FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michael D. Fricklas

Michael D. Fricklas

Viacom Inc.
Former Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary
New York, NY, USA

Until April 2017, Michael D. Fricklas was one of the top executives at Viacom, reporting to Viacom's CEO and COO. He served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Viacom's most senior legal position, beginning in 1998. He joined Viacom in 1993 as Deputy General Counsel.

Viacom is home to the world's premier entertainment brands across television, motion pictures, online and on mobile platforms. Viacom's iconic brands include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land, CMT, Paramount Pictures and many others.

At Viacom, Mr. Fricklas was responsible for legal and business affairs, managing a 270 lawyer department. He played an integral role in guiding complex transactions and resolving disputes, in coordinating the company's legal and business affairs activities, in corporate governance and in leading Viacom's Law Department. At various times during his career, he was also responsible for real estate transactions, technology, cyber security, content protection, risk management and compliance.

He is a frequent panelist and lecturer on corporate governance, cybersecurity and the law and business of entertainment.

Mr. Fricklas received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Colorado's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1981 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1984.            Prior to Viacom, Mr. Fricklas practiced law related to venture capital financing, technology, securities matters and mergers and acquisitions in private practice and was general counsel of the North American businesses of a global mining concern.

Mr. Fricklas was past president of the Association of General Counsel and has served in a variety of other professional and community activities, including as Secretary and a member of the Board of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and as a member of the Board of Overseers of Boston University and the Board of Visitors of Boston University School of Law. He was named one of "America's 50 Outstanding General Counsel" by the National Law Journal in 2016 and the Viacom Law  Department was named as "Best Legal Department 2016" by Corporate Counsel Magazine. Mr. Fricklas has received numerous awards including being the recipient of the Raising the Bar Award from The Hollywood Reporter, the Counsel of the Year Award from the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel, the Legal 500 2014 Entertainment Individual of the Year, and the top honor for general counsel, the "Excellence in Corporate Practice" award from the Association of Corporate Counsel. He also serves as a member of the planning committee for the Tulane Corporate Law Institute, a member of the board of advisors of the Center on Civil Justice at New York University School of Law and a member of New York's Permanent Commission on Access to Justice.


  • twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • RSS

All Contents Copyright © 1996-2019 Practising Law Institute. Continuing Legal Education since 1933.

© 2019 PLI PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE. All rights reserved. The PLI logo is a service mark of PLI.