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Stephen A. Watson III
Principle Attorney

Practices and Industries

Federal Contracts
Insurance Coverage


JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, OH – ‘82

BA, Political Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL – ‘79

Admitted to Practice

U.S. District Court, Northern District of OH

Recent Pro hac vice admissions: OR, WA, and NY

Stephen A. Watson III has a national civil and commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on construction, insurance coverage and environmental matters.  Mr. Watson also has extensive experience in international matters involving his principal practiced areas and import-export.

In his construction litigation practice, Mr. Watson represents primarily construction and engineering companies involved with environmental remediation, environmental risk transfers, and government contracts (DOE, US Army Corps of Engineers, and EPA).  His cases have included delay and defect claims arising out of commercial and federal construction projects, changed conditions claims, and disputes arising from the drafting and negotiation of contracts and insurance policies supporting large construction and environmental risk transfer projects (e.g., base closures, Brownfield sites, CERCLA remediation sites, etc.).  His clients include CH2M Hill, Envirocon, and S.A. Robotics.

In his insurance coverage practice, Mr. Watson has represented policyholders in pursuing coverage under primary and excess general liability policies, fixed price cost cap or stop loss policies, and environmental liability insurance policies. 

On international matters, Mr. Watson has represented clients with civil and commercial construction projects and manufacturing interest in Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and Africa.  Mr. Watson presently represents an exporter of commodities and manufactured goods with business dealings in Taiwan, Vietnam and China. 

Mr. Watson has held legal and senior management positions in the insurance, engineering and construction industries.
Previously, Mr. Watson was General Counsel for Envirocon, a member of the Washington Group of companies, where he was responsible for legal, corporate compliance and the contracts department.  Mr. Watson reorganized the company’s contracts and subcontracts departments, negotiated and provided oversight of various subsidiary operations, and successfully negotiated various commercial and federal contract claims.

During his tenure with Foster Wheeler Environmental, now part of Tetra Tech, Mr. Watson was the company’s chief spokesperson and liaison with governmental regulatory bodies and policy making groups. 


He served as the Director for Governmental Affairs and Regulatory Services; established and managed the Regulatory Services Group, a consulting group servicing primarily US companies doing business internationally and the Oil and Gas Industry.  During his tenure with Foster Wheeler, Mr. Watson formed international ventures to service the growing business.  He was the executive and Managing Director of Foster Wheeler Environmental Nigeria Ltd., an environmental consulting and construction company doing business in Nigeria and nearby countries.   Mr. Watson was also the Executive Director of FWENC-CES, a Hong Kong based consulting company providing ISO 14001 and environmental audit services.   He was the managing executive responsible for service projects with FW Andina, a Columbian based affiliate with construction projects in Columbia and service work in South America.  Representative clients included Shell PDVSA, Ecopetrol, AGIP, Chevron Nigeria, the Israeli Defense Ministry, and Acueducto SA.

Mr. Watson, as Counsel and Division Manager, managed Environmental and Special Claims for Argonaut where he was the company’s chief negotiator on some of the largest coverage cases in the U.S., including Stringfellow, Aerojet General, Occidental Petroleum and Hughes Aircraft – Valenzuela.  The Special Claims Division handled construction defect, subsidence construction claims (CA, HI) and medical malpractice claims. 

Later, with Zurich, Mr. Watson managed Zurich’s Hazardous Waste Claims Department where he was the principal negotiator for negotiating environmental coverage claims involving U.S., Swiss and German based insureds.   This unit was also responsible for the direct defense and management of assumed environmental claims.  Mr. Watson, who later transferred to Risk Engineering, also served as Zurich’s technical Line of Business Manager for Environmental and General Liability where he helped establish and identify risk criteria and assisted with the drafting of environmental insurance coverage.   As the lead environmental risk engineer, Mr. Watson would establish controls and risk assessment guidelines for the company’s use within his area of responsibility.  Though his efforts were principally directed toward the petro-chemical, pharmaceutical and environmental industries, Mr. Watson did provide significant personal service to select manufacturing and specialty chemical concerns (pesticides).

Mr. Watson is a frequent lecturer and author on matters involving environmental regulations, environmental management systems, process safety and insurance coverage.  He was a U.S. delegate to Technical Committee 207 (TC 207), SubTag 4 and was one of six U.S. experts selected for the U.S. State Department’s sponsored lecture tour on Implementing ISO 14001, with stops in Taiwan, S. Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.    Mr. Watson has authored, or participated in the drafting of, U.S. and foreign environmental regulation and guidance documents.  He has personally provided environmental consulting services to ministries and agencies in Nigeria and Columbia. 

Mr. Watson who, has a working understanding of Spanish and German, has personally lectured, provided consulting services, or negotiated commercial contracts and settlements in over twenty countries within SE Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

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