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Caroline Watson


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"Caroline Watson has real depth and experience. Very pragmatic and approachable."
(The Legal 500, 2024)

Caroline heads up the commercial litigation team in our Oxford office. She works with individuals, owner-managed businesses, PLCs and international organisations to fiercely but pragmatically protect their commercial interests, manage risks and resolve disputes.

Caroline invests time to understand her clients and their individual and organisational objectives. She works as an integral part of their team to fight for the best commercial outcome in all the circumstances.

Caroline specialises in resolving complex commercial disputes, often with a cross border element. Most of her disputes are resolved using alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation, adjudication or mediation. However, she also has extensive experience of High Court and arbitration proceedings to call upon when needed.

Caroline deals with a full spectrum of commercial disputes, including:

  • director / shareholder and partnership disputes
  • restrictive covenant issues
  • warranty claims, earn out and other corporate transactional disputes
  • professional negligence
  • contract and supply disputes (with a particular expertise in acting for technology-sector clients)
  • civil fraud
  • contract award challenges under the Public Procurement Regulations 2015 (as amended)
  • acting for financial services firms in dealing with policy-holder disputes, challenges of decisions of the Pensions Ombudsman and mis-selling claims.

Caroline is able to advise on the funding and financing options available to clients and help them to navigate the process of securing funding. This can enable good claims to be brought where claimants might not otherwise have the resources to pursue them.

Caroline Watson is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 (2024 edition).

Legal Services

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Acting for the owner /operator of a substantial retail park in defence of claims (valued at c£60-90m) being asserted by a lender for breaches of a mezzanine facility; successfully obtaining High Court injunctive relief preventing the lender from calling in the facility and securing a negotiated resolution of the dispute enabling the client’s mezzanine facility to remain in place.
  • Acting for the sellers of an agri-tech business in c£3.25m claims against a global PLC relating to breaches of the share purchase agreement’s deferred consideration provisions.
  • Acting for the Claimant in High Court claims against a county council for breaching the Procurement Regulations in the process it followed to tender for a c£2m contract to supply ultrafast broadband.
  • Acting for the Claimant in High Court professional negligence proceedings against a well-known law firm for damages in excess of £1m. The claims related to the law firm’s failure to issue a claim for negligence against a third-party firm of solicitors within the limitation period.
  • Acting for the claimant in a successful challenge under s67 Arbitration Act 1996 to the jurisdiction of an arbitrator appointed by the English Court [ASES Havacilik Servis Ve Destek Hizmetleri AS v Delkor UK Ltd [2013] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 254]. The case is the leading authority on the interaction between s67 and s72 Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Successfully defending the provider of a major PFI hospital in c£10m adjudication proceedings brought by the design and build contractor.
  • Acting for a global manufacturing business in potential claims against an employee on garden leave for breaches of restrictive covenants and breaches of confidence following his release of details of customers and their orders valued at over £18m to his new employer.
  • Acting for a global financial services company in the mediated settlement of claims valued at c£750,000 by the estate of a deceased policyholder for the specific performance of a policy and counter claims for the rectification of a mistake in the policy’s endorsement.
  • Successfully defending a global financial services company in its High Court defence of an appeal from a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman regarding whether a guaranteed annuity rate on the policy holder’s pension had been lost due to maladministration.


To contact Caroline or for more information…

Call: 0345 030 5789
Mobile: 0781 564 1400
Or email: Send an email



“Caroline Watson is a go-to commercial litigator.”

(The Legal 500, 2024)

“Caroline Watson, without a doubt is an amazing litigator and negotiator. Real leading individual in her field. Thinks out of the box, great with clients, innovative and calming influence in difficult situations. Would recommend time and time again.” [Legal 500 2023]

(The Legal 500, 2023)

“We were blown away by Caroline Watson’s professionalism, acumen and perseverance

(The Legal 500, 2023)

“Caroline is very responsive, friendly and pragmatic and we trust her implicitly”

(The Legal 500, 2022)

“A very impressive partner”

(The Legal 500, 2018)

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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