Kandace P. Watson



Kandace Watson is a master corporate strategist who excels at designing executable strategies, leading companies to create cutting edge 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.

Areas of Practice

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.


Independent Counsel to Special Committee of Board of Directors of NYSE listed company
Serve as lead special counsel to special committee of the board of directors with regard to strategic alternatives, up to and including a potential sale of the company. Advise outside directors with regard to fiduciary duties in connection with unsolicited bids and other corporate governance matters. Advise outside directors in connection with securities law compliance and SEC reporting.

Interim Assistant General Counsel for a leading technology company providing connected health and safety solutions
Provide day-to-day support on legal matters related to general operations, customer relations, licensing, health tech and other commercial agreements. Draft, negotiate and administer contracts on behalf of the company, including marketing, vendor, service, manufacturing, non-disclosure and software licenses.

Acquisition of telemedicine platform
Lead bioscience company in its rapid acquisition of a multi-state operated telemedicine platform and corporate restructuring.

Acquisition transactions for Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
Represent Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), a leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, in multiple acquisition transactions.

Acquisition of retail stores for Starbucks Corporation
Represent Starbucks Corporation in its acquisition of multiple retail store locations from a regional coffee company retailer.

License agreements for Twitter
Negotiate and advise Twitter in multiple IP, API and Content license agreements.

Post-acquisition integration for global pharmaceutical manufacturer
Represent a global pharmaceutical manufacturer in post-acquisition integration of legal entities involving U.S., Dutch, Swiss, Luxembourg, Mexican and other Latin American entities.

$60 million disposition of business assets
Represented YP, the largest local search, media and advertising company in North America as IP counsel on Alpine’s acquisition of YP’s Earn Per Call business, advising YP on numerous IP transactional issues and preparing numerous agreements prior to closing.

Master services agreement for diagnostic services
Lead a bioinformatics company in global master services agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

Pre-merger counsel for global pharmaceutical company
Represent a global pharmaceutical company in its pre-merger, 50+ multi-country survey of local laws affecting critical contracts in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.

$190 million acquisition for Arizona Public Service Company
Represent Arizona Public Service Company (NYSE and PSE: PNW), an electric utility that provides retail and wholesale electric service to most of the State of Arizona, in $190M acquisition of 450-megawatt, natural gas-fired Sundance generating station from PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL).

Cross patent license for emerging growth company
Lead an emerging growth company in enhanced oil recovery in a global cross patent license agreement with Chevron USA and numerous other supply, collaboration, investment and licensing matters.

International product supply, distribution, patent and software license agreement for U.S. consumer product company
Represent a U.S. consumer product company in global product supply, distribution, patent and software license agreements with Reckitt Benckiser.

Represent Fortune 100 healthcare services company in numerous commercial and joint venture transactions
Represent a leading provider of healthcare services in multiple joint ventures, software licenses, health tech and commercial agreements.

Global patent and know-how license for industrial chemicals
Represent a U.S. chemical company in patent and know-how license with Japanese chemical company in connection with product development, manufacturing and distribution rights worldwide.

Clinical services agreements for oncology-focused biotechnology company
Represent an oncology-focused biotechnology company in intercompany clinical services agreements (with its major shareholder), IP and contract due diligence and securities disclosure compliance with regard to its development of a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of melanoma.

Represent multi-clinic California corporation in hostile break-up of co-owned physician practices
Negotiate owner buy-out terms, allocation of assets and liabilities, assignment of real property leases and other third party contracts, employee retention and termination, and patient communication protocol.

IP license agreement for sports product company
Represent sports product company in exclusive, multi-country patent, trademark and know-how license agreement with BIC Sports.

Patent license agreement for a United States university
Represent a university spin-off in patent license agreement with international oil company covering two countries and the North Sea.

Corporate restructuring for international company
Represent a multi-billion dollar international company with headquarters in Southern California in the corporate restructuring of its Malaysian subsidiary.

$53M private placement for regional center
Represent a U.S. based EB-5 regional center in $53 million private placement offering for China, Russia, South Africa and Mexico.

License agreements for biomedical device company
Represent a U.S. headquartered biomedical device company in international distribution and license agreements in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

License and supply agreements for public-reporting company
Represent a public-reporting company in multiple research, development, license and supply agreements for skin products with SkinMedica, Inc., Biozhem Cosmeceuticals and Inamed Corporation.

Securities and law compliance matters for Arizona Public Service Company
Represent Arizona Public Service Company (NYSE and PSE: PNW), an electric utility that provides retail and wholesale electric service to most of the State of Arizona, in federal and state securities law compliance matters, including a legal opinion for a $300M shelf debt offering, and reporting and New York Stock Exchange listing compliance.

Supply and distribution agreements for global manufacturing company
Represent a global manufacturing company, specializing in plastics, in international and domestic supply and distribution agreements with Eli Lilly & Company, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, BioProcessors and Safety Syringes.

Joint venture for international publicly-traded company
Represent an international publicly-traded company in a joint venture with a minority owned business enterprise (MBE) in connection with a manufacturing and supply agreement with Proctor & Gamble.

$100 million joint venture for U.S. venture fund
Represent a U.S. venture fund regarding $75 million investment in a Brazilian clean technology company and an additional $25 million investment in Brazilian joint venture for ethanol inventory management.

Counsel for research and human therapeutics development company
Represent a biomedical research and human therapeutics development company in MCRADA and MTA-CRADA with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

License agreements for global technology company
Represent a global technology company in distributorship and license agreements in Costa Rica, the Dutch Antilles, Suriname and Costa Rica. Advise U.S. electronics company on distribution agreements in Latin America and the Dutch Antilles.

General corporate counsel for Rubio's Restaurants Inc.
Represent Rubio’s Restaurants, Inc., a public-reporting company that owns and operates over 150 fast-casual Mexican restaurants, in general corporate and contract matters and SEC reporting.

Follow-on offering for Endocare Inc.
Represent Endocare, Inc., a specialty medical device company that develops, manufactures and distributes health care products for cryoablation for the treatment of prostate, renal, liver and lung cancer, in $78 million follow-on offering.

Media Mentions

•Sheppard Mullin Adds Partners To Corporate Practice
Law360 , August 15, 2017
•Sheppard Mullin Hires Life Sciences Specialist in Corporate Group
Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review , February 8, 2017


•What’s Hot and What’s Not In Drafting and Structuring Your Intellectual Property Licenses
LESI 2018 Annual Conference
April 29 - May 2
•DATA SECURITY/PRIVACY ROUNDTABLE: Privacy, Cyber Security & Other Issues, and Your Board - Risk Mitigation, Vendors, M&A Concerns, and More
Association of Corporate Counsel
San Diego , February 8, 2018
•American Bar Association IP West 2017
IP Considerations in M&A Transactions: Masters Class
October 2017

Areas of Practice (9)

  • Healthcare
  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Technology Transactions
  • Entertainment and Digital Media
  • Fashion, Apparel and Beauty
  • Food and Beverage
  • Life Sciences and FDA
  • Social Media and Games

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
858.720.8930  Phone
858.523.6770  Fax
University Attended:
Hampton University, B.A., with highest honors
Law School Attended:
University of Texas at Austin, J.D., with honors
Year of First Admission:
California; Arizona; U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


•Association of Corporate Counsel, Co-Chair San Diego ACC Technology and Licensing Practice Committee, 2016-2017
•Innovation Advisory Board of UC San Diego: UCSD Innovation Advisory Board Member, 2013-2015
•Women in Bio, Southern California, Member
•2013 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow
•American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution, 2010 Higginbotham Fellow
•Mentor & Former Ambassador, American Bar Association, Business Law Section
•Member & Former Board of Directors, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association,
•Former Board of Directors, Hayzel B. Daniels Bar Association
•Lifetime Member, National Bar Association


Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

San Diego, California

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