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Education

  • Healthcare Compliance Certification, Seton Hall University School of Law, 2016
  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, high honors, 2004
  • A.B., Bryn Mawr College, Departmental Honors, English, 1999

    Eagleton Institute of Politics, Henry J. Raimondo - Fellow, New Brunswick, 2004

    National Association of Women Lawyers Achievement Award

    ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award

    Order of the Coif

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Memberships & Affiliations

Secretary to the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s District Ethics Committee, District VA

Director, Board of Trustees, New Jersey Defense Association

Chair, Public Entity Committee, New Jersey Defense Association

Appointed Member, Diversity Committee, New Jersey State Bar Association

Barrister, Brennan-Vanderbilt Inn of Court

Member, National Association of Women Lawyers

Immediate Past President of the Board of Trustees, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Natalie S. Watson

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Partner
  • T: 973.848.5357
    F: 973.297.3941

Natalie’s professional mission is to help her clients reach practical and efficient solutions to their complex legal needs, freeing them to focus their talents on innovation and profitability. Comfortable before a jury, Natalie has tried numerous cases to verdict. Her clients value her ability to captain a matter from inception to trial, all while routinely coming in under budget. Since beginning her legal career at McCarter more than a decade ago, Natalie has been representing pharmaceutical corporations, manufacturers, health care facilities, and public entities in state and federal courts nationwide as they face regulatory and compliance challenges, as well as claims of catastrophic personal injury, product liability, toxic torts and environmental matters, breach of contract, and sales practices.

Natalie has cultivated a particular focus on advising pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers on how best to satisfy the specific state and federal regulations necessary to bring a device, drug, or supplement to market. Applying her savvy and knowledge of the ever-changing regulations promulgated by state and federal regulatory and compliance bodies, including the FDA and USDA, Natalie takes a values-based approach to ethical considerations and compliance matters. That approach allows her to implement internal policies and to interact with regulators in a way that minimizes noncompliance risks. In addition to compliance counseling, she defends her clients in claims brought under the False Claims Act, the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, and the Anti-Kickback Statute, among others. 

Another major clientele of Natalie’s includes public entities who face complex civil rights, Constitutional law, and negligence suits, including those suits arising out of wrongful death and sexual abuse claims. Her extensive experience allows her to balance the need for aggressive defense of high-exposure claims with the finesse needed in high-profile matters involving public entity defendants. In strong support of her work with public entities, Natalie regularly provides in-service training on the nuances of applicable statutory law, particularly with respect to relevant statutory immunities and notice of claim requirements. Most recently, she has counseled larger institutions of higher education in complying with state and federal laws and regulations governing anti-harassment, anti-bullying, anti-discrimination, and LGBTQA-inclusion.

Natalie understands that the role of law is to complement, not hinder, business innovation. To that end, she has developed a team that focuses on providing rapid, cost-effective response to the needs of businesses. Her team includes partners and special counsel in the areas of intellectual property and trademark/copyright, corporate formation, real estate and land use, and securities, white collar crimes, and commercial litigation. Her integrative approach allows her to coordinate seamless coverage of all of her business clients’ needs, whether start-ups or Fortune 500 companies. 

In addition to launching a business-focused team of multi-practice attorneys within the firm, Natalie has been appointed to the steering committee of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and also serves on its Diversity Committee. In that capacity, she has strengthened the firm’s use of diversity in servicing its clients. She also has created critical firm policy, leading McCarter in becoming one of the first law firms in the country to offer a “gross-up” policy for its LGBTQA employees, to remedy the disparate treatment that existed in the tax code in the years before Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2016).

Natalie also is a leader in several communities beyond McCarter, participating in professional legal, charitable, and educational communities. 

The New Jersey Supreme Court appointed Natalie to serve as its Secretary for the District VA Ethics Committee. In that role, she is responsible for reviewing all grievances submitted against attorneys practicing in District VA and, when appropriate, docketing those investigations. The President of the New Jersey Bar Association has appointed Natalie to serve on his state-wide Diversity Committee, where Natalie will work with a team to identify and address issues impacting diverse attorneys throughout the state. Natalie also co-chairs the Public Entity section of the New Jersey Defense Association, which represents New Jersey’s defense bar. She regularly lectures on topics relevant to litigators and in-house counsel, including FDA and regulatory compliance matters, best practices for trial attorneys, and the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Natalie is the immediate past president of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, an organization recognized by the arts community and service industry as a nationwide leader in developing model programs for audience development. As president, Natalie guided the organization in representing 33 professional theatres located throughout 17 out of New Jersey’s 21 counties during one of the most difficult financial periods on record for non-profit organizations. In November 2015, she was presented with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Star Award for “outstanding dedication and leadership as the Alliance’s Board President for the past six years.” Natalie was also commended for her work on diversity and cultural access initiatives.

Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College with departmental honors in English.  A proud alumna of this Seven Sisters college, Natalie has remained very active with the College, serving in an advisory capacity with respect to admissions requirements and obligations. Drawing on her close relationships with her classmates, Natalie also served as Class Fund Chair, leading her class in fundraising endeavors for the College. Natalie frequently speaks to students of the College on career counseling matters.

Natalie attended Rutgers University School of Law-Newark as a Dean’s Merit Scholar, where she served as Editor-In-Chief of the Women's Rights Law Reporter and graduated with honors. She was appointed to serve as a Henry J. Raimondo Legislative Fellow with the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and interned for the New Jersey State Legislature from 2003 to 2004. She successfully completed the Seton Hall Healthcare Compliance Certification Program in June 2016.

Natalie was recognized by New Jersey Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, she was selected by a seven-judge panel as a New Leader of the Bar, an honor given by the New Jersey Law Journal to recognize those whom the Journal considers a leader in the legal field under the age of 40, and whose command of the law has been acknowledged by their peers and clients as exceptional. Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters. Click here for their methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Representative Matters

Represented an electronics manufacturer in complex antitrust and contract litigation arising out of flash memory technology licenses.
Multinational Pharmaceutical Corporation
Successfully represented multinational pharmaceutical corporation at trial and appellate division levels against a plaintiff’s allegations of sales practices and insurance fraud, securing dismissal of all claims against the pharmaceutical corporation with prejudice.
Secured a directed verdict on behalf of a public entity school district in a case arising out of alleged abuse and attempted murder of a minor-child.