Joanne M Gray

Joanne M. Gray

PartnerChair, Litigation Department
Joanne M. Gray
New York
+1 212 459 7440

Joanne Gray is chair of Goodwin’s Litigation department and co-chair of its Food and Healthy Living practice. In addition, Joanne serves on the firm’s Management Committee and its Executive Committee. Joanne’s industry-focused practice concentrates in the consumer and B2B products area, including FDA regulated companies in the food and beverage, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical and medical device, and technology industries. She provides compliance advice and handles litigation for clients in these highly regulated industries. Her litigation practice involves defending companies in high profile products liability, class actions, consumer fraud and mass tort claims. This includes defending companies in consumer and occupational exposure cases including cases where chemical, particulates or other exposures are claimed to have caused personal injury, including cancer.

In the compliance area, Joanne’s counseling practice involves providing regulatory advice, mergers and acquisition advice and litigation avoidance counseling to companies in FDA and FTC regulated industries. She counsels clients on regulatory compliance and provides risk management and strategic advice to a wide range of consumer, food, supplement and B2B companies, including in the fast growing and rapidly changing healthy living section of the industry. Joanne is involved in counseling and strategic planning for food, dietary supplements and consumer product launches as well as product recalls, and provides advice on company or product lines acquisitions. She often works with food and supplement companies by providing strategic business and regulatory advice regarding products that incorporate new and evolving technologies or novel ingredients, including providing GMP and audit advice that allows leading companies to develop innovative new products while reducing regulatory risk. Her counseling practice includes public relations and crisis management counseling for these industries.

Experience

Joanne has broad experience in counseling consumer product companies, as well as defending leading companies (both publically and privately held) in major consumer class actions and bet-the-company national mass tort and products liability litigation. Joanne has been appointed as National Counsel, National Science Counsel and Regional Counsel. She also has extensive experience counseling consumer products clients on risk management and capital markets issues that often arise in the mergers context. Joanne provides strategic advice and related due diligence reviews during acquisitions of specific product lines or entire companies in FDA regulated industries. She has also counseled her clients on managing risk and in limiting potential liability with acquisitions. In that context, Joanne has guided companies through a myriad of regulatory requirements promulgated by different governmental agencies (such as the FDA and the FTC), thus allowing her clients acquire new businesses and continue to develop innovative consumer products while complying with complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory regulations.

Professional Activities

Joanne has held a number of leadership roles in the American Bar Association. She is the founding national co-­chair of the ABA's Food and Supplement Group. Joanne is on the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels, an international charity that provides critical micronutrients to pregnant and lactating mothers and children in need, both here in the US and around the world. She leads a team of lawyers in providing pro bono services to Vitamin Angels, and their work has resulted in Goodwin Procter receiving its “Archangel Award”, which is Vitamin Angels’ highest honor.

In the pro bono area, Joanne has also devoted much of her career to working with nonprofit groups that are dedicated to breaking the glass ceiling, and she has served on committees both inside and outside the firm that are focused on a variety of diversity issues, particularly on the advancement of women in the legal profession. Joanne is the past national co-chair of the ABA's Women in Products Liability Committee. She is past chair of the Hiring Committee for the New York office.

Credentials

Education

JD1983

Fordham University School of Law

BA1980

College of the Holy Cross

Admissions

Bars

  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

Recognition & Awards

Joanne was recognized as a national Litigation Star for her work in Product Liability & Recall by Benchmark Litigation 2023.

Joanne has been recognized by Legal 500 2022 for her work in Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Consumer Products (including tobacco) - Defense. Joanne has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants and Product Liability Litigation - Defendants 2022-2023.

Benchmark Litigation recognizes Joanne as a 2021 Litigation Star in New York for her work in Product Liability & Recall. Joanne is listed in the Nationwide Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation category in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where clients praise her "tremendous work ethic" and for being "an absolute professional who first looks at the needs of her clients and provides strategic advice for the long ­term." She has been recognized in the Hall of Fame and named "Leading Lawyer” by Legal 500 U.S., making her one of only 12 lawyers in the U.S. awarded this honor for products liability law (along with Goodwin partner Forrest Hainline). Joanne has also been recognized as a “Litigation Star” in her field by all the major peer-review ranking publications, including Benchmark Litigation and US News-Best Lawyers. She has been named a “Life Sciences Star” in Euromoney LMG Life Science Guide as well as listed in the Women in Business Law Expert Guide, Who’s Who in the Law and Super Lawyers. In 2013, Joanne received the first ­ever “Transformative Leadership Award” from the American Bar Association for her leadership in the area of food and supplements law.

Publications

Joanne has lectured and published extensively over the course of her career. She has spoken at numerous industry conferences, including before the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the ABA Food and Supplements Group, and the Nutrition Business Summit. Joanne is coeditor of the 50 State Survey of Consumer Class Action Law, published by the American Bar Association. She is the author of the chapter on “The Power of The Press in Litigation” in the book Current Law Strategies and Best Practices in Products Litigation, published by the Practicing Law Institute (PLI). She has also published and lectured extensively on scientific and regulatory issues in the law, as well as issues relating to bet-­the­-company litigation. Throughout her career, Joanne has been a leading voice and national speaker on issues of mentoring and advancement of young lawyers and on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.