Barnes & Thornburg LLP announced today that Aaron Watson has joined the firm’s Atlanta office as an of counsel attorney in the Governmental Services & Finance Departments.
Watson serves as Post 2 At-Large Councilmember for the Atlanta City Council, elected by the citizens of Atlanta in 2009. During his term, Watson has served as chair of the Zoning Committee and as a member of the Finance Executive and City Utilities Committees.
Watson has been practicing law in Atlanta for nearly 30 years, during which period he formed his own firm in order to have greater flexibility to devote his time to public service. His legal practice extends beyond corporate and business law to inside counsel, strategic planning and assistance on a wide range of government relations and business issues that intersect directly with social and public interest matters, including public education, municipal governance and finance, and public pensions, among others.
“With an unparalleled record of professional and civic accomplishments, Aaron is a highly skilled business lawyer and governmental affairs practitioner. Aaron’s addition to our Atlanta office will be a tremendous benefit as the firm continues to expand its suite of legal services,” said Stuart C. Johnson, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office. “I am personally excited to practice law with Aaron once again, and we are all excited about the impact that Aaron’s presence in our firm can mean to our Governmental Services practice in the Southeast.”
“Dating back to my days as a law student, I’ve long been familiar with Barnes & Thornburg and its outstanding reputation and commitment to client service,” said Watson. “The firm’s full-service platform is the perfect fit for me to strategically enhance and grow my practice while remaining engaged with numerous public interest causes.”
About Aaron Watson
Watson has been active in Atlanta for many years in the areas of education, transportation, housing and public safety. He has held various leadership positions on civic boards and other public sector and non-profit organizations.
In 1993, Watson was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education where he served for eight years, five of which he led the Board as its president. Under his leadership, which also included heading the Finance Committee, the Board imposed tangible standards of accountability for results expected from students, teachers and parents, becoming the first system in Georgia to end social promotion.
Watson is also heavily focused on mass transportation, smart land use and appropriate housing density to link Atlanta neighborhoods and maximize the quality of urban life. He served on the Board of Commissioners for the Atlanta Housing Authority, where he supported reform initiatives to address Atlanta’s housing challenges, and was also a member of the Atlanta Development Authority, which championed the effective use of tax allocation districts to support development in neglected areas. He is also a board member and past president of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, where he negotiated a strategic partnership to improve and maintain Atlanta’s premier park.
Prior to forming his own law firm, Watson practiced as a corporate and business law attorney with Minkin & Snyder (now Greenberg Traurig); Trotter Smith & Jacobs; and Arnall, Golden & Gregory. In addition to his legal experience, Watson worked as a certified public accountant prior to law school at Deloitte & Touche.
Watson earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1985 and his B.B.A. from Notre Dame University in 1978.
With nearly 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg LLP is one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. Visit us online at www.btlaw.com.