planning Council —​ Board of Governors, 2021-present

Firm Leadership

  • Diversity and Inclusion Committee — Co-vice Chair
  • Chicago Hiring Committee
  • Financial Services Industry Group — Steering Committee
  • ESG & Impact Investing Team — Steering Committee
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Planning Committee, Annual Diversity and Inclusion CLE Event; Diverse 1L Internship Program; Partner Liaison, Associate Committee


  • Crain’s Chicago Business — “Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting and Law,” 2020  
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow — 2017
  • Chicago Bar Association Leadership Institute — 2017
  • Illinois Emerging Lawyer, Leading Lawyers — 2015, 2017
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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