Daron Watts

Partner

Daron Watts is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Lewis Brisbois and chair of the firm’s national Government Affairs & Public Policy Practice. He is also a member of the Life Sciences and Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practices. Mr. Watts practices at the crossroads of law and public policy, providing strategic counsel to clients facing complex challenges involving government regulation, public policy, and politics. He advises a broad range of corporate and non-profit clients facing complex challenges on multiple fronts, including issues relating to life sciences, technology, disruptive innovation, and government regulation. His work often involves regulatory and legislative policy, crisis management regarding regulatory emergencies or new/changing markets or regulatory frameworks and issues relating to social equity. This work frequently requires coordination of positions in different arenas, including various institutions in different branches of government or jurisdictions.

Mr. Watts has helped clients in new or embattled industries and non-profit clients navigate and shape developing or changing law or regulatory frameworks in areas that include life sciences innovation, health care finance, health equity, rare diseases, gene therapy, digital health, technology, dietary supplements, functional food, hemp/cannabis, digital assets and cryptocurrency and ride share/transportation.

Mr. Watts honed his unique versatility and judgment through his experience as outside General Counsel for corporate and trade association clients, where he helped clients navigate matters successfully in all three branches of government – Executive, Legislative and Judicial. This experience helps him to better understand how clients’ business units or Boards view challenges and opportunities -- and enhances his ability to tailor his advice to their big-picture view. He uses this broad experience to help clients develop, coordinate, and execute their strategies across multiple “fronts” (legislative, regulatory or litigation) – adding valuable perspective about how various institutions interrelate to impact law and policy and ultimately how to create effective solutions.​ He advises regularly on matters involving the executive or legislative branches of government and works effectively with other stakeholders who influence policy. He also helps clients navigate the complex waters of Congressional investigations, which require a combination of legal skill, political judgment, and Capitol Hill experience.

General Counsel for Corporate Clients and Trade Associations
Mr. Watts developed his unique versatility and judgement through his experience as outside General Counsel for corporate and trade association clients where he helped his clients succeed in all three branches of government. This experience helps him to better understand how clients’ business units and their Boards view their challenges and opportunities, enhances his ability to connect with their business team, and to tailor his advice to their big-picture view.

Strategies Across Branches and Levels of Government
Mr. Watts’ broad experience as a strategic counselor enables him to develop, coordinate or execute a client’s strategy on or across multiple “fronts” (legislative, regulatory, litigation) – leveraging a rare combination of skills, experience, and judgment to understand clients’ priorities and add valuable perspective about how to create solutions and how various institutions interrelate to impact law and policy.​​

  • Litigation. As a prominent trial and appellate attorney, he amassed scores of victories without ever losing a motion in court.
  • Regulatory, enforcement and compliance. As his litigation practice expanded to include the health and nutrition industries, Daron counseled clients on regulatory compliance, enforcement, research and development, marketing, production, and product distribution. He has achieved success working with executive departments and agencies, including the White House, HHS, FDA, CMS, CDC, FTC, DOJ, DEA, USDA, DOC, and OMB on regulatory and enforcement issues.
  • Legislative. Daron rounded out his experience to all three branches of government initially through pro bono support of foundations advocating for equity and social justice, including work with members of the Congressional Black, Hispanic and Asian Caucuses on health equity issues – and has continued to help clients develop effective, balanced solutions in the legislative, executive or judicial branches successfully for over 20 years.

Social Equity and Community Activity

Mr. Watts is dedicated to social impact issues, including helping advance patients’ rights and access to health for vulnerable and underserved populations, protecting the right of voters to participate in our political system and criminal justice reform.

With an eye towards social impact and achieving social equity goals, he is active on the Board of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. He also sits on the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBC PAC).

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • California
    • District of Columbia
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Education

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Juris Doctor

University of San Diego

Bachelor of Arts

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