Alison Watson, former director of federal relations at Northwestern Mutual and earlier staff to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, has joined as a partner in FaegreBD’s insurance practice—part of the firm’s financial services industry team—in Washington, D.C.
Watson represents insurance and banking clients in federal relations, public policy and regulatory strategy. She knows the ins and outs of the nation’s capital, having worked in D.C. since 1994—first in banking, then Congress, and since 2008, in the insurance industry. Throughout her career, Watson has built trust and relationships with members of Congress, as well as staff and key administration and regulatory officials.
Watson joins FaegreBD’s bi-partisan team of attorneys and consultants who represent insurance companies across the industry on regulatory, transactional, insolvency, public policy and litigation matters. She will work as part of the federal insurance regulatory and public policy practice in D.C., providing seamless and integrated regulatory, legal, legislative and public policy counsel to help clients navigate today’s changing landscape. Watson’s immediate focus will include advising on the implications of the federal election and hosting a series of roundtables with clients to discuss policy and regulatory issues impacting their respective businesses.
“Alison is a top-notch financial services attorney who is well-known and well-respected within the industry both in D.C. and nationally,” said FaegreBD partner Charlie Richardson, who leads the firm’s financial services industry team.
Dick Freije, who leads FaegreBD’s insurance practice added, “Alison’s in-depth understanding of the industry’s complex legal and regulatory issues—coupled with her insurance-focused legislative expertise—adds to our firm’s ability to provide the highest levels of service to our clients.”
Watson currently serves as Chancellor of the Exchequer Club of Washington, which is comprised of senior economic and financial policy professionals from trade associations, federal regulatory agencies, law firms, Congressional committees and national press who discuss economic, financial and political matters. Watson also is a past chair of the leading life insurance trade’s Financial Services Federal Legislative Strategy Group and through her leadership, has helped drive strategy on legislative policy and responding to agency rulemaking.
Prior to her eight years at Northwestern Mutual, Watson managed the government and industry relations office in D.C. and served as legislative counsel for Washington Mutual Inc. Other experience includes serving as senior legislative counsel with the American Bankers Association, advocating on behalf of small, regional and large banks.
Watson worked on Capitol Hill for six years on the staff of the U.S. House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, now the House Financial Services Committee, where she focused on comprehensive financial services modernization legislation. Her career began as a bank regulator for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. She received her law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration from the University of Alabama.