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headshot of david paulson, williams mullen partner

David F. Paulson, Jr.

Raleigh, NC
  • T.
  • 919.981.4003
  • F.
  • 919.981.4300

David Paulson is Williams Mullen's Carolinas Managing Partner. He has more than 25 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and complex business transactions, including extensive experience in the health care industry and with health care M&A and business transactions. He is the vice president of the firm's board of directors.

David’s business practice concentrates on helping his clients grow through domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, corporate finance, strategic alliances, multi-party joint ventures and intricate business transactions.  David often serves in the capacity as outside general counsel to his clients; advising boards and executive management on a variety of business and legal issues.  He has experience representing clients in a broad range of industries, including the software, pharmaceutical, mining, sports nutrition, manufacturing, institutional food service, utility, railroad, television production, insurance and outsourced services industries.

Recent Business Transactions/Engagements

  • Represented strategic buyer in acquisition of a controlling interest of specialty food company
  • Represented public company buyer of aggregates business and short-line railroad
  • Represented sports nutrition company in sale to strategic buyer and simultaneous spinout of three business lines
  • Represented large privately-held software company in the strategic acquisition of a California-based technology company with operations in Europe and Asia
  • Represented large southeastern regional distribution company in sale to publicly held acquirer
  • Represented super-regional specialty pharmacy in stock sale to largest US specialty pharmacy
  • Represented business analytics software and services company in acquisition of professional services company engaged with the US intelligence community
  • Lead counsel in a joint venture of large insurance companies in the acquisition of a controlling interest in a health care informatics company
  • Represented U.S. management in sale of specialty clothing company to Swiss publicly traded buyer
  • Represented institutional buyer of a source code management software company

David’s health care industry experience includes advising hospitals, physician practices, home health care providers, health insurance companies, behavioral health providers, specialty pharma companies, institutional investors, and ancillary health care providers in a wide range of business transactions, corporate contracting, state and federal regulatory issues, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and ancillary investments.

Health Care Transactions/Engagements

  • Outside counsel to publicly traded population health management company, advising on federal regulatory matters
  • Outside deal and state law regulatory counsel to large publicly held health insurer
  • Advise ancillary health services provider on federal regulatory issues including Medicare reimbursement, Medicare Part B, and Managed Medicare
  • Outside general counsel to one of the largest private neurosurgery practices in US; including advising on ancillary business opportunities, acquisitions, employment, contracting and Stark and Anti-kickback compliance advice
  • Represented hospital in development of multi-facility regional healthcare system
  • Represented physician investor syndicate in the development of a 50/50 hospital-physician joint venture with a tax-exempt regional health system to acquire and operate a multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center
  • Served as outside general counsel to multi-state provider of specialized pharmaceuticals for chronic illnesses
  • Represented various physician practices in acquisitions of physician groups
  • Lead counsel in strategic investor roll-up of home health agencies
  • Represent strategic buyer of hospices in multi-state acquisition strategy
  • Served as outside general counsel to board of trustees of multi-facility county hospital system

David has been recognized as a leading corporate/M&A attorney in the U.S. by Chambers USA (2012-present), listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for corporate law (2011-present) and listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (2006). He previously served as an adjunct professor of business law at Pfeiffer University’s Executive MBA program in Charlotte.

David is licensed to practice in North Carolina. He is a member of the Business Law and Health Care Law sections of the North Carolina Bar Association. He currently serves as general counsel to the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce as well as on its executive committee and board of advisors. He served on the board of directors of the United Way of the Greater Triangle and the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television.  He also served on the board of directors for Durham Nativity School.

David received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Duke University in 1987, his Masters of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University and his Juris Doctor degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law, both in 1991.


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  • Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D.), 1991
  • Wake Forest University (MBA), 1991
  • Duke University (B.A.), 1987
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina Bar Association - Business Law Section, Member - Health Care Law Section, Member
  • North Carolina Bankers Association

Community Involvements

  • United Way of the Greater Triangle - Executive Committee, Board of Directors
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce - Board of Advisors
  • Durham Nativity School - Former Member of Board of Directors
  • University of North Carolina Center for Public Television - Former Member of Board of Trustees
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina State Bar

Chambers USA – Corporate/M&A Law (2012-present)

The Best Lawyers in America® - Corporate Law (2011-present), Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2023)

2007 Mover and Shaker by Business Leader magazine

Named a "Super Lawyer" by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine (2006)

David does a great job of adding valuable legal and business advice. He has a great attitude and is easy to work with.

Williams Mullen Client Feedback - Chambers USA, 2023