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Dominic Watkins

Partner // Head of Retail, Food & Hospitality Sector, London

Dominic is Head of DWF's internationally renowned food sector group as well as being Head of Regulatory in London.
Dominic Watkins


Dominic focuses on regulatory compliance and defence for the food, retail & hospitality sectors; he helps clients launch and maintain products on the market. He also focuses on developments in renewable energy.

Drawing on his in-house experience, Dominic delivers commercial solutions to complex regulatory issues. His work is split into three key areas - food, safety and brand protection, including all types of trading standards work.

Food law is incredibly diverse - from launching products in multiple member states to judicially reviewing the Department of Health to keep clients' products on the market to food safety prosecutions. He was heavily involved in advising on the horsemeat scandal and have a deep interest in supply chain management.

Safety work includes litigation including corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases through to retail fatalities and serious injuries. He also has wide experience of auditing safety management systems from those associated with store revamps through to the safety of windfarms.

Brand protection work is focused on higher risk advertising in particular comparative campaigns and price claims. Dominic has been seconded to Sainsbury's, Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Danone, during his career (most of which more than once). This experience allows him to understand key industry issues and, importantly the client's needs. This is particularly important when handling crisis situations, for example during his significant involvement in representing and advising clients in the horsemeat scandal.

Although based in the UK Dominic's practice is global. He has advised on the launch of new retailer stores and the adaption of UK policies to become compliant in the Netherlands (covering safety, trading law and alcohol licensing) as well as Netherlands-based website delivery. He has advised on food launches in over a dozen member states simultaneously and product recalls in Germany as well as providing support for the launch of cosmetics products across UAE.

Understand the new Food Information Regulations with our Interactive Food Label

Download the Future of Food Manufacturing Report

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Dominic has appeared on national radio speaking on key topics, such as supply chain, pricing and sugar content.

He also regularly speaks at conferences, nationally and internationally including Sustainable Cosmetics Conference (New York, 2014), Food Manufacturer Food Information Regulations Webinar (2014), FoodEx (2014), Food Manufacturer Food Safety Conference (2013) and Institute of Food Technologists Conference (Chicago, 2013).

His team was runner up in the Regulatory Team of the Year award presented by The Lawyer, 2013 for their work on the Horsemeat Scandal.

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