2023 Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation; Member, Domestic Operations Committee (National Business Aircraft Association)
Watson Bowen is an associate attorney in the aviation practice at the law firm of SHACKELFORD, BOWEN, MCKINLEY & NORTON, LLP, in Austin, Texas. As a professional pilot and flight instructor before becoming an attorney, Watson relies on his experience in the aviation industry to advise his clients on a vast array of regulatory, transactional, tax, dispute resolution, and general liability and risk management strategies for individuals and businesses in the aviation industry. Watson’s clients range from high-net-worth individuals and corporations operating business jet aircraft and rotorcraft, to individual aircraft operators and owners.
Watson routinely represents and counsels his aviation industry clients — from small aircraft owners and operators to large, multinational corporations operating a fleet of business aircraft — in various matters including transactional, tax, and general risk management issues, as well as Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and Department of Transportation (“DOT”) regulatory compliance, enforcement, and investigation matters. As an Airline Transport Pilot (“ATP”) rated pilot and flight instructor with more than a decade of experience, Watson understands and appreciates the complex environment these individuals and companies must navigate in order to have a successful aviation operation. Additionally, as a former aviation litigator representing clients in high-stakes, catastrophic airplane and helicopter disasters, Watson understands the burden litigation can have on a client. Watson, therefore, strives to understand the intricacies of the client’s business or operation in order to reduce their potential for litigation by coupling liability and risk reducing strategies with advice custom tailored to suit the client’s needs. Relying on this background, Watson is uniquely situated to serve his aviation industry clients by approaching each situation from the perspective of an experienced practitioner in the industry.
Watson graduated with honors from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2019, where he served as an articles editor on the Texas Tech Law Review, was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduating, Watson worked as an associate attorney at the law firm of Slack Davis Sanger, LLP where we focused on complex personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from aviation disasters. In 2021, Watson founded the law firm of Bowen Law PLLC prior to joining the aviation practice at SHACKELFORD, BOWEN, MCKINLEY & NORTON, LLP in their Austin, Texas office. Watson is active in the aviation industry and serves on the National Business Aviation Association’s (“NBAA”) Domestic Operations Committee, specifically focusing on the current and future needs of business aircraft operators. In addition, Watson is one of the featured attorneys in the 2023 Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation national publication and the only featured attorney recognized in the aviation practice area.