Matthew J. Bacal
  1. Counsel

Mr. Bacal is counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions Group. He advises clients on intellectual property, technology and media-related issues arising from corporate and commercial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, licensing and development arrangements, joint ventures and collaborations, financings, restructurings, and capital markets offerings.

He has a particular focus on negotiating and drafting strategic licensing, development, supply, outsourcing, services, and other commercial arrangements relating to media and sports rights, content distribution, branding, sponsorship, fashion, software and other technology, as well as counseling clients on questions of copyright and Internet law.

In his pro bono practice, Mr. Bacal provides 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 acquisition of NBCUniversal, 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, as the service provider, and certain other MSOs in the United States and Canada, as the service recipients
    • The negotiation of various media rights agreements between Comcast’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 with respect to contract interpretation, copyright law and related disputes, including advice in connection with developments in digital content distribution technologies and NBCUniversal’s copyright infringement actions against Aereo and FilmOn, the former of which went to the Supreme Court
  • The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers in connection with the formation of a new regional sports network and related commercial arrangements with Time Warner Cable
  • The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis Basketball Club in connection with their dealings with the NBA and certain NBA franchises
  • 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
  • Electrolux in its attempted acquisition of General Electric’s appliances business, including related trademark licensing arrangements
  • Cosan in connection with its $12 billion biofuel joint venture with Shell

Of Note

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Associate Board Member, City Year New York

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