June 11, 2015
Founding Partner, Walter G. “WG” Watkins, Jr., Recognized by Owens-Illinois with R. Bruce Shaw Distinguished Counsel Award
Founding Partner, WG Watkins, was recently presented with the R. Bruce Shaw Distinguished Counsel Award by firm client, Owens-Illinois, Inc. The award recognizes Watkins’ outstanding legal service of more than 36 years. The R. Bruce Shaw award was created by Owens-Illinois to recognize one lawyer each year who has given extraordinary service to the company. The award is named for Bruce Shaw, a senior outside trial attorney for Owens-Illinois; WG is only the fourth recipient since its inception.
Founded in 1903 as Owens Bottle Company, Owens-Illinois is the world’s largest manufacturer of glass containers. The company was founded by Michael J. Owens, who invented the automatic bottle-making machine, an invention which became the foundation for today’s glassmaking industry. As the world’s leading glass container manufacturer, O-I has more than a century of experience crafting pure, sustainable, brand-building glass packaging for many of the world’s best-known food and beverage brands.
Mr. Watkins is considered to be one of the leading asbestos defense lawyers in the country having tried numerous cases across the country to verdict in state and federal courts. He is National Trial Counsel and/or National Coordinating Counsel for several major corporations involved in mass tort cases. He serves as Chairman of the Defense Liaison Committee for MDL 875 in Philadelphia, PA. With distinctions including AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, Chambers USA Leading Individual and Benchmark Litigation Star just to name a few, WG has built a national reputation for his negotiation skills and has served as lead negotiator for multiple companies in complex mass tort settlements across the country. His experience includes head of the litigation team and lead trial counsel in cases involving asbestos, silica, chemical exposures, and wood preservatives including creosote, dioxins, CCA, and PAHs.