John L. Watkins
John is a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation and Corporate Transactions & Securities groups and a member of the International practice.
John’s practice currently concentrates on these areas: (1) complex commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, with a focus on insurance coverage, and (2) general business representation as primary counsel, with a focus on machinery, manufacturing, technology and professional services companies, many international.
Complex Commercial Litigation. Complex commercial litigation has been and remains a key part of his practice. John has handled a wide variety of cases in Georgia and many other states in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation. John’s litigation clients have included municipalities, utilities, financial institutions, machinery and equipment suppliers for industrial construction projects, technology companies and many other businesses.
John handles matters involving insurance coverage, trade secrets and confidential information, construction claims, business torts (fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contractual relations), breach of contract, shareholder and intra-company disputes, real estate disputes, product liability and aircraft noise. More specific information is contained in John’s separate litigation bio.
Insurance Coverage Focus. Insurance coverage is a key focus of John’s litigation and business practices. He assists clients in reviewing and evaluating insurance programs, as well as in evaluating and pursuing coverage for particular claims. He assists clients in presenting and resolving claims with insurers, and litigating coverage and related issues when necessary.
He has experience in handling coverage issues under professional liability, D&O, general liability, excess liability, media tech, property, business interruption and other policies. Underlying claims have involved complex issues such as environmental liabilities, construction defects, professional liability, and catastrophic personal injuries and property damage. John is currently focusing on insurance coverage for cyber-related claims and liabilities, and works with the firm’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Team on coverage issues.
John has many publications on insurance coverage, including cyber coverage (see Publications) and teaches Insurance Law at the University of Georgia School of Law as an Adjunct Professor. More specific information is contained in John’s separate insurance bio.
General Business Representation. John also represents clients in their general business matters as their primary outside counsel. This work includes establishing operations, negotiating and drafting contracts (including equipment sales contracts and non-disclosure agreements), understanding and managing risk (including insurance coverage) and handling clients’ other legal needs, including litigation. Business clients are in various industries, including machinery and equipment, professional services, specialty construction, software, and technology.
John’s business clients include international companies or their U.S. subsidiaries (including companies from Canada, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe), particularly those in the machinery and equipment industry. John is active in the international business community, and he has given public and private seminars to international audiences on various aspects of U.S. law and dispute resolution, including seminars in Heidelberg, Salzburg and Munich, as well as Atlanta. More specific information is contained in John’s separate international bio.
John is also a registered mediator and is available to act as a mediator to assist parties in resolving claims and disputes. Mediations are conducted with no administrative fee and firm facilities are available for John’s mediations.
John is on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society. He is on the Board of Directors of the British America Business Council of Georgia. He is active in the German American Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and other business and legal organizations.
- “Dispute Resolution Clauses: They Only Matter When They Matter,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Summer 2017
- “Increasing Use of Cyber Insurance Requirements in Contracts,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Summer 2016
- “Second Circuit Limits Use of Warrants to Secure Electronic Data Stored Abroad,” Thompson Hine Privacy & White Collar Update, July 2016
- “Is There a Cyber Gap in Your Coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Claims?” Fulton County Daily Report, May 2016.
- “Fourth Circuit Finds Insurance Coverage for Exposure of Electronic Medical Records Under Traditional Insurance Policy,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, April 2016
- "Reducing Cyber-Anxiety: Insurance Coverage for Cyber Risks,” Georgia Bar Journal, April 2016
- “Are You Covered For Cyber-Related Injury And Damage Claims?” IMPO Magazine, March 2016
- “FDIC Issues Cybersecurity Guidance for Banks,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, February 2016
- “Danger in Wires: Insurance Coverage for Cyber Risks,” Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, January 2016
- "What to Look For in Cyber Insurance," Fulton County Daily Report, September 14, 2015
- "Erie Denied: How Federal Courts Decide Insurance Coverage Cases and What to Do About It," Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, July 21, 2015
- “When Should You Call Outside Insurance Coverage Counsel?,” Corporate Counsel, December 4, 2013
- “Georgia’s Stance In The Split On Construction Defect Coverage,” Law360, August 2013
- “Georgia Supreme Court Rules on Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects,” Thompson Hine Insurance Coverage Update, July 22, 2013
- “Fundamental Strategic Considerations in Business Litigation,” LexisNexis White Paper, March 2013
- “Non-Disclosure Agreements: Some Practical Considerations,” Bloomberg Corporate Counsel Weekly, October 2012
- “Utilizing Expert Witnesses” (Chapter 8), Georgia Civil Trial Procedure, LexisNexis, 2011 (book)
- Co-author, “Is Your Company Sitting on Buried Treasure? Finding Resources in Insurance Policies,” The Corporate Counselor, October 2011
- “Machinery and Equipment Supply Contracts: Back to the Basics,” LNJ’s Equipment Leasing Newsletter, 2011
- “American Empire Surplus Lines v. Hathaway Dev. Co.: An Important Occurrence in Georgia Insurance Law,” 17 Ga. Bar J. 10, October 2011
- “Georgia Supreme Court Holds that Negligent Construction is an ‘Occurrence’ Under CGL Policies,” LexisNexis Insurance Law Community, 2011
- “Insurance Issues in Construction-Related Claims: Some Practical Thoughts,” Construct!, ABA Litigation Section, Summer 2011
- “Supreme Court Decision Limits Use of ‘Stream of Commerce’ Jurisdiction Theory to Subject Foreign Manufacturers to Suit in the U.S.,” National Law Journal, July 10, 2011
- An Insider’s Guide on Hiring a Business Attorney, 2010 (book)
- Co-author with Roy E. Hadley, Jr., “The Legal Issues Are Somewhat Cloudy In the Cloud: A Primer for Lawyers on Cloud Computing,” Georgia Bar Technology Section Newsletter, 2010
- Presenter, “Directors & Officers Liability Insurance for the Nonprofit Organization,” Thompson Hine Best of Boards Governance Series, January 2014
- Presenter, “Warranties, Indemnities, and Key Contract Terms,” for the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeastern U.S., November 2012
- Presenter, “Finding Buried Treasure in Your Insurance Policies,” for the Japan-American Society, August 2012
- “Maximizing Insurance Contributions in Mediated Settlements,” Strafford Legal Webinar, 2011
- “Trade Secrets and Non-Disclosure Agreements,” Inventors Association of Georgia Monthly Meeting, 2010
- “Common Legal Mistakes Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them,” Chamblee Business Association Monthly Meeting, 2009
- Panel discussion, “Tips for Success in Arbitration as an Advocate and a Neutral,” Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Meeting, 2009
- Selected for inclusion on the Georgia Super Lawyers list since 2008; included on Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 list in 2010, 2012 and 2014
- Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite, 2010-2012
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Avvo Rating 10.0 (its highest rating)
- Atlanta Bar Association Construction Section, former board member
- Atlanta International Arbitration Society, board member
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- Lumpkin Society, University of Georgia School of Law
- German American Chamber of Commerce
- Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce
Is There a Cyber Gap in Your Coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Claims?Fulton County Daily Report
May 16, 2016
March 31, 2016
Danger in Wires: Insurance Coverage for Cyber RisksPrivacy & Cybersecurity Law Report
December 22, 2015
What to Look for in Cyber InsuranceFulton County Daily Report
September 18, 2015
Erie Denied: How Federal Courts Decide Insurance Coverage Cases and What to Do About ItConnecticut Insurance Law Journal
August 26, 2015
Ten Thompson Hine Lawyers Recognized by Georgia Super LawyersThompson Hine LLP
February 20, 2014
When Should You Call Outside Insurance Coverage CounselCorporate Counsel
December 04, 2013
Thompson Hine's Atlanta Office Adds Two Lateral Partners - Corporate Partners Bolster Growing Office
June 12, 2013