Catriona Watt > Fox & Partners > London, England > Lawyer Profile
Fox & Partners Offices
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Contentious Employment and Partnership
Catriona Watt is a Partner specialising in contentious partnership law as well as employment and discrimination law. She advises professional firms, partners, senior executives and employers, focusing primarily on the financial, insurance, private equity and professional services sectors. Her unique experience of acting on both sides of disputes stands her in good stead to understand the pressures and leverage of each.
Catriona has a wealth of experience in advising on complex team move situations in which there are usually allegations of breach of restrictive covenants and fiduciary duties and potential forfeiture claims. Catriona brings a strategic and commercial approach to advising on senior and board level disputes and contentious exits from partnership structures. She advises on other contentious senior level employment and partnership issues and has particular experience in dealing with private equity partnership disputes. Catriona often advises on misconduct investigations, including harassment, involving senior individuals in regulated sectors including legal and financial services, working with regulatory and PR specialists where necessary.
Where litigation cannot be avoided, Catriona draws on her varied experience of litigating partnership and employment disputes in the High Court, Employment Tribunal and in arbitration.
Catriona is recognised in Chambers UK and the Legal 500 for her expertise in contentious partnership and employment law: “She’s good at developing strategy for litigation and is creative about identifying legal avenues we can use in addition to being very thorough with her preparation. “Catriona is endlessly patient with clients and really takes her time to find out what they need or want to achieve in litigation, as well as being intelligent and creative in getting them to the position they need to be in.” “She is very calm, sees the bigger picture and takes strategic oversight of the matter.” (Chambers 2022)
Admitted as a solicitor 2008; Burness LLP (now Burness Paul LLP) 2006 – 2008; Fox & Partners (formerly Fox) – 2008 – present.
Employment Law Association, Association of Partnership Practitioners and past Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers’ Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA).
University of Aberdeen 1999 – 2003 – LLB (Hons) 2:1; Glasgow Graduate School of Law – 2004-2005 – Diploma in Legal Practice; BPP Law School – 2008 – Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test.
Fox & Partners broad client base spans CEOs and senior managing directors, particularly those operating in the financial industry. Team heads Caroline Field and Ivor Adair advise on arrivals and departures, exit negotiations, and restrictive covenants. The teams also handles discrimination claims under the 2010 Equality Act and related whistleblowing claims. Other key team members include Catriona Watt and Dean Fuller, who work on data protection, and statuary and contractual rights claims.
Acting for both LLPs and partners, particularly across the professional and financial services sectors, the ‘highly focused boutique’ Fox & Partners has a ‘very commercial and practical’ partnership team. The unit is jointly headed up by the ‘exceptionally talented’ Catriona Watt, who advises on issues including contentious departures and arrivals, and Caroline Field, an ‘extremely competent and good strategist’ who has experience litigating in a broad range of dispute resolution forums. Founder of the Association of Partnership Practitioners Ronnie Fox is a ‘brilliant deal maker’ and is particularly known for negotiating departure arrangements. The ‘responsive and helpful’ Shoshana Bacall offers extensive experience in advising on partner departures, contentious exit arrangements, partner investigations and disciplinary matters, an area of growth for the team. Dean Fuller advises on regulatory and corporate aspects of partnership law, while Ivor Adair has recent experience of advising international law firms in relation to contentious exits. Other key lawyers include senior associate Shiv Raja, who acts for partners, LLPs and partnerships in the professional services sector. Eleanor Diamond moved to Lewis Silkin in August 2023.
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