A clip applier and method for ligating a tissue structure is provided. The applier has a two stage actuation. In the first stage, a tissue structure is positioned into the jaws of the clip applier The jaws close and lock to a preset force to compress and temporarily occlude the tissue structure. If satisfactorily positioned, the second stage is initiated in which a clip is advanced through the shaft of the clip applier in a closed position. At the distal end of the clip applier, the clip is opened slightly to capture the pre-compressed tissue structure, and is placed over the structure. The clip is then dissociated from the business end of the instrument. Preferably the clip comprises two leg members disposed in close proximity to one another joined from opposing directions by a connecting element. The connecting element restricts separation of the leg members with opposing spring members so as to provide substantially uniform parallel deflection of the leg members from each other.