Jay O. Rothman

Retired Partner


Jay O. Rothman is a partner and business lawyer. Jay practices primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities law, takeover defense, and general corporate and business law. He is the former chairman and CEO and the former chair of the Transactional & Securities Practice.

Among other transactions, he has structured and negotiated numerous acquisition transactions in various industries and has represented both underwriters and corporate issuers in various public offerings of both debt and equity securities. Jay also regularly counsels publicly-held companies regarding compliance matters under federal and state securities laws. He is a member of the firm’s Transactional & Securities Practice and the Energy Industry Team.


Jay was named to BTI Consulting Group’s coveted Client Service All Star Team in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. This honor is bestowed upon individual attorneys who deliver outstanding client service according to corporate counsel interviewed at Fortune 1000 companies. He is one of only five attorneys recognized in 2007 as a "Super All-Star" for being nominated by more than one client. In 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2016, The Legal 500 recognized Jay for his work in the area of mergers & acquisitions. Jay has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2005 in the fields of Corporate Governance Law (2013-2022), Corporate Law (2006-2022), Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2012-2022) and Securities/Capital Markets Law (2007-2022). Jay has been named the Best Lawyers® Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2010, 2015), Mergers & Acquisitions Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2013), Securities / Capital Markets Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2014), Corporate Governance Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2016) and Mergers & Acquisitions Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2017) in Milwaukee. Based on exhaustive peer review surveys, attorneys honored as "Lawyers of the Year" have received particularly high ratings for their abilities, professionalism and integrity. Jay was also included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2005-2021) and was selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2005-2016, 2021) for his securities and corporate finance work.

Thought Leadership

Jay is a frequent speaker on SEC compliance and corporate disclosure and governance matters.

Professional Memberships

Jay is a member of the Milwaukee Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, and the American Bar Association. He also serves on the board of directors of Quad/Graphics, Inc. and Mayville Engineering Company, Inc.


Prior to joining Foley in 1986, Jay served as a law clerk to the Hon. Harlington Wood, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He graduated, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1985 and received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Marquette University in 1982, where he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa.