Melesa A. Freerks

Senior Counsel


Melesa A. Freerks is a senior counsel and health care business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is experienced with advising clients regarding corporate transactions, compliance programs, fraud and abuse issues, reimbursement arrangements, regulatory compliance, privacy issues, tax-exempt status, and general counsel matters. She is a member of the Telemedicine Practice as well as the Health Care and Life Sciences Industry Teams.

Melesa provides transactional counsel to health care organizations where her practice focuses on mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, general corporate matters and health care regulation. Her experience includes the representation of institutional health care providers (hospitals, health systems), health care private equity firms, skilled nursing facilities, large physician groups, pharmaceutical companies and various other health care entities.

She has also counseled clients regarding corporate governance and the rights and duties of directors, officers and shareholders. She has drafted and negotiated documents relating to mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures and financings, including merger agreements, stock purchase agreements, asset purchase agreements, joint venture documents, term sheets, disclosure schedules, bylaws and other transactional documents. Melesa has represented financial and investment banks and private equity firms in domestic transactions in connection with acquisitions, divestitures and mergers of health care companies and other significant corporate matters.

Melesa also has experience providing regulatory advice regarding licensure, certificate of need, and compliance issues to various health care entities, including issues arising under the False Claims Act, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, licensure/certification, and HIPAA.

Furthermore, Melesa assists in providing daily counsel to health care clients regarding corporate compliance issues, patient matters, physician issues, governmental surveys, negotiating clinical trial agreements, preparation and review of hospital, physician and other provider contracts, physician recruitment and other day-to-day issues.

Melesa serves on the Young Professionals Council of the American Health Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Association. Melesa is also on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women and was appointed to Foley’s Associates Committee in 2016.

Thought Leadership

Melesa speaks and writes frequently on health care transactional and regulatory issues. For a complete list of her publications and presentations, please click here.


Melesa is admitted to practice in Illinois.


Melesa received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School where she was a Dean’s Circle Fellow and received the CALI Award for her academic achievements. Melesa received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Co-author, “COVID-19: Three Health Care Sectors Still Attracting Investment,” Healthcare Business Today, June 3, 2020
  • Co-author “Digital Health Opportunities and Considerations For PE,” Law360, July 13, 2018
  • “Avoiding Transaction Pitfalls: Licensing and Regulatory Compliance,” American Health Lawyers Association, Nashville, Tennessee, May 17-18, 2016
  • Co-author, “Illinois Telemedicine Rules: Licensing, Practice, Payment,” Health Care Law Today, February 25, 2016
  • “Recap: Health Care Investors Summit – Exploring the Impact and Opportunities from Health Care Convergence,” Health Care Law Today, September 29, 2015
  • “Another Delay to the Two-Midnight Rule,” Health Care Law Today, August 18, 2015
  • Co-author, “The Big Data Dilemma: Compliance for the Health Professional in an Increasingly Data-Driven World,” Journal of Health Care Compliance, May-June 2015
  • “Young Professionals’ Involvement in AHLA Pro Bono Activities," American Health Lawyers Association, April 2015
  • “Tapping Into the Big Value of Health Care Big Data: Top Legal and Regulatory Considerations on the Path to Monetization,” Foley & Lardner LLP, March 2, 2015
  • “Federal Prosecutors Charge NECC Employees with Second Degree Murder: A Shot Across the Bow to Healthcare Companies Navigating Uncertain Regulatory Environments,” Health Care Law Today, December 22, 2014
  • Co-author, “Ten Things That Health Care Lawyers Should be Thinking About,” Association of Corporate Counsel, December 16, 2014
  • Co-author, “DaVita HealthCare Partners’ CIA: A Look Into The New OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement,” BNA’s Health Care Fraud Report, December 10, 2014
  • “The Need to Know of Due Diligence Review,” Healthcare Transactions Conference, American Health Lawyers Association, Nashville, Tennessee, April 10-11, 2014
  • “A Hot Area: Investing in the Behavioral Healthcare Industry,” Bender’s Health Care Law Monthly, February 1, 2014
  • Co-author, “Chapter 10: Hospital Acquisitions of Physician Practices,” Health Law and Compliance Update, 2014