Joseph Dougherty is Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Chairman and CEO.
He previously served as chair of the Firm's Advisory Committee, Managing Shareholder of the Philadelphia office and chair of the Firm's Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants practice group.
How Joe Helps Clients
As the firm’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, Joe’s number one mission is to maintain and expand the firm’s readiness to address the needs of the firm and its clients. This includes ensuring that clients receive the highest quality legal services, at the best value, and that the firm’s rigorous client service standards are satisfied. Joe is also responsible for growing the firm, hiring the best and brightest lawyers, effectively counseling clients and continually advocating for the firm’s “clients-first” approach.
As a nationally recognized litigator, Joe’s practice primarily focuses on assisting clients with post-employment disputes, often involving the enforcement and defense of employment agreements, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and the protection of competitively sensitive business information. Joe has litigated more than 600 employee defection and recruitment cases across the country, ranging from a single employee to multiple employee defection “raiding claims” in a variety of industries. Many of these cases required emergency applications for injunctive relief, as well as subsequent damages claims, computer forensics, and claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
As the CEO of one of the nation’s finest law firms, I wake up every day with a clear focus on how we can best achieve the success for each and every client, our attorneys and the firm as a whole.
Joe's practice also includes counseling companies and individuals on the protection of trade secrets and the legal and business issues surrounding the recruiting and departure of key employees.
With decades of experience litigating commercial and employment-related matters, Joe has been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list consecutively since 2005, and recognized in the Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers list for a number of years. He was also selected as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal's Most Admired CEOs in 2019. In 2022, Joe was named among City and State PA’s Law Power 100.
What Clients Can Expect
Clients depend on Joe’s clear understanding of their business' concerns and challenges to shape the practical advice and achievable strategies he provides. He is known for his holistic approach to their business disputes and obtaining the results clients need. Joe’s philosophy is simple: Anticipate the client's needs, and treat the client's business as if it were your own. Joe’s clients know that “This is the guy you want by your side.”
Outside the Office
Active in many civic and charitable organizations, Joe serves on the boards of the Satell Institute and the Heinz History Center, where he is also a trustee. In addition, he serves as a member of the CEO Council for Growth of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Legal Society. Joe is also active in his church and a number of youth sports and academic organizations.
- Successfully defended a series of high stakes, hard fought litigation battles across the country following a corporate acquisition. The acquirer tried to prevent a third company from hiring employees who did not wish to remain with the new company. We had an undefeated string of wins for the company that successfully hired a large number of those employees, spanning over a five-year time period.
- Advised a major regional bank on improving its strategies and protocol for protecting its customer and proprietary information, including development of enhanced employment agreements, confidentiality agreements and privacy policies.
- Defeated an international financial institution's attempts to enjoin a former employee from working for a competing firm, resulting in denial of attempt to get a temporary restraining order and ultimate dismissal of the state court action.
- Defended a major Wall Street investment bank against unfair competition claims related to the hiring of multiple sales traders from a competitor's fixed income division.
- Drafted new restrictive covenants for a marketing and promotions firms and designed new procedures and policies to safeguard internal customer information and contact database software and systems.
- Obtained permanent injunctive relief in state court restraining a former employee from competing in the telecommunications industry.
Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1987, cum laude, Barrister's Award
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S., 1982, cum laude
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
American Bar Association Section of International Law
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Philadelphia County Bar Association
Chester County Bar Association
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Member
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Former Board Member
CEO Council for Growth of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Member
Drexel University Leadership Council, Former Member
Satell Institute, Executive Committee Member
Senator John Heinz History Center, Board Member & Trustee
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Legal Society Member
Church of the Redeemer, Former Executive Committee and Vestry member
A Better Chance In Lower Merion, Inc., Board of Directors, Emeritus