William R. Watson graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts Honors in 1976 and from Osgoode Hall Law School with an LLB in 1979. Bill was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1981 and has practiced with Baker & McKenzie for much of his career, becoming a Partner Principal in 1987.
Bill has twice served as the Practice Group Leader for the Labour, Employment, Employment Benefits and Immigration Practice Group and is a former Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie LLP in Canada. Bill served as the Canada-wide negotiator in the first compensation package for victims of HIV tainted blood in the 1990s and for five years, Bill served as a member of the Canadian Employer Delegation to the International Labour Organization, including a term as the head of that delegation and vice-president of the Annual ILO Conference.
Bill has always been a proud supporter of St. Paul’s and Waterloo, serving as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo since 2011, and formerly as president of the Waterloo Alumni Association. In recognition of his professional achievements and public service, Bill was recognized by the University of Waterloo with the 50th Anniversary Alumni Award.
Bill and his wife, Jeanne, are members of the Governor’s Council at the Shaw Festival theatre and active members and supporters of Jubilee United Church. Bill and Jeanne have been recognized for their commitment to philanthropy by the Golden Horseshoe Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Bill and Jeanne have been very generous in their support of St. Paul’s over the past 15 years and have been instrumental in helping to keep other alumni and new friends to the College engaged through various events, including the annual St. Paul’s Masters Golf tournament. Bill was part of the group that founded the tournament and continues to be a driving force behind the event, helping to raise over $200,000 for student support along the way.
Photo: Ryan Walker Photography