D. Scott Watson


Scott Watson helps his clients see their labor and employment issues in the context of their overall businesses: not simply in terms of legal compliance or litigation defense but in regard to their employees and human resource policies within the workplace — to help them conduct their responsibilities not only under the letter of the law but within its spirit. Small client or large, discrete or across-the-board issues, Scott has been practicing for two decades and has seen every angle of labor & employment law. He is also a firm leader, as the co-managing partner of our Chicago office and the former national chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group.

Over the past two decades, Scott has amassed comprehensive experience in his field, handling arbitration, mediation, federal and state agency discrimination claims, federal and state labor board claims, and federal and state litigation. He has successfully represented employers in cases involving Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, wage disputes, and labor arbitrations as well as other statutes and venues.

A former educator and sports coach, Scott approaches the practice of law in much the same way as he approached his former profession: teaching, helping, clarifying, anticipating needs and next steps, and guiding his clients such that they learn from him and need less day-to-day advice. And when trouble arises (usually in the form of litigation), he’s always there to help them. Scott’s profession is about helping businesses succeed, but he views it as helping people succeed. His approach to each client is an approach to individuals, with individual needs and goals.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Certificate of Executive Management, 2013)
  • University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., 1995)
  • Indiana State University (M.Ed., 1989)
  • Indiana State University (B.S., 1985)
    • Major: English (Pfennig Scholar)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1995

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Indiana State University Alumni Association (Board of Directors, 2011–present)
  • Concordia Place (Board of Directors, 2014)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Member)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Member)
  • 2009–2010 Mentorship Academy, The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (Mentor)
  • New Leaders in the Executives' Club of Chicago (Mentor)
  • Leading Lawyers Network (Member)

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as an Illinois Leading Lawyer - Law Bulletin Media, 2017–present (Employment & Labor: Management)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers® (2006; 2008–2011, 2015-present: Employment & Labor)
  • Chambers USA® (2008–2010: Labor & Employment)
Payment Portal

You are leaving the Quarles & Brady website and being directed to the bill presentment and paying service offered by a third party provider. If you do not wish to continue to the site, click Close or use the Back button on your web browser to return the Quarles & Brady website.