John (Jay) Watkins is a Partner in our Corporate Practice, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and debt and growth equity transactions, particularly as counsel to private equity funds, technology and healthcare companies and other growing businesses. With his extensive experience and knowledge of a wide range of transactions, Mr. Watkins has successfully completed transactions for companies in all stages of development, from startups to emerging companies to large public companies.

In addition, Mr. Watkins regularly advises company boards of directors and management on the governance and regulation of corporations, LLC's, REITs and other business entities and in regard to compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulatory requirements.

Representative Experience

Selected Private Equity Matters

  • Company counsel in a platform acquisition sponsored by a middle-market healthcare-focused private equity fund and in the equity offering by the platform company to institutional investors;
  • A private equity fund portfolio company in its acquisition of a healthcare data analytics company and in several bolt-on acquisitions;
  • A private equity portfolio company in its leveraged recapitalization and payment of special dividend to shareholders;
  • A private equity fund platform company in its acquisition of several companies in the testing, inspection and certification space and the issuance of roll-over equity to the shareholders of the target companies;
  • A leading Florida-based ophthalmology physician practice/surgery center in its sale to a private equity fund;
  • A private equity backed leading national fertility network in numerous physician practice acquisitions;
  • A performance support and education software company in connection with its growth equity investment by its founders and a private equity fund;
  • A New York-based family office in connection with its growth equity investment in a national luxury resort-wear retailer and several tuck-in acquisitions; and
  • A leading DC-based healthcare advisory company in connection with receiving a substantial minority investment from a private equity firm.

Selected Merger and Acquisition Matters

  • A large national dental care company in its acquisition of a publicly-held provider of dental insurance;
  • A NYSE-listed international media and market research company in various acquisitions, including the acquisition of a Finland-based mobile audience measurement and analytics company and the acquisition of a media and Internet audience measurement company;
  • A Fortune 500 company in several major growth acquisitions in the science and technology industries; and
  • A NYSE-listed asset manager in its acquisitions of several regional asset managers and the spin-off of its private equity business to management.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA – named a leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A (2003, 2005-2008)
  • The Best Lawyers in America for Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, and Securities/Capital Markets Law (2005-2020)

Publications and Speeches

Co-Author, "PE Settlement Illustrates New FCA Liability Theories In Play," Law360, Expert Analysis, August 2021

Author, “Practicing M&A: Antitrust, CFIUS, IP, Healthcare And Other Due Diligence Concerns," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2014

Civic Involvement

Member of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Science Center (2016—present). The Maryland Science Center is Maryland's foremost leader in informal STEM education, engaging over 400,000 students and families each year in interactive, informative science experiences.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee
    • LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Entities Committee
  • Corporate Counsel Institute of the Georgetown University Law Center – Advisory Board (2012-2016)


University of Michigan Law School, J.D.

Johns Hopkins University, B.A.

Previous Experience

DLA Piper, Partner

WilmerHale, Partner


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

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