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 is a trial lawyer who represents clients in mission-critical disputes nationwide.  His practice spans a wide array of areas, including financial services, securities, sports, intellectual property, business torts, antitrust, and unfair competition.  Jonathan’s clients include public and private businesses, financial institutions, boards, special committees, investors, and individuals.  He also regularly represents technology companies in a variety of high-stakes litigation. 

Jonathan’s  securities, M&A, and financial services representations include:

  • Representing Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in litigation over the failed Hexion-Huntsman merger, including in Hexion’s New York case seeking specific performance of $15.4 billion of financing commitments, and at jury trial in Texas, 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.).
  • Defending the former CEO of SCANA Corp. in securities, RICO, derivative, and other litigation related to the company’s abandonment of its nuclear-power project.
  • Representing Thoma Bravo in a dispute that culminated in the repricing of its $10.4 billion acquisition of Anaplan.
  • Defending independent directors of Reynolds American in shareholder class actions challenging Reynolds American’s $27.4 billion acquisition of Lorillard, and advising those directors on the company’s sale to British American Tobacco.
  • Representing Merrill Lynch’s independent directors in New York and Delaware shareholder suits over the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger.
  • 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 of those statutes.
  • Representing the founders of a leading cryptocurrency exchange in M&A, regulatory, and antitrust matters.
  • Defending a major financial institution against allegations that it manipulated interest-rate benchmarks and the pricing of corporate bonds.

His competition and intellectual property matters include:

  • Representing Qualcomm in several industry-shaping competition and patent-licensing disputes with Nokia and Broadcom.
  • 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 Rubicon Global, a market-disrupting technology company, in several nationwide suits against incumbent oligopolists.

Jonathan’s recent sports-related representations include:

  • Representing Georgia K. Angelos in litigation over control of the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Representing a major corporate sponsor in matters related to COVID-19’s impact on the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and PGA Tour, as well as in connection with the Qatar World Cup.

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 in its constitutional challenge to the state’s attempted taking of Asheville’s water system.
  • Representing a banking trade association in a First Amendment challenge to state campaign finance restrictions.
  • Representing a trust in due process and dormant commerce challenges to North Carolina’s taxation of foreign trusts.
  • Representing amicus curiae Professor Erwin Chemerinsky in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a case involving a challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law.
  • Representing amicus curiae Qualcomm in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., the leading patent exhaustion case, and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization v. Buffalo Technology (USA), Inc., a patent case involving the propriety of injunctive relief when technology standards are implicated.

*Certain representations occurred before 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