Matthew J. Bacal
  1. Counsel

Mr. Bacal is counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the IP & Tech Transactions Group. He is also a member of Davis Polk’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice. He advises clients on a wide range of intellectual property, technology, media, and privacy-related issues arising from their operations and commercial transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, licensing, development and outsourcing/services arrangements, joint ventures and collaborations, financings, restructurings, and capital markets offerings.

He has a particular focus on structuring, negotiating and drafting strategic licensing, development, supply, outsourcing, services, and other commercial arrangements relating to media and sports rights, content distribution, data use and commercialization, branding, sponsorship, fashion, software and other technology.  Mr. Bacal also regularly counsels clients on questions of copyright and data privacy law, including in connection with the design, development and commercialization of products/services.

In his pro bono practice, Mr. Bacal has provided intellectual property advice and counseling for a variety of organizations, including UNICEF, Equality Now, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Work Highlights

  • Comcast in connection with a wide array of commercial transactions, including:
    • Comcast’s acquisitions of NBCUniversal and Sky, and NBCUniversal’s acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
    • The creation and operation of various technology development joint ventures, including JVs with Verizon Wireless, Charter, and Arris
    • The negotiation of licensing, development, and other strategic commercial transactions with various cable industry technology suppliers, including Arris, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, LG, Rovi, Samsung, Technicolor and many others
    • The negotiation of various software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) arrangements between Comcast and other MSOs in the United States and Canada
    • The negotiation of various media rights agreements between Comcast’s/NBCUniversal’s regional sports networks and various NBA and MLB franchises, as well as advising the Golf Channel, Versus, G4 and E!, among others, in connection with various programming matters
  • Comcast and NBCUniversal on a range of advisory matters relating to contract interpretation, copyright law, and related disputes, including providing regular advice to Comcast’s legal and product teams in connection with product design and developments in digital content distribution technologies, and counseling Comcast in connection with NBCUniversal’s copyright infringement actions against FilmOn and Aereo (the latter of which was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court)
  • The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers in connection with the formation and operation of a new regional sports network and related commercial arrangements with Time Warner Cable; the Los Angeles Dodgers in connection with a joint venture relating to the sale of Dodgers tickets in the secondary market
  • The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis Basketball Club in connection with their dealings with the NBA and certain NBA franchises
  • Baker Hughes in connection with a wide array of commercial arrangements with General Electric relating to the separation of Baker Hughes
  • Ralph Lauren in connection with its assuming direct control of its wholesale and retail distribution operations in Southeast Asia from its licensee
  • Tory Burch in connection with certain intellectual property licensing matters
  • Circle Internet Financial on a variety of cryptocurrency-related data licensing arrangements
  • Lockheed Martin in connection with its acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Cosan in connection with its $12 billion biofuel joint venture with Shell

Professional History

  • Counsel, 2013-present
  • Associate, 2005-2013

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York


  • B.A., English, Princeton University, 2001
    • magna cum laude
  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 2005
    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Carroll G. Harper Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Intellectual Property Studies