DFI Council Chair, Partner


DLA Piper

 James O’Donnell is the co-chair of DLA’s international funds practice and a leading funds lawyer advising investors in, and sponsors of, private, international and closed ended funds. 

He has extensive experience of fund related transactions, including primary, secondary, secondary direct and co-investment deals, the establishment and operation of funds and carried interest vehicles, management spin-outs, managed accounts and joint ventures. His clients include funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds, banks, development finance institutions, pension plans, insurance companies and fund managers. 

He is an acknowledged market leader and is ranked as a Band One leading lawyer for investor representation in Chambers & Partners UK and Global. He is also the only investor-side funds lawyer recognised as a leading lawyer in Chambers & Partners Africa. 

He is regularly invited to speak on, and provide training in respect of, fund-related matters, including being a lead contributor to the training and documentary programme of the Institution Limited Partners’ Association (ILPA). 

He has a career-long passion for impact and developmental investment and, in this regard, for over fifteen years has regularly represented leading members of the international impact and DFI community (both individually and as syndicates) in respect of their investment activities. 

His experience is truly global, including established markets such as North America and Europe, through to the Middle East, emerging markets including Africa and India and frontier markets including Somalia, Myanmar and Afghanistan.