Michael Kaplan
  1. Partner

Mr. Kaplan was recently promoted to serve as member of Davis Polk’s three-person Management Committee and previously, was the co-head of the firm’s global Capital Markets Group. He is ranked in the top band of lawyers by Chambers USA, which quotes clients describing Mr. Kaplan as “superb,” a “brilliant lawyer who is very responsive and understands business issues very well”, with “so much experience representing both issuers and underwriters” and “very practical when it comes to finding solutions.” Mr. Kaplan has been named a Law360 “Capital Markets MVP of the Year” and an American Lawyer “Dealmaker of the Year”.

Mr. Kaplan advises issuers and underwriters in connection with a wide range of U.S. and international capital markets and leveraged finance transactions, including initial public offerings and other equity offerings, as well as convertible and high-yield debt issuance. He has worked on transactions in sectors ranging from technology and telecommunications to basic industry. Mr. Kaplan also regularly advises investment banking clients on securities-law-related matters and advises corporate clients in areas including corporate governance and SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley matters.

Work Highlights

Recent Transactions
  • IPOs for Tradeweb, Chewy's, Hilton Hotels, Israel Chemicals Ltd., Coty Inc., Kamada Ltd., Taminco Corporation, U.S. Silica Corporation, Delphi Automotive PLC, Molycorp Minerals Inc., Mediamind Inc., and Wesco Aircraft Corporation                             
  • High-yield debt offerings for GameStop, JCPenney, Hilton Hotels, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Warner Chilcott, LyondellBasell, Spectrum Brands, Harbinger Capital, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, McGraw Hill Education, Seagate, Hovnanian, Western Refining, Digicel Group and NXP B.V.
Capital Markets
  • Primary partner for ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, PPL Corporation, Syngenta AG, Delphi Automotive, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Digicel Limited and Cellcom Israel Limited, among others

Mr. Kaplan has represented major investment banks, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, as underwriter’s counsel. 


Mr. Kaplan is consistently recognized as a leading capital markets lawyer in various industry publications:

  • Chambers Global – Capital Markets, Band 1
  • Chambers USA – Capital Markets, Band 1
  • IFLR1000
  • Legal 500 U.S.

He is recognized as a leader in the legal industry:

  • Law360 – "Capital Markets MVP," 2015
  • The American Lawyer – “Dealmaker of the Year,” 2012

Of Note

  • Frequent speaker on securities law-related and general corporate matters, including corporate governance, SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley matters
  • Presented at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the LSTA, the City Bar Association and Corporatecounsel.net
  • Member, Working Group on Legal Opinions, American Bar Association

Professional History

  • Partner, 2003-present
  • Associate, 1996-2003
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Marie L. Garibaldi, Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1995-1996