Harvard Law School
JD, 1974, cum laude

Harvard College
BA, 1970, cum laude



Publications & Events

Choate Receives Top Chambers USA Rankings for 10 Practice Areas and 30 Attorneys

Five Choate Attorneys Named 2016 Boston "Lawyers of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America

Choate Has 52 Attorneys Selected for 2016 Best Lawyers in America

Joan Lukey Named Elite “Leading Trial Lawyer” for Second Consecutive Year by The Legal 500

Choate Receives Top National Rankings from The Legal 500 in Seven Practice Areas

Bill Asher Named Elite “Leading M&A Lawyer” for Third Consecutive Year by The Legal 500

Choate Receives Top Chambers USA Rankings for 10 Practice Areas and 27 Attorneys

Choate Partners Named Lawyers of the Year

Choate Helps Prepare MassCONNECT's Life Sciences Innovators for Industry Success

William Asher in Law360 on New Funding Opportunities for Early-Stage Life Sciences Companies

William Asher Speaks at Seminar on Representing Emerging Companies

Michael Gass and William Asher on the Fiscal Cliff in Law360

William Asher Speaks on JOBS Act at Harvard Roundtable

2013 Best Lawyers in America

Choate Sponsors BioFinance 2012

William Asher Profiled in Life Sciences Law360

William Asher Speaks on Best Practices for Representing Emerging Growth Companies

William Asher Speaks at Seminar on Latest Trends in Venture Capital

Bill Asher and Mike Gass on Risk Oversight in Post-Crisis Economy

William Asher Speaks on Key Venture Capital Issues

Choate Co-Sponsors Event on Changing Boardroom Dynamics

Choate Co-Sponsors Roundtable on Reinventing the Corporate Director

Choate Co-Sponsors Event Covering Trends in Executive Compensation

William Asher and Frederick Callori on New Executive Compensation Rules

William Asher on the Halting of VC Fund Raising

Funding the Public Biotech Company

William Asher Speaks on Corporate Governance in a Troubled Economy

Choate Sponsors Periscopes Up: Managing Your Company in Turbulent Economic Waters

Choate Co-Hosts Event Focused on Communication Issues Public Companies Face

William Asher Presents at Harvard Medical School

William B. Asher, Jr.

Retired Partner

t 617-248-5087   f 617-248-4000

“pragmatic judgment; strong strategic positions and calm demeanor in negotiations; dependable and technically excellent; wise counsel; represents his clients incredibly ably”

Chambers USA

Bill Asher has more than 30 years of experience in corporate finance and securities law, venture capital, M&A and corporate governance.  He was one of only 15 lawyers nationwide recognized by The Legal 500 as an elite “Leading Lawyer” in Middle-Market M&A (sub $500 million) and was also listed for Life Sciences.  Mr. Asher was named the 2016 Boston “Lawyer of the Year” for Corporate Compliance by Best Lawyers.  He has been listed for many years in Chambers USA and Massachusetts Super Lawyers.

Practice Focus

Growth Companies:  advises growth companies, from start-up and early-stage through public offering or acquisition, on corporate formation, financing, strategic transactions, buy- and sell-side M&A, equity and executive compensation arrangements, corporate governance and other matters.

Public Companies & Capital Markets:  initial public offerings and follow-on capital markets transactions representing both companies and underwriters, as well as disclosure and securities law compliance for public companies.

Corporate Governance:  represents boards of directors, special committees and senior management teams in matters involving sensitive corporate governance issues, including M&A transactions, corporate aspects of internal investigations, related party transactions and management transition.

Representative Clients and Transactions:  practice focus in technology and life sciences, including representation of private and public companies, entrepreneurs and senior management, underwriters and investors.

Representative Engagements

Technology Companies

  • Initial public offerings and follow-on transactions for companies in software-as-a-service, networking and communications, internet and digital media, computer graphics and speech recognition.
  • Representation of publicly-traded video delivery company in general corporate and securities matters, corporate governance, strategic investments and acquisitions.
  • Representation of e-learning company from initial venture financing through $160 million sale to strategic buyer.
  • Advise special board committee of  human resource management company in $1.7 billion sale to private equity buyer.
  • Representation of management team of network equipment company in $530 million sale to private equity buyers.
  • Corporate representation of serial start-ups by MIT professor in organizational, financing, strategic and general corporate matters.

Life Sciences

  • $65 million initial public offering of novel antibiotic drug development company.
  • Registered direct and confidentially marketed public offerings by life sciences companies on behalf of underwriter ranging in size from $5 million to $100 million.
  • Representation of publicly-traded cancer vaccine company in securities and financing matters.
  • $80 million sale of venture-backed orphan drug development company to public company.
  • Organization, $20 million venture financing and in-licensing for cancer therapeutics company.
  • Organization and angel financing for cancer drug development company in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Publications and Presentations

Mr. Asher is a frequent speaker on matters relating to venture capital and entrepreneurship, public offerings and executive compensation.  He has co-authored a chapter on equity compensation in Massachusetts Business Lawyering.

Professional Involvement

Mr. Asher serves on the Board of Directors of MassVentures and is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  He has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, an annual report on key technology industry clusters in Massachusetts.


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