Frank J. Azzopardi
  1. Partner

Mr. Azzopardi, a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department and head of the Intellectual Property and Technology Group, has extensive transactional experience in overseeing intellectual property, technology and media-related issues arising from corporate transactions, such as mergers, asset sales, reorganizations, spinoffs, licensing and supply arrangements, joint ventures, collaborations and rights agreements. His experience includes advising entertainment and media, information technology, healthcare, investment banking, private equity and other clients on a variety of matters. Mr. Azzopardi also consults in connection with intellectual property disputes, especially in the area of copyrights, trademarks, passing off and licensing disputes.

Among others, he has recently advised Comcast, NBCUniversal, Related, BDT Capital, PwC, Bertelsmann, Maersk, ABB, Emerson, McKesson, Roche, Shionogi and University of Michigan.

See “The Name Game: Fund Firms Scramble for Monikers They Can Call Their Own,” The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2012, and “Facebook’s Flotation,” The Economist, April 24, 2012.

Work Highlights

  • ABB on its $2.6 billion acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions
  • Emerson on its acquisition of Intelligent Platforms, a division of General Electric
  • Shire plc on the $2.4 billion sale of its Oncology business to Servier S.A.S.
  • A.P. Møller – Maersk on forming a broad strategic relationship with IBM to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology
  • NBCUniversal on its approximately $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
  • University of Michigan in connection with an athletic apparel sponsorship arrangement with Nike. Nike will be designated as the exclusive supplier and sponsor of athletic footwear, apparel, accessory and equipment products for the majority of the University’s varsity athletic programs
  • Comcast NBCUniversal on its agreement to acquire 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan
  • McKesson Corporation in connection with its creation of a new healthcare information technology company, which will combine substantially all of Change Healthcare Holdings, Inc.’s business and the majority of McKesson Technology Solutions into a new company
  • Related Companies in connection with various sponsorship agreements for Hudson Yards precinct
  • PwC in connection with its global collaboration with Google in the enterprise solutions area
  • Comcast in connection with the creation of its NBCUniversal joint venture
  • Comcast on its acquisition of Icontrol Networks
  • Bertelsmann in connection with the creation of the world’s largest trade book publishing company, Penguin Random House
  • ARM’s acquisition of rights to MIPS Technology’s patent portfolio
  • Getty Investments on the $3.3 billion acquisition of Getty Images, Inc.
  • NBCUniversal on its acquisition of Microsoft Corporation’s 50% share of the MSNBC Digital Network joint venture, including negotiation of a complex set of post-closing commercial arrangements
  • Citibank in its pre-purchase of AAdvantage frequent flyer miles from American Airlines as part of an amendment and extension of the existing Citi/AAdvantage credit card agreement
  • Bertelsmann on the sale of its 50% interest in SonyBMG to Sony
  • Citigroup in connection with the intellectual property and technology aspects of its joint venture with Morgan Stanley that combined Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group and Citigroup’s Smith Barney retail brokerage units in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia into a new entity, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  • Symantec on its acquisition of the authentication and identity security business of VeriSign 
  • Baidu in connection with its majority investment in Qunar
  • York Capital in connection with various investments and associated transactions
  • Roche on its acquisition of BioImagene and Tensha Therapeutics
  • Smith & Nephew on its acquisition of the Zimmer Unicompartmental High Flex Knee system in the U.S. market
  • Smith & Nephew in connection with the divestiture of its gynecology business to Medtronic
  • Comcast in connection with the intellectual property and technology aspects of its $1.05 billion investment in Clearwire, a company resulting from the combination of the high-speed wireless businesses of Sprint, Nextel and Clearwire and which is focused on expediting the deployment of the first nationwide mobile WiMAX network
  • Harvard University in its agreement with Google, allowing Google to digitally index certain book collections of Harvard’s library and make them full-text searchable via free online access


  • National Law Journal – “Intellectual Property Trailblazer,” 2018

The Legal 500 U.S. (2011, 2012, 2013) lists Mr. Azzopardi as a recommended lawyer and recognizes Davis Polk as a leading firm in Intellectual Property: Patent Licensing and Transactional Law.

Of Note

  • Speaks regularly as a panelist on a variety of topics, including most recently at the 9th Annual Wall Street Unplugged seminar for life science companies
  • Mr. Azzopardi was a panelist at the Harvard Asia Business Conference at Harvard Business School on February 28, 2016, where he presented on IP and technology issues in cross-border matters involving Asian territories.
  • On December 13, 2013, Melbourne Law School conducted a Q&A with Mr. Azzopardi. Read the Q&A >
  • Member, Board of Directors,
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Campaign for the University of Melbourne
  • Vice President, Board of Directors, University of Melbourne USA Foundation

Professional History

  • Partner, 2008-present
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 2001-2008
  • Associate, Allens Arthur Robinson, 1998-2001

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York


  • B.Com., University of Melbourne, 1996
  • LL.B., University of Melbourne Law School, 1997
    • with honors