Nicolas J. Watkins - Attorney at Law

333 S.E. 2nd Avenue
Suite 3200
Miami, Florida 33131

P 305-416-6880
F 305-416-6887

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Biography

Born and raised in England, Nic has more than 30 years of experience in his practice areas of Immigration and Nationality law and Real Estate law. Nic heads up GrayRobinson's Business Immigration Law practice group.

Nic's Immigration practice focuses on nonimmigrant (temporary) and immigrant (permanent/residency) visa petitions and applications on behalf of investors, executives, managerial and other skilled foreign workers and their employers. This includes E, H, L, O and P temporary worker visas, among others, as well as applications for temporary and permanent employment certification and residency applications under the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Visa Program. Nic also represents employers in connection with immigration-related regulatory compliance proceedings in the employment setting (employment eligibility verifciation, E-verify and I-9 audits) as well as individuals in naturalization proceedings and consular matters.

Nic's real property law practice is both broad and varied. He represents individual and institutional clients alike and has extensive experience in commercial and residential transactions, from acquisition through financing, development and disposition, including purchases, sales, leases, condominiums, title examination and title insurance matters, and construction and permanent lending. He also has experience with refinancings, loan renegotiations, workouts and foreclosures, as well as construction law matters, including design and construction contract drafting and negotiation.

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Background

Prior to joining GrayRobinson in April 2008, Nic was a partner in Howe, Robinson & Watkins, LLP, a firm that he helped form in 1996. Before that, Nic practiced for more than a decade with Steel Hector & Davis, LLP where he was a partner in that firm's Real Estate Department and also chairman of the firm's Business Immigration Law practice group. Before joining Steel Hector & Davis, Nic practiced law at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio, and Miami, Florida, in Immigration Law, Litigation and Business Law areas.

Nic received his LL.B. (Hons.) degree from Brunel University, Uxbridge, England, in 1981 and his juris doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1983. While at Florida State, he served as an editor of the Law Review and as chairman of the Moot Court Editorial Board.

Education
  • Brunel University, Uxbridge, England, LL.B. (with honors, 1981)
  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D. (1983)
    • Law Review, Editor
    • Moot Court Editorial Board, Chairman
Admissions
  • The Florida Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • The Florida Bar
    • Real Property Law Section, Member, 1987-presen t
    • Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Member, 1999-2002
    • Grievance Committee, Member, 1993-1996 
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member, 1984-present
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, South Florida Chapter, Member, Board of Directors, 1989-1990
Awards & Recognitions
  • AV Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Honorary Legal Advisor to Her Britannic Majesty's Consul-General (formerly Consul), Miami, 1995-present
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2018
  • Chambers USA, Immigration, 2014-2017
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2010-2013
  • Florida Trend, Magazine "Legal Elite," 2008
Civic
  • British-American Business Council, Miami (formerly British-American Chamber of Commerce of Miami), Member
    • Legal Counsel, 2013-present
    • Secretary, 2009-2010
    • Chairman, 2004-2005
    • President, 2002-2004
    • Treasurer, 2000-2002
    • Board of Directors, 1994-present
Articles & Publications
  • "H-1B Season Will Be Short Again This Year: But Will There Even Be An H-1B Season Next Year?" IBA North American Regional Forum News, May 2017
  • How Will Trump’s Immigration Reform Plan Affect Fla. Employers?Daily Business Review, May 2017
  • Trump Won’t Scrap H-1B – It Wouldn’t Make Business Sense,” Orlando Sentinel, January 2017
  • "Withholding Tax on U.S. Real Estate Sales: New Rules - What's a Foreign Seller to Do?," Florida World, 1st Qtr., 2004
  • "E-2 Visa to Residency? Possible if You Plan Ahead," Florida World, 3rd Qtr., 2002
  • "Cual Visa Escoger Para Su Empleado Extranjero?," El Venezolano, Vol. 2, No. 24, 1993
  • "The Wide, Wide World of B, E, L and H Visas," South Florida Business Journal, Vol. 14, No. 6., 1993
  • "Choosing Right Visa for Employees Is Tough," South Florida Business Journal, Vol. 14, No. 5., 1993
  • Co-Author, "Employer Sanctions Update and the Employer's Response," The Florida Bar Journal, 1992
  • "Employer Sanctions Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act: Employers Beware!" Personnel & Labor:
  • Special White Paper Report. Published by Steel, Hector & Davis for the Personnel and Labor Management Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
  • "Revised Immigration Laws Ineffective Solution to Florida's Nursing Shortage," Medical Business Newspaper, South Florida Edition, 1991
  • "Disputed Sovereignty in the Falkland Islands: The Argentina-Great Britain Conflict of 1982," 11 Fla. St. U.L. Rev. 649, 1983
Presentations & Seminars
  • “US/UK Comparative Immigration,” British American Business Council of Miami’s Breakfast Series, May 18, 2017
  • "Dream-On: Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Construction Projects," 7th Annual Construction Law Institute, Orlando, Florida, March 20-22, 2014
  • "Immigration Law Update," Central Florida Human Resources Association's Employment Labor Law Seminar, Orlando, Florida, March 17, 2009
  • "Trends in Immigration: The Iceman Cometh," GrayRobinson, P.A.'s 12th Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar, Orlando, Florida, November 6, 2008
  • "Visa and I-9 Issues for the HR Practitioner," Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management's Legal Update for Effective HR Management, Coral Gables, Florida, May 2, 2002
  • "Employer Sanctions Update," Miami Jobs and Benefits Center Florida Employer Advisory Council Meeting, November 22, 1996
  • "Immigration-Related Employment Practices: A Tightrope of Compliance," Employment and Labor Law in Florida Seminar, Miami and West Palm Beach, February 21 & 23,1995, and October 25 & 27, 1995
  • "Planning Ahead for Visas to do Business in the United States," British-American Chamber of Commerce, Florida/U.K. Trade Mission, Bristol and Edinburgh, November 11-14, 1994
  • "H-2B Visas," American Immigration Lawyers' Association South Florida Chapter Annual Immigration Law Update, Miami, Florida February 1994
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