Mergers and Acquisitions

Davis Polk is regularly involved in the largest and most complex mergers and acquisitions of the day. Clients engage us when the strategic importance, regulatory or tax complexity, or global scope of a transaction calls for our lawyers.

Clients benefit from Davis Polk's long history of innovation and creative problem-solving. We bring sophisticated judgment, commercial awareness and excellent client service to our clients on the full range of strategic and private equity M&A and commercial transactions.

Seamlessly integrated with our transactional capabilities are unparalleled tax, executive compensation and regulatory practices, including in the areas of antitrust and competition, CFIUS, cybersecurity and data privacy, and anti-corruption and FCPA.


  • According to Thomson Reuters, in 2018, Davis Polk ranked:
    • 1st in announced global M&A
    • 1st among U.S. advisers in announced European M&A
    • 1st among U.S. advisers in announced Latin American M&A
  • Law360 – Among the "M&A Practice Groups of the Year" – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Chambers USA, Legal 500 and IFLR1000 (2019) – 1st tier among law firms in U.S. M&A
  • "Americas Law Firm of the Year" – IFLR Americas Awards 2018
  • "M&A Team of the Year" – IFLR Europe Awards 2018
  • "Global M&A Deal of the Year" – by American Lawyer for our representation of Syngenta on its takeover by ChemChina
  • "M&A Deal of the Year" for Baker Hughes and GE’s Oil and Gas Business merger – IFLR Americas Awards 2018
  • "M&A Deal of the Year" for Advanced Accelerator Applications on its acquisition by Novartis – IFLR Europe Awards 2018 
  • Chambers USA – Clients say: "'Their work is excellent. I go to them for complicated matters. They are thoughtful and their drafting is strong.' 'A phenomenal firm, very good technical lawyers.'"
  • Legal 500 U.S – "Davis Polk’s supreme financing and capital markets expertise and its strong presence in the key global financial centers make it a leader for complex and cross-border mega deals."

Notable Matters

Davis Polk has long been the firm of choice for many of the world’s leading blue chip companies and financial institutions.

Our recent transactions include:

Aetna.We advised Aetna on its $77 billion acquisition by CVS Health – named 2018 “Global M&A Deal of the Year” by American Lawyer.

Shire. We advised Shire on its $62 billion acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical in the largest cross-border pharmaceutical industry deal.

Syngenta. We advised Syngenta on its $43 billion acquisition by ChemChina – the largest Chinese outbound M&A transaction ever and named “M&A Deal of the Year” at the 2018 IFLR European Awards.  

Comcast. We advised Comcast on its $40 billion successful contested acquisition of Sky – Will Pearce was named "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer for this representation.

Baker Hughes. We advised Baker Hughes on its $25 billion combination with GE’s oil and gas business – named “M&A Deal of the Year” at the 2018 IFLR Americas Awards.

Reckitt Benckiser. We advised Reckitt Benckiser on its $17.9 billion acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition.

IHS Markit.We advised Markit on its $13 billion merger of equals with IHS.

General Electric. We advised GE on the $11.1 billion merger of GE Transportation and Wabtec.

Williams. We advised Williams Companies on its $10.5 billion acquisition of all of the outstanding public common units of Williams Partners in an all stock-for-unit transaction.

Natura. We advised Natura, a global cosmetics group in Brazil, on its pending $3.5 billion acquisition of Avon Products.

Tencent. We advised Tencent on its pending investment in 10% of Universal Music Group’s share capital.

FMC. We advised FMC, an agrichemical company, on the $1.6 billion spinoff of its shares of common stock of Livent, a producer of high-quality finished lithium compounds.