Biography Photo of Frank Borger Gilligan

Frank Borger Gilligan

Based in Dickinson Wright’s Nashville office, Frank Borger Gilligan is a dynamic member of the firm’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities practice group. With a focus on M&A, Frank adeptly guides companies seeking to acquire or merge through the intricacies of negotiating successful deals. From initiating transactions to negotiating an agreement to implementing post-closing integration strategies, he excels in navigating the complexities of business transactions and raising capital through various regulatory frameworks.

Beyond his experience in traditional finance, Frank is at the forefront of regulatory matters in FinTech, providing invaluable counsel to clients navigating this rapidly evolving landscape. Additionally, Frank is a key asset in the firm’s cannabis practice group, where he assists clients in raising capital and strategically structuring securities offerings amidst the ever-changing legal and regulatory environment.

With a background as the former top securities regulator for the State of Tennessee, Frank brings extensive experience in federal and state securities matters, including public and private securities offerings and investigations. He has collaborated with regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, SIFMA, and various state and federal agencies, leveraging this experience to guide clients through complex securities laws and regulations.

Frank’s previous roles include serving as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Securities Division and as President-Elect of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). He also chaired NASAA’s Broker-Dealer Committee and held the position of Vice-Chair of the FinTech Committee. During his tenure as Assistant Commissioner, Frank oversaw critical program areas, including Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Registration, Securities Registration, and Enforcement.

Before his regulatory appointments, Frank served as the Director of Securities Enforcement and Fraud Investigations for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. In this capacity, he led investigations into suspected cases of insurance and securities fraud, ranging from technical violations to multi-million dollar schemes. Frank’s legal career also includes roles as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee and Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia.

Frank’s commitment to excellence and his holistic approach to advising clients make him an indispensable resource in the world of corporate transactions.

Education & Credentials


Columbia College


DePaul University College of Law


Bar Admission

  • Tennessee

Prominent Assignments

  • Assisting an advisor on the building of navy submarines and providing broad-spectrum advice and support on everything from privacy policies and intellectual property to real estate and human resources.
  • Representing private equity firms in middle-market acquisitions across various industries.
  • Advising a software company with a material capital raise as it needed additional capitalization.
  • Representing an investment advisory firm in a client dispute filed for arbitration before FINRA.
  • Representing a full-service retirement planner in the acquisition of the assets under management and annuity and life contracts of another registered investment adviser.
  • Representing an engineering consulting company and will be assisting in corporate work.
  • Retained by an SEC-registered investment advisor firm. Counsel will be advising the company on various securities regulatory matters and may potentially act as an expert witness in pending civil litigation.
  • Assisted a strategic consulting firm for nonprofits and social enterprises in forming a fund created to close the funding gap facing businesses that focus on reaching African Americans and other people of color. With a targeted goal of raising $250 million, the fund will be going live in the near future.
  • Retained by a leader in innovative products and solutions that supports industry and social infrastructure around the globe. Counsel was asked to assist with a challenging employment matter.
  • Represented the creator of a worldwide employee mentoring software in a $5 million Series A-II capital raise. This matter is particularly significant given it involved a complex cap table and preference stack, with pro-rata rights and other existing stockholder obligations.
  • Represented an exclusive member-only dating community company and assisted in corporate governance and strategy, as well as closing the round of funding.
  • Represented an e-commerce startup as the recipient of two major investments, bringing the transactions to successful closings.

Professional Involvement

  • President-Elect – North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) (2018-2019) 
  • Chair – NASAA Broker-Dealer Section Committee (2017-2018) 
  • Vice-Chair – NASAA FinTech Committee (2017-2019) 
  • Member – NASAA State Legislation Committee (2016-2018) 
  • Tennessee Bar Association 
  • Tennessee Captive Insurance Association 
  • Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville 
  • Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts (VLPA)  

Court Admissions

  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals 
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Tennessee 
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Tennessee 


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