Jonathan Watkins 

Partner – Charlotte, New York
T.+1 704 348 5129
650 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202 V-CARD
T.+1 212 504 6229
200 Liberty Street
New York , NY 10281

Jonathan Watkins handles a wide range of high-stakes commercial disputes, with a particular focus on antitrust, M&A, and securities litigation.  His cases often present challenging legal issues that shape an industry.  Jonathan’s clients include public and private businesses, financial institutions, boards, special committees, investors, and individuals.  He also regularly represents technology companies in an array of mission-critical litigation. 

Jonathan’s notable matters include:

  • Representing Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in litigation over the failed Hexion-Huntsman merger, including in Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc. v. Credit Suisse, Cayman Islands Branch, Index No.114552/08 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.), where Hexion sought specific performance of $15.4 billion of financing commitments, and at jury trial in Huntsman Corp. v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, No. 08-09-09258 (9th Dist. Tex.), where Huntsman sought $4.65 billion in compensatory tort damages.
  • Defending Credit Suisse from Section 10(b) claims arising from the collapse of Enron, including the $40 billion lead securities class action, Newby v. Enron Corp., Cons. Action No. H-01-3624, MDL No. 1446 (S.D. Tex.), and the several coordinated and consolidated cases.
  • Advising Thoma Bravo on its $10.4 billion acquisition of Anaplan.
  • Defending independent directors of Reynolds American in shareholder class actions that presented novel legal questions and challenged Reynolds American’s $27.4 billion acquisition of Lorillard.
  • Advising a special committee of the board of Reynolds American on its sale to British American Tobacco.
  • Representing The Fresh Market and its directors in several shareholder class actions targeting the company’s $1.36 billion sale to Apollo Global Management.
  • Representing Merrill Lynch’s independent directors in New York and Delaware shareholder suits over the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger.
  • Representing the founders of a leading cryptocurrency exchange in a high-stakes M&A dispute and an antitrust class action.
  • Representing Qualcomm in several industry-shaping competition and patent-licensing disputes with Nokia and Broadcom involving cellular wireless standards.
  • Representing a bank and its service provider in litigation over a state’s novel interpretation of its licensing statutes and the scope of federal preemption.
  • Defending a major financial institution against allegations that it manipulated ISDAFIX, an interest-rate benchmark.
  • Defending a major financial institution against allegations that it manipulated the pricing of corporate bonds.
  • Representing Hyland and Alfresco Software in several patent disputes with a competitor over enterprise information management technology.
  • Representing Renaissance Technologies, the preeminent statistical-arbitrage fund, in mission-critical intellectual property litigation.
  • Representing a leading producer of polymer-based membranes in antitrust and patent litigation against a competitor.
  • Representing Rubicon Global, a market-disrupting technology company, in several nationwide suits against incumbent oligopolists.

Jonathan also regularly represents clients on appeal. His experience includes:

  • Representing a group of financial institutions in the Fourth Circuit and the North Carolina Court of Appeals against a class of borrowers alleging violations of the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act. The federal appeal presented a jurisdictional question involving the scope of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act’s complete preemption of state-law usury claims; the state appeal involved the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act’s preemption of state law after AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion.
  • Representing the City of Asheville against the State of North Carolina in Asheville’s constitutional challenge to the state’s attempted taking of Asheville’s water system.
  • Representing a banking trade association in the Third Circuit in a First Amendment challenge to state campaign finance restrictions.
  • Representing Monsanto before the Fourth Circuit in a contractual dispute presenting new issues of North Carolina law.
  • Representing INEOS in complex commercial disputes before the Second and Seventh Circuits.
  • Representing a trust before the North Carolina Supreme Court in a constitutional challenge, under the due process and dormant commerce clauses of the United States Constitution, to North Carolina’s taxation of foreign trusts.
  • Representing amicus curiae Professor Erwin Chemerinsky before the United States Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, Nos. 07-21, 07-25 (U.S.), a case involving a challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law.
  • Representing amicus curiae Qualcomm in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., No. 06-937 (U.S.), the leading patent exhaustion case, and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization v. Buffalo Technology (USA), Inc., No. 2007-1449 (Fed. Cir.), a patent infringement case involving the propriety of injunctive relief when technology standards are implicated.

*Certain representations occurred prior to Jonathan's association with Cadwalader. 

Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, where he earned the Fordham Law School Prize, served on the Fordham Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. Jonathan began his career with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.



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Jonathan Watkins 


  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • District of Columbia


  • Fordham University School of Law
    J.D., magna cum laude
  • Lehigh University