Justin Watts is an experienced patent litigator who has an established and well-regarded intellectual property practice. Clients rely on his industry knowledge and years of experience to handle their complex, multinational disputes. Dr. Watts represents a variety of clients, with an emphasis on those in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, biotechnology, communications, and hardware and software industries, in disputes involving standards, competition law and patents.

Dr. Watts' experience envelops the full range of IP litigation. His far-reaching capabilities allow him to advise clients on transactional work, specifically in the technology, media and communications sectors.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Dr. Watts was a partner in the global IP/IT practice of another international law firm.

Dr. Watts is a qualified lawyer and chartered engineer, and holds a PhD in optoelectronics from the University of Cambridge. Before beginning his legal career, Dr. Watts worked in satellite communications engineering, with clients appreciating his technical knowledge alongside his rational and strategic approach.


  • Over the years, Dr. Watts has represented a variety of clients, including BMS, HP, a major mobile phone company, Abbott, Philips, Sony Computer Entertainment, Thomson Multimedia and Texas Instruments. His matters have included:

    • representing BMS across 7 jurisdictions in asserting a patent infringement claim over immune system treatments for cancer;
    • representing HP in the UK and Ireland defending a patent infringement claim over page-wide printing;
    • representing Johnson & Johnson across 11 jurisdictions in defending a patent infringement claim over its silicone hydrogel contact lenses;
    • advising Schlumberger in an international patent dispute over electromagnetic oil prospecting techniques; and
    • handling major multi-jurisdiction litigation for clients in the mobile phone industry.


  • Named a "Global Elite Thought Leader" in the 2022 edition of Who's Who Legal.
  • Ranked for Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation in the 2019–2022 editions of Chambers Global
  • Consistently ranked by Chambers UK in the category of Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation with sources saying he has "extremely good judgment," "'great leadership' and commercial acuity” and is “known for his 'sound judgement and ability to generate ideas at precisely the right time'”
  • Regularly and most recently named in 2023, as a leading individual by The Legal 500 United Kingdom in the Intellectual Property category and “is singled out for his 'vast experience in patent litigation.'” He “remains a heavyweight in the field – across the entire landscape of patents including life sciences, pharma and telecoms. His encyclopedic knowledge of patent law, extensive litigation experience and polymath technical background ensure he remains head and shoulders above the competition.”
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for his work in intellectual property law
  • Named a 20182022 IP Star by Managing IP, a guidebook that identifies leading IP lawyers in the United States
  • Recognized for Litigation (United Kingdom) in the 2018–2022 editions of IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals
  • Named a leading IP practitioner in the 2018 World Intellectual Property Review guide

Insights & News


  • Education

    • Diploma, Intellectual Property Law and Practice, University of Bristol

      with commendation

    • PhD, Optoelectronics, University of Cambridge

      David Gottleib Prize for Law

    • BA, Electrical Sciences, University of Cambridge

  • Admissions

    • England and Wales, Solicitor

    • Ireland, Solicitor