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David L. Caplan
Mr. Caplan is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. 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, Ralph Lauren, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Sterling Equities/The New York Mets.

Mr. Caplan is also active in the firm's 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 pending acquisition of Humana and acquisitions of Coventry, US Healthcare and the health care businesses of New York Life and Prudential
  • Bio-Reference Laboratories' pending acquisition by OPKO Health
  • Campbell Soup’s acquisitions of Bolthouse Farms and Plum Organics, and the sale of Godiva Chocolatier
  • Comcast’s:
    • Proposed 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
  • Verisk Analytics' acquisition of Wood Mackenzie


  • Named an "M&A MVP of the Year" – Law360 2014

  • 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