Charles Handel Watkins

Equity Partner, Chief DEI Officer


Charles Watkins, Equity Partner and Chief DEI Officer, is also the firm's First Party Practice Group's Co-Chair. He is an experienced litigator and particularly enjoys trying cases to jury verdict. He has done so over seventy times. Charles has represented individuals, corporations and public and government entities in transportation litigation, premises liability, UM insurance defense, construction accidents and defects, boating accidents, first party property damage and fraud, coverage issues and products liability matters.

Charles is certified by the State of Florida as a Continuing Education Instructor, and he conducts seminars on legal topics including commercial and residential first party property issues and fraud, negligence in tort law, bad faith avoidance, UM/UIM law, and the art of negotiation and early case resolution.

In addition to being a strong advocate for his clients, Charles is a passionate supporter of mentoring and diversity and inclusion initiatives. He is extremely engaged in promoting and participating in activities that champion these initiatives in and out of Kubicki Draper. Not only does Charles direct the firm’s D E & I committee, but he is also the Treasurer for the National African American Insurance Association’s (NAAIA) Florida Chapter and was one of the National Chairs of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance’s Diversity Committee (CLM). As co-chair for the CLM, Charles helped host two national annual diversity forums in New York City. As the firm’s director, he has initiated many activities to promote awareness and involved the firm in the John Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic as a sponsor where he and other attorneys from the team served as mentors for law students and aspiring lawyers for several years.

Charles comes from a family of lawyers including his father (a former Jurist and Caribbean Constitutional Law expert), brother, nephew and cousin. Charles and Audrey are very proud of their children. Daughter Camille has continued the family tradition graduating from the University of Miami Law School and is a member of the Florida Bar and the California Bar, and their son Dean, graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and has a career in digital marketing.

Charles has served as a Guardian ad Litem, and took particular pleasure in protecting minors' rights. He volunteered as a mentor for the law students at the Florida International University and founded the MGC Scholarship Fund -- he served as its Chairman for seven years. Charles is currently involved as a leader at Pioneer Community Church in the Pembroke Pines/Miramar areas, and established a scholarship fund there as well that has assisted many qualified students in obtaining a college degree.

Practice Areas


  • University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL (J.D., 1992)
    Dean's List
  • Florida International University, Miami, FL (M.I.B., 1985)
    Most Outstanding Student Award
  • Barry University, Miami Shores, FL (B.S., 1980)


  • State of Florida, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Kubicki Draper First Party Practice Group, Co-Chair
  • Kubicki Draper Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, CDO
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • The National Black Lawyers
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
    • Attorney Membership and Circle of Excellence (past); Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (past co-chair); 2014 Leadership Forum Committee; Annual Conference/Diversity Open House Committee; Insurance Fraud Committee; Adjuster Training Courses Committee; Transportation Committee; Webinar Development Committee (past)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), Founding Member and Treasurer - Florida Chapter
  • National Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Trial Law Institute; Diversity Law Institute; Barrister, Order of Centurions
  •  RING (Recognizing Inclusion for the Next Generation), Advisory Board Member
  • Caribbean Bar Association, past member

Certifications / Specialties

  • Certified Continuing Education Instructor, State of Florida

Special Awards and Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America (2022-2024)
  • Top 100 in Florida, The National Black Lawyers (2020, 2023)
  • Circle of 100, Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation  (2023)
  • Top 100 Powerful DEI Leaders of 2022, ProvenBase 
  • Best Lawyers, South Florida’s Best Lawyers (2022)
  • "AV Preeminent" by Martindale Hubbell
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Legacy Miami Magazine, South Florida's 50 Most Powerful and Influential Black Professionals in Business and Industry (2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Personal Injury Law AV Preeminent Top Rated Lawyer (2014)

Community Involvement

  • Pioneer Community Church, Current Chairman, Scholarship Fund
  • Best Lawyers 2024 
  • Top 100 
  • ABOTA 
  • LCA 
  • Martindale-Hubbell 

Speaking Engagements / Presentations

  • "Florida 4-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2023
  • "Florida 4-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2023
  • "A DEI Conversation with Charles Watkins," NAAIA Florida Chapter, 2023
  • “Tuskegee Airmen,” Black History Month with Judge William Thomas’ Annual Black History School Program, 2023
  • "Collateral Sources, Set Offs & Liens," National General, 2023
  • "Diversity Interview" with ProvenBase, 2022 
  • "The Importance of Respect," AllVoices, 2022
  • "Defending Automobile Negligence Claims," National General, 2022
  • "Florida 4-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2022
  • “Including You,” episode 003, Talent Pipeline with Charles Watkins (Including You), Podcast with Amy C. Waninger, 2022
  • "Defending Against Inflated Estimates for First Party Homeowners Claims," Frontline, 2022
  • "Taking the Fraud Out of the Public Adjuster's Estimate," IASIU, 2022
  • "Negotiating Low Limits – Single and Multiple Claimants," National General, 2022
  • "Florida 4-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2022
  • "Uncovering Fraud in an SIU Investigation to Preserve for a Civil Trial," Gainsco, 2022
  • "Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Addressing the Insurance Talent & Diversity Gap," CLM 2022
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Gainsco, 2021
  • "Mastering Material Misrepresentation in Florida Claims," NAAIA, 2021
  • "Engineering a Successful Homeowner Claim," Applied Underwriters, 2021
  • "Ace Your Pre-Suit Investigation," Gainsco, 2021
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2021
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Heritage, 2021
  • "Social Media, Technology and Its Use in Claims Handling," Gainsco, 2021
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2021
  • "The Good Faith, The Bad Faith and How to Avoid the Ugly in Claims Handling," Gainsco, 2021
  • “All About U.S. Supreme Court’s First African-American Justice,” Black History Month with Miami-Dade Schools at William H. Turner Technical High School, 2021
  • "Florida Case Law Update," Gainsco, 2021
  • "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Call to Action,” FIMS Diversity & Inclusion Panel, 2020
  • "Files from the Fraud Side - Ruse, Clues and Do’s," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2020
  • "Danger, Danger Will Robinson, Navigating Fraud in the New AI Terrain," CLM, 2020
  • "Handling A Fire or Explosion Claim," CLM/Kemper, 2020
  • "Early Case Resolution," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2020
  • "Proposals for Settlement," Gainsco, 2020
  • "Defending Against Inflated Estimates for First Party Homeowner Claims," FIFEC Webinar, 2020
  • "The Ethical Defense: Strategies For Defending Claims While Not Crossing the Line into Unfair Claims Handling and Bad Faith," CLM and NAAIA, 2020
  • "Hot Topics in PIP and Negotiating Low Limits Single & Multiple Claimants," Pronto, 2020
  • "R-E-S-P-E-C-T is My Preferred Pronoun," CLM Focus: Diversity & Inclusion, Product Liability, Transportation, Claims & Litigation Conference, 2020
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2020
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," CNA Webinar, 2020
  • "The Ethical Defense: Strategies For Defending Claims While Not Crossing the Line into Unfair Claims Handling and Bad Faith," CLM/NAAIA Webinar, 2020
  • "Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Business Interruption…What’s Covered?," Kubicki Draper Webinar, 2020
  • "Case Assessment and Evaluation," CLM, 2019
  • "Taking the Fraud Out of the Public Adjuster’s Estimate," Frontline, 2019
  • "The Good Faith, The Bad Faith, and How to Avoid the Ugly in Claims Handling," National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), 2019
  • "Reservations of Rights and the Insured's Right to Personal Counsel," CLM, 2019
  • "Bad Faith Prevention: Negotiating Single and Multiple Claims," Gainsco, 2019
  • "Adjusting and Defending Catastrophic Claims in the 21st Century – A Claim’s Professional’s Toolbox for the Investigation and Eradication of Fraud in Modern Day Catastrophic Claims," Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC), 2019
  • "Training Day: Preparing Corporate Representatives for Deposition," UPC, 2019
  • "Roofing Claims," UPC, 2019
  • "Assessing Homeowners’ Claims for Fraud Involving Airbnb or Home-Sharing Arrangements," Florida Peninsula, 2018
  • "A Tale of Two Rooftops: A Panel Review of Two Affirmative Action Fraud Lawsuits," CLM, 2018
  • "When Old Claims Rise from the Dead," Tower Hill, 2018
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," MetLife, 2018
  • "Legal Update: Social Media," NARS, 2018
  • "Helpful Tips for Company Adjusters Regarding Public Adjusters and Contractors," Federated National, 2018
  • "Assessing Homeowners’ Claims for Fraud Involving Airbnb or Home-Sharing Arrangements," Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC), 2018
  • "Wind and Water Damage Claims," Flood House Seminar, 2018
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. - Ft. Lauderdale 10th Annual CE Event, 2018
  • "When Old Claims Rise from the Dead," Frontline, 2018
  • "Material Misrepresentation," Olympus, 2018
  • "Training Day: Preparing Field Adjusters for Deposition," Kubicki Draper, A Day at the First Party Property Oscars, 2017
  • "Auto Property Damage and EUO/IMEs," AMICA, 2017
  • "The Fine Line Between Fraud and Claim Denial in Plumbing Water Losses," Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC), 2017
  • "Subcontractor Involvement and Trying Cases with Risk of an Excess Verdict," CHUBB, 2017
  • "Arson Mock Trial," Allstate, 2016
  • "Effective Mediation Preparation and Strategies," Gainsco, 2016
  • "Water Mitigation Strategies," Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC) Annual Conference, 2016
  • "The Verdict: Was It Arson or Was It An Accident?," Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC) Annual Conference, 2016
  • "Clean Up Woman: Understanding Fire Damage Mitigation," Kubicki Draper Earth, Wind and Fire: The Music of Property Claims, First Party Claims Conference, 2016
  • "Ethics for the Claims Professonal," Star & Shield, 2016
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Personable, 2016
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Gainsco, 2016
  • "First Party, First Rate Defense: Pre-Suit Investigations," Rimkus, 2015
  • "PIP Hot Topics & Bad Faith: Top Ten Pitfalls to Avoid in Florida", Protective, 2015
  • "Medicare Liens, Set Asides & Notice of Provisions" and "Bad Faith," Star and Shield, 2015
  • "We have Fraud, Can We Prove It?," Amica Mutual, 2015
  • "Mock Mediation: Global Settlement," Infinity, 2015
  • "Bad Faith Avoidance and PIP Hot Topics," Personable, 2014
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Star and Shield, 2014
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," Farmers, 2014
  • "Florida 5-Hour Law and Ethics Update," United Automobile, 2014
  • "Important Considerations with Property Damage Claims," FIFEC, 2014
  • "Foundations of Products Liability: Hot Topics and Defense Strategies," Claims Management Inc., Walmart, 2014
  • "How to Achieve Maximum Results From The ADR Process," CLM South Florida Chapter, 2014
  • "We Have Fraud, Can We Prove It?," Gainsco, 2014
  • "Bad Faith, UM/UIM and Legal Concepts for Defending Automobile Negligence," Hanover, 2013
  • "Independent Medical Examinations," Windhaven, 2013
  • "Mock Mediation: Facts for Mediation & Negotiation Exercise," Infinity, 2013
  • "Negotiating Limits/Bad Faith," Gainsco, 2013
  • "Significant Changes to the Florida PIP Law & Good Faith Documentation," NARS, 2013
  • "SIU: Tips & Tactics for Discovering and Preserving Evidence of Fraudulent Claims," Kubicki Draper Claims Management Conference, 2012
  • "UM/UIM, Effective Recorded Statements and EUO's," Infinity, 2012
  • "Liens and Set Offs," Kubicki Draper Claims Management Conference, 2010
  • "Premises Liability: Law & Defenses," Kubicki Draper Claims Management Conference, 2009
  • "Concepts and Tactics for Evaluating and Defending Veterinary Malpractice Claims," Kubicki Draper Claims Management Conference, 2008
  • "The Importance of Rapid Response Investigation In Trucking Accidents," Kubicki Draper Claims Management Conference, 2007
  • Overview
  • Practice Areas
  • Credentials
  • Presentations
  • Authorships



Miami Office

9100 South Dadeland Blvd., Suite 1800
Miami, FL 33156

T: 305.374.1212 F: 305.374.7846

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Key West

Key West Office

402 Applerouth Lane, Suite 2C
Key West, FL 33040

T: 305.509.7300 F: 305.374.7846

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Ft. Lauderdale

Ft. Lauderdale Office

110 East Broward Blvd., Suite 1400
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

T: 954.768.0011 F: 954.768.0514

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West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach Office

1700 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 800
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

T: 561.640.0303 F: 561.640.0524

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Indian River | Martin | Okeechobee | Palm Beach | Saint Lucie


Tampa Office

400 North Ashley Drive, Suite 1200
Tampa, FL 33602

T: 813.204.9776 F: 813.204.9660

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Hernando | Hillsborough | Manatee | Pasco | Pinellas | Polk | Sarasota

Orlando Office

201 South Orange Avenue, Suite 475
Orlando, FL 32801

T: 407.245.3630 F: 407.245.7685

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Brevard | Highlands | Orange | Osceola | Seminole

Ocala Office

1396 NE 20th Avenue, #500
Ocala, FL 34470

T: 352.622.4222 F: 352.622.9122

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Alachua | Citrus | Dixie | Gilchrist | Lake | Levy | Marion | Putnam | Sumter | Volusia

Jacksonville Office

1 Independent Drive, Suite 1601
Jacksonville, FL 32202

T: 904.396.0062 F: 904.396.0380

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Baker | Bradford | Clay | Columbia | Duval | Flagler | Hamilton | Nassau | Saint Johns | Union

Pensacola Office

125 West Romana Street, Suite 550
Pensacola, FL 32502

T: 850.434.0003 F: 850.434.0223

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Escambia | Holmes | Okaloosa | Santa Rosa | Walton


Tallahassee Office

1705 Metropolitan Boulevard, Suite 202
Tallahassee, FL 32308

T: 850.222.5188 F: 850.222.5108

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Bay | Calhoun | Franklin | Gadsden | Gulf | Jackson | Jefferson | Leon | Liberty | Wakulla | Washington | Madison | Lafayette | Taylor 

Ft. Myers

Ft. Myers Office

13350 Metro Parkway, Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33966

T: 239.334.8403 F: 239.939.0700

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Charlotte | Collier | DeSoto | Glades | Hardee | Hendry | Lee


Mobile Office

11 North Water Street, Suite 10290
Mobile, AL 36602

T: 251.308.3351 F: 251.287.1624

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Baldwin | Washington | Clarke | Escambia | Covington | Geneva | Houston | Henry |  Dale | Coffee | Barbour | Pike |Crenshaw | Butler  | Monroe | Clarke | Choctaw | Wilcox | Bullock | Russell

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Our Firm

our hi(story)

In 1963, Gene Kubicki founded the firm based on dedication to excellence. The same high standards have been maintained for over five decades -- years which have seen the firm’s ranks swell to over 200 attorneys.


Our team knows return clients are the life blood of any law firm and this is why we ensure client satisfaction by an exacting attention to service and quality.  Client service coupled with a spectacular work ethic, makes our team hard to beat.

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Kubicki Draper is committed to fostering an environment of equal opportunity for success and believes diversity is not only a moral imperative, but is also sound business practice.

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In response to the growing needs of its clients, the firm began expanding in the early 1980's and today is a diverse full-service law firm providing trial, appellate, coverage, commercial and real estate transaction services.

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Kubicki Draper enjoys a national reputation for expertise in the handling of complex, high stakes litigation matters, as well as, appellate, general commercial and real estate practice.

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With a dozen offices throughout the State of Florida and other key points in the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississipi, our firm is familiar to every venue statewide and will never get home-teamed.

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