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Pat Watson concentrates in antitrust and other complex business litigation. In the antitrust litigation area, Mr. Watson has focused on the representation of corporate plaintiffs who choose to opt out of class action litigation involving price fixing to pursue direct claims and has obtained large recoveries for such companies. In addition, he has successfully defended individuals and corporations in federal and state antitrust cases, including class actions,  involving price fixing, price discrimination, monopolization and other alleged violations of the antitrust laws. Mr. Watson also has handled litigation involving franchising and distribution issues and unfair trade practices.

In addition to litigation, he has provided legal guidance to companies and trade associations in various industries on a variety of antitrust related issues, including pricing, advertising, joint ventures, benchmarking and strategic transactions. As part of his compliance work, he has assisted clients with antitrust related audits and in the development of training programs. He also has assisted companies with internal investigations and responses to government subpoenas, and has represented clients in obtaining antitrust regulatory approval for mergers.

Apart from antitrust and trade regulation matters, Mr. Watson has handled commercial litigation and dispute resolution involving software development contracts, warranty clauses in asset purchase agreements, implementation of ERP systems, ERISA violations and other complex business disputes. Mr. Watson also has substantial experience handling appellate litigation in federal and state courts.

Mr. Watson also is a frequent speaker on antitrust and compliance issues. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the Antitrust Section of the Georgia Bar and has served on the section board for several years.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Best Lawyers' (Antitrust Law, 2009-2017)
    • Best Lawyers' Georgia Antitrust Law "Lawyer of the Year," (2014)
    • Chambers USA, Georgia (Antitrust, 2008-2016)
    • Georgia Super Lawyer (2008-2016)
    • Chambers USA, Georgia (Antitrust, 2008-2016)
    • Georgia Super Lawyer (2008-2016)
    • Georgia Super Lawyer (2008-2016)
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Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association – Antitrust and Litigation Sections
    • Atlanta Bar Association
    • State Bar of Georgia – Antitrust and Corporate Counsel Sections
    • State Bar of South Carolina
    • State Bar of Georgia – Antitrust and Corporate Counsel Sections
    • State Bar of South Carolina
    • State Bar of South Carolina
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Representative Experience

  • Represented large moving and storage company in defense of action alleging violation of state unfair competition laws following entry of FTC consent order.

  • Represented large home improvement chain as an indirect purchaser in antitrust cases involving alleged price-fixing of LCD and CRT panels, titanium dioxide, and other components and products.

  • Represented several large purchasers of polyester staple fiber as “opt out” plaintiffs against fiber manufacturers accused on fixing fiber prices. Reached successful settlements with all defendants. Later represented the largest purchaser of such fiber in a direct action against the predecessor of one of the class defendants (not pursued by the class) which resulted in an overall settlement of over $100 million.
  • Defended large carpet manufacturer in federal and state price fixing class actions in Georgia and California.
  • Represented large manufacturer of consumer products and large home improvement chain in civil action relating to alleged price fixing of cabotage shipping rates.
  • Represented the division head of a large outdoor advertising company in an action alleging violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, prevailed on a motion to dismiss that was upheld on appeal.
  • Represented national building products supply company in action involving alleged manipulation of structural panel prices.
  • Represented banking technology company in defense of civil action by Federal Trade Commission and state authorities for alleged violations of business opportunity regulations.
  • Represented large manufacturer in connection with alleged Robinson Patman violations related to internet advertising policies.
  • Assisted banking trade association with antitrust issues arising from development of industry fraud detection program.
  • Represented real estate law firm in South Carolina federal court in defense of alleged mortgage fraud claims.
  • Represented major car rental company in putative class action alleging violation of Federal and State RICO Statute.
  • Represented African nation in connection with investigation of possible RICO and bank fraud by American citizen ultimately leading to guilty plea.

Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Presenter, "Antitrust Recovery after Supplier Collusion," Bryan Cave In-House Counsel CLE Institute, Atlanta, January 29, 2016
  • "Changing Landscape Reshapes Firm Strategies, Competition, Priorities," 2015-16 Atlanta Legal Market Conference , Atlanta, October 15, 2015