Kandace Watson

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

$ $$$

El Camino Real 12275
San Diego 92130 CA US

Kandace P. Watson is a master corporate strategist who excels at designing executable strategies, leading companies to create cutting edge strategic initiatives and navigating strategic operations where no road map exists. She has extensive experience serving as a valuable resource to C-suite and other executives, boards and special committees to develop customized solutions from a blank slate for commercial, corporate, financing, governance, legal, regulatory and social matters affecting companies.

As a Partner in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm’s San Diego (Del Mar) Office, Ms. Watson represents private and public companies in the areas of corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, patent and technology licenses and general business. She has extensive experience representing companies, corporate boards and executives in intellectual property (IP) intensive industries, including, biomedical, biotechnology, chemical, healthcare, pharmaceutical, social media, software and technology.

Corporate boards and management teams seek Ms. Watson’s legal and strategic advice to structure, negotiate and close complex transactions, comply with related SEC and other federal and state regulations, and expand operations globally. She also advises corporate boards and management teams regarding corporate governance and compliance, strategic planning, and ongoing operations. Structuring joint ventures between majority and minority-owned business enterprises is among her specialties.

Her expertise includes board governance and director and officer duties, complex commercial transactions, consortium agreements, corporate spin-offs and reorganizations, IP licenses, CRADAs and other cooperative research, development and commercialization agreements, material transfer agreements (MTAs), joint ventures, public and private offerings, securities compliance, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions, and supply, manufacturing and distribution agreements.

Ms. Watson has frequently handled matters involving non-practicing entities (“NPEs” or “Patent Trolls”) for a number of her clients. She regularly drafts and negotiates patent purchase and license agreements and develops defense strategies for companies, often when NPEs are involved on a point of consideration.

Ms. Watson was honored in 2018 as a finalist among Women of Achievement by the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division. She was recommended in 2016 by Legal 500 US for Mergers & Acquisitions and Buyouts. She was named San Diego’s “Top Attorneys 2015” in the Corporate Transactional practice category presented by The Transcript.

In 2014, Ms. Watson was profiled by the San Diego Business Journal and was recognized as a nominee for “Power of Attorneys 2012 – San Diego’s Top Corporate Counsel.” In 2008, she was a recipient of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. Watson was recognized as one of the “Forty under 40” in 2006 by the Phoenix Business Journal and in 2004, she was profiled by American Business Gazette. Ms. Watson also regularly presents and writes on corporate issues to industry, trade and legal organizations.


  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin, with honors
  • B.A., Hampton University, with highest honors


  • California
  • Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


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El Camino Real 12275
San Diego 92130 CA US
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New York 10006 NY US