John L. Watkins
John is Senior Counsel in the firm’s Business Litigation and Corporate Transactions & Securities groups and a member of the International practice. He has over thirty years of experience representing business clients on a wide variety of matters in Georgia and other jurisdictions.
John currently serves as primary outside corporate counsel for international and domestic companies. He advises businesses on insurance coverage issues and disputes. He also manages and provides strategic input on the prosecution, defense and resolution of commercial disputes in litigation, arbitration, and mediation.
General Business Representation. John is a trusted advisor helping clients understand and manage their legal and business risks. He helps clients in establishing operations, negotiating and drafting equipment sales contracts, master services agreements, terms and conditions, and other contracts. John has particular experience in representing machinery and equipment manufacturers and distributors, as well as clients providing professional services, specialty construction, software and technology.
John’s clients include international companies or their U.S. subsidiaries from Germany, Switzerland, Canada and other countries. John is active in the international business community, and he has given public and private seminars to international audiences on U.S. law and dispute resolution, including seminars in Heidelberg, Salzburg, and Munich, as well as Atlanta. He is the Atlanta office’s primary contact with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeastern United States and is on the Board of the British American Business Council of Georgia. See John’s international bio for more detailed information.
Insurance Coverage. John assists clients in reviewing and evaluating insurance issues, and in pursuing coverage, including litigation when necessary. He has handled coverage issues for environmental liabilities, construction defects, professional liability claims, and catastrophic personal injury and property damage claims. He has experience with professional liability, D&O, general liability, excess liability, media tech, property, business interruption and other policies. He is the author of the chapter on insurance coverage in the book Georgia Business Litigation, and has written law review and bar journal articles on various insurance topics, including coverage for construction defects and cyber risks. John teaches Insurance Law at the University of Georgia School of Law as an Adjunct Professor.
Commercial Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation. For over thirty-five years, John has handled a wide variety of commercial litigation and arbitration cases in Georgia and other states. He has extensive experience in mediation. John currently focuses on helping clients manage disputes and develop strategies for cost-effective resolution. John’s specific experience includes claims involving insurance coverage, trade secrets and confidential information, intellectual property, construction disputes, business torts, breach of contract, shareholder and intra-company disputes, real estate disputes, and product liability.
John is on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society and is also a registered mediator. He is available to act as a mediator or arbitrator.
- “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
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