Browse By Last Name
David L. Caplan
Mr. Caplan is the global co-head of Davis Polk’s mergers and acquisitions practice. He advises corporate and investment banking clients in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and related transactions. He has represented a number of clients in a range of matters, including Aetna, Campbell Soup, Canadian National Railway, Comcast, Harvard University, Limited Brands, Marsh and McLennan Companies, NBCUniversal, PepsiCo, Ralph Lauren, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sterling Equities/The New York Mets.

Mr. Caplan is also active in our corporate governance practice, advising managements and boards with respect to a wide range of corporate governance matters (including takeover defense and shareholder activism).

Work Highlights

Selected Representations
  • Aetna’s:
    • Acquisition of Coventry
    • Acquisitions of US Healthcare and the health care businesses of New York Life and Prudential
  • Campbell Soup’s acquisitions of Bolthouse Farms and Plum Organics, and the sale of Godiva Chocolatier
  • Comcast’s:
    • Pending merger with Time Warner Cable
    • Acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal and its related joint venture with GE
    • Subsequent acquisition of GE’s remaining 49% common equity stake in NBCUniversal
    • Sale of wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless
    • Investment in Clearwire with Google, Intel, Sprint, Time Warner Cable
  • Limited Brands’ divestitures of its Express, Lane Bryant, Lerner and Limited Stores businesses
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies’ sale of Putnam
  • NBCUniversal’s acquisition from Blackstone of a 50% interest in the Universal Orlando joint venture
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers’ pending acquisition of Booz and its completed acquisitions of PRTM and Diamond Management & Technology 


  • Listed as a leading M&A lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:
    • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
    • IFLR1000
    • Best Lawyers
    • The Legal 500 (United States)
  • Listed by Lawdragon as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the United States
  • Recognized as a “BTI Client Service All-Star” in a BTI Consulting Group survey of corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 organizations

    Of Note


    • Member, Board of Trustees, Playwrights Horizons

    Professional History

    • Partner, 1994-present
    • Associate, 1986-1994


    • 450 Lexington Avenue
      New York, NY 10017
      P: 212-450-4156
      F: 212-701-5156

    Bar Admissions

    • State of New York


    • A.B., Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School, 1983
      • summa cum laude
    • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1986
      • cum laude