William T. Davison
William is a partner in the securities litigation group of Ropes & Gray. William is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses primarily on representing clients in the financial services industry, including investment advisers, mutual funds, and broker dealers across a broad array of issues, including complex civil litigation, government enforcement actions brought by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, and state regulatory agencies, and internal investigations. William’s clients include private equity firms, hedge funds, mutual fund advisers, and publicly traded companies. William has experience in all stages of litigation, including motion practice, managing all aspects of discovery, witness interviews and depositions, trial, and appeal. He further has experience litigating issues affecting the financial services industry in numerous federal courts and in state courts across the country. William also has an active pro bono practice, representing clients in voting rights cases. William is a member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association.
- Led discovery efforts as counsel to global asset manager in connection with several dozen lawsuits brought in both state and federal court by institutional investors seeking billions of dollars in recoveries and major SEC enforcement action related to the underperformance, and eventual liquidation of, several large hedge funds that pursued an options-based alpha strategy that underperformed significantly during the COVID-19 market downturn resulting in settlement that globally resolved all claims.
- Currently represents in-house investment adviser to large institution in connection with ongoing SEC enforcement matter related to Section 13(f) of the Exchange Act.
- Served as counsel for a global biopharmaceutical company in the largest multidistrict litigation in history. Developed extensive factual and expert record across numerous federal and state court cases to prepare for trial in advance of successful global resolution of more than 3,800 cases.
- Represented private equity firm in far ranging SEC enforcement action regarding management fees, valuations, and secondary transactions resulting in favorable settlement.
- Conducted extensive internal investigation on behalf of a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a public technology company and represented the company in a multipronged regulatory inquiry into the events leading up to the company's unexpected bankruptcy filing related to its failed billion dollar joint venture, in which over $1 billion dollars of market cap was unexpectedly wiped out. The SEC, DOJ and two state regulators started their investigations in the aftermath of this unexpected bankruptcy filing, looking into whether investors had been misled by management in the months leading up to the filing.
- Represented investment adviser in responding to Massachusetts Securities Division allegations of violations of Massachusetts securities laws resulting in favorable settlement of all claims.
- Represented consumer technology company in multiple Section 10(b) cases. One case was dismissed with prejudice by plaintiffs following a motion for sanctions based on false statements contained in the complaint. Another resulted in a favorable settlement following a favorable loss causation ruling at summary judgment.
- Co-author, “The SEC’s Shot Across the Bow on ‘Greenwashing’ in ESG Funds,” New York Law Journal (June 15, 2022)
- Co-author, “Litigation Risks Posed by “Greenwashing” Claims for ESG Funds,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (April 25, 2022)
- Co-author, “DOL Fiduciary Rule Implications for Private Investment Fund Managers,” Bloomberg BNA “Securities Regulation & Law Report” (June 13, 2016)
- JD, magna cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 2011; Editor in Chief: Boston University Public Interest Law Journal ; Dr. John Ordronaux Prize; Homer Albers Prize Moot Court; Best Oralist
- BA (Political Science and History), cum laude, Middlebury College, 2008
Admissions / Qualifications
- Massachusetts, 2011
- The Best Lawyers in America – Ones to Watch (2021-2023)
- 2013 Civil Rights Pro Bono Recognition Award, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice