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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, Daiichi Sankyo, 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 acquisitions of Coventry, 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 and related transactions with Charter Communications
    • Acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal and 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
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers’ acquisitions of Booz, PRTM and Diamond Management & Technology 
  • Sterling Equities/New York Mets in connection with the creation of Sportsnet New York, a regional sports network, the sale of minority interests in the New York Mets and various matters arising out of the Bernard L. Madoff Securities bankruptcy


  • Listed as a leading M&A lawyer in several legal industry publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, IFLR1000, Best Lawyers, and 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
  • Recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 100 leading lawyers in the entertainment industry

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