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Joseph E. Gilligan

Washington, D.C.

Joseph E. Gilligan

Joe Gilligan heads the Corporate Practice Group for the Americas and also serves as Co-Chair of our U.S. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) committee.

He regularly represents publicly and privately held companies, boards of directors, strategic investors, and special committees in all types of M&A transactions. Clients also depend on him to handle a variety of other corporate matters, including financings, governance, and disclosure issues. As co-director of our activist investor practice, he also assists clients in preparing for, engaging with, and defending against activist shareholders.

In M&A matters, Joe has in-depth experience advising clients on public and private mergers, tender offers, and going private transactions, as well as proxy contests, strategic investments, and cross-border acquisitions. He helps acquiring and target companies, as well as special committees of independent directors, in connection with hostile and unsolicited takeover proposals and anti-takeover defenses.

Joe serves as primary outside counsel to a number of public and privately held companies, and he regularly counsels boards of directors on corporate governance issues, fiduciary duties matters (both generally and in the M&A and activist shareholder contexts), and compliance with U.S. federal securities laws.

In addition to regularly representing life sciences and healthcare companies in transactional matters, Joe has substantial experience in technology, media, and telecom (TMT); aerospace, defense, and government (ADG); energy; and industrial and consumer goods.

Joe is frequently recognized as a top lawyer in his field by Chambers and the Legal 500. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches the course "Takeovers, Mergers & Acquisitions."

"Joseph Gilligan is seen by clients as a 'superb negotiator and advisor' and a 'flawless counsel'."

Legal 500

Representative Experience

Represented the 3M Company in various transactions, including its US$1.037bn acquisition of the Polypore separations media business.

Represented GE Healthcare in its proposed acquisition of Thermo Fisher's cell culture and gene modulation business for approximately US$1.06bn.

Represented Colonial Properties Trust in its US$8.6bn merger with Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc.

Represented GE Healthcare in its acquisition of SeqWright, Inc., a provider of nucleic acid sequencing and other genomic services.

Represented The Advisory Board Company in its US$850m acquisition of Royall & Company.

Represented the Transaction Committee of the Board of Directors of Knology, Inc. in its US$1.5bn acquisition by WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone.

Represented PAETEC Holding Corp. in its $2.3bn merger with Windstream Corporation.

Represented Cytyc Corporation, a medical device company, in its US$6.2bn merger with Hologic Inc.

Represented Nabi Biopharmaceuticals in its US$251m cross-border business combination with Biota Holdings Limited, an Australian pharmaceutical company.

Represented Cardinal Health in several acquisitions of healthcare and healthcare IT companies.

Represented NextEra Energy Resources in its US$352m acquisition of three operating wind energy projects from Babcock & Brown.

Represented Medicis Pharmaceutical, a specialty pharmaceutical company, in its US$300m acquisition (including contingent payments) of LipoSonix, Inc.

Represented Orthofix International N.V., an orthopedic medical device company, in its US$333m acquisition of Blackstone Medical, Inc.

Represented Cytyc Corporation in its US$450m acquisition by tender offer of Adeza Biomedical Corporation.

Represented Nabi Biopharmaceuticals in the US$185m sale of its biologics division to Biotest Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Represented Advertising.com, Inc., an Internet advertising company, in its US$435m acquisition by America Online, Inc.

Represented Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit allograft tissue bank, in its unsolicited takeover proposal for Osteotech, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed tissue processing company.

Represented Cytyc Corporation in its unsolicited takeover proposal for Vision Systems Limited, an Australian public company.

Represented McLeodUSA Incorporated in its US$2.1bn acquisition of Splitrock Services, Inc., as well as its acquisitions of Ovations Communications and Dakota Telecommunications Group.

Represented CSFB as underwriter of CTI Molecular Imaging’s IPO; Liquidity Services in its IPO; McCormick & Company, Cytyc Corporation, Oversee.net, and numerous other companies in offerings.

Represented Dun & Bradstreet in its acquisition of NetProspex.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1997
  • M.B.A., Loyola College, 1994
  • B.B.A., Loyola College, 1989

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


M&A Large Deals

Legal 500 US

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