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David Sonter


David is a corporate partner in London.





David builds long-term relationships by focusing on issues of strategic importance for his clients and acting as a trusted adviser to senior executives. He draws on his economics training and over 20 years’ legal experience advising a diverse range of companies around the world. 

His transactional work includes acquisitions, disposals, takeovers and joint ventures in the telecoms, energy, B2B and other sectors in over 15 countries. He recently led the teams advising Rexam, the UK-listed global can manufacturer, on its £4.3bn cash and shares takeover by Ball Corporation, Hong Kong-listed Hutchison Whampoa on its €22bn Italian mobile telecoms joint venture with Vimpelcom, Cosan, the Brazilian-listed energy company, on renegotiation of its €12bn Raizen sugar and ethanol joint venture with Shell and Liberty Global on its €19bn Dutch telecoms joint venture with Vodafone.

David is the Freshfields Corporate Country Partner for each of Ireland and Brazil, with responsibility for our M&A businesses in those countries. He is actively involved in many of the largest acquisitions, disposals and JVs in these countries and clients with an interest in Brazil or Ireland or Brazilian companies investing abroad will benefit from his understanding of these markets. 

He is regarded as a leading European private equity lawyer in IFLR’s law firm guide and in Legal 500 and is recognised as a Brazil expert by law firm directory Chambers.

'David and the Freshfields team guided us well beyond strictly legal matters, helping us make strategic and commercial decisions and balancing those with the legal and risk implications – everything I believe lawyers should be but unfortunately very few are. Freshfields has a very rare concentration of such types.'
Andre Covre, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Investor Relations, Ultrapar Participaçöes, speaking about Freshfields’ work on Ultrapar’s acquisition of Texaco’s Brazilian fuels business in 2008
‘The Freshfields team added real value in a number of areas and helped us execute on a transaction delivering a great result for our investors.’
Jonas Agnblad, Director, Nordic Capital, speaking about Freshfields’ work on the €9.6bn disposal of Nycomed in 2011


International Financial Law Review Private Equity Deal of the year 2014 for our work for Cinven on the €3.3bn sale of Avio.

International Financial Law Review European Equity Deal of the year 2006 for the innovative 'cash box rights issue' structure originated by Freshfields for the Irish telecoms company eircom.

Qualifications and education

David grew up in Australia and has degrees in laws and in economics from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

  • London

  • 65 Fleet Street
  • London EC4Y 1HT
  • T +44 20 7936 4000
  • F +44 20 7832 7001

    Direct line
    T +44 20 7832 7140
    F +44 20 7108 7140

  • david.sonter@freshfields.com
  • vCard (Download David's contact details)
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