This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR- TEXAS
Baker Botts has a distinguished history tracing back to the earliest days of the Republic of Texas in the 1840s. Today, the firm consists of 725 lawyers throughout its network of 14 offices spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. While the firm has expanded internationally, it has maintained a premier reputation in Texas – receiving our accolade for Texas law firm of the year – and operates out of three offices in the state: Austin, Dallas and Houston. Our research identifies the firm a total of 73 times in 16 practice areas.
|BAKER BOTTS LLP|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 73|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime Defence||3||M & A||6|
|Capital Markets||1||Oil & Gas||15|
|Competition||6||Product Liability Defence||2|
|Corporate Governance||2||Project Finance||8|
The firm has a long-standing reputation in the oil and gas sector having launched its energy practice in 1901 and represents producers, processors, transporters, distributors, marketers and service companies. Fifteen of the firm’s lawyers are selected on the basis of their “outstanding” reputation in the field. The Houston office is the best represented with four inclusions, among them Hugh Tucker, head of the global projects department in Houston and firmwide head of the oil and gas section. Tucker has a “phenomenal” practice in the oil and gas sector and is “internationally renowned” for his work in major energy-related sales and acquisitions. He recently led the team advising Sasol on the development and financing of two proposed projects in Louisiana: a first of its kind gas-to-liquids facility and a greenfield petrochemicals facility and is also listed in our project finance chapter. James A DeMent Jr specialises in international transactions, joint ventures and inbound and outbound investments and is an “essential part of the firm’s practice”. Kevin D Keenan specialises in commercial transactions related to the development, purchase, sale and transportation of hydrocarbons. His knowledge of crude oil and natural gas is “second to none”. The Washington, DC, office fields three lawyers including Thomas J Eastment, head of the firm-wide energy regulatory section. Eastment is praised for his “superior knowledge” and represents shippers in oil and gas pipelines transportation matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as well as in the federal district courts and courts of appeals. He also advises on the regulatory requirements applicable to the construction and operation of oil and gas pipeline projects. The Dubai office is similarly well represented and is home to Sean Korney, a “brilliant” practitioner noted for his transactional work throughout the world. More recently, Korney has been focusing his practice on the Middle East and Africa and is in “high demand”. He is joined by the “hugely respected” Sofia Sattarova and the “highly accomplished” Nigel Thompson. The London and Moscow offices both receive two listings apiece including Steven Wardlaw, who works in both offices and is commended for his “in-depth knowledge” of regulated energy markets. In Hong Kong, Russell Wilkinson has a “very active” transactional practice with an emphasis on upstream and midstream petroleum projects.
Environment is a key sector at the firm and nine lawyers feature in the corresponding chapter, all from the firm’s US offices. DC-based William Bumpers heads the firm’s global climate change practice and specialises in regulation affecting the electric generation and petroleum refinery industries. He is also a “leading authority” on climate change issues. Recent hire Molly Cagle joined the firm’s Austin office in June 2012 and is renowned for her enforcement and permitting work. In the same office, Pamela M Giblin is singled out for her “vast knowledge” of environmental law, especially in the area of air quality. The sole representative of the Houston office, Matthew Kuryla has a broad environmental practice encompassing counselling, transactional advice and dispute resolution. Sources praised his “ability to solve complex problems” and “responsiveness”.
Eight lawyers feature in the project finance chapter including the head of the firm-wide project development and finance section Steven R Miles. Based in DC, Miles is also chair of the firm’s energy sector and receives high praise for his “top-tier” work on major LNG transactions worldwide. He is listed in both the project finance and oil and gas chapters. Alongside him, Maura Goldstein earns “high praise” for her representation of borrowers and lenders on project financings and is the DC office department chair and firmwide deputy department chair for the global projects group. In New York, Martin Toulouse and William R Giusti come “highly recommended” while Dubai-based Nigel Thompson is commended for his “tremendous financing work” for major projects, particularly in the energy and oil and gas sectors. His oil and gas expertise earns him further recognition in the corresponding chapter.
The competition chapter features six lawyers from the firm. Baker Botts continues to grow its competition practice and in September 2012 opened a Brussels office; recent hire Catriona Hatton heads the office and elicits effusive praise for her considerable expertise in the field. She is joined in the office by Paul Lugard, a “highly skilled” lawyer with experience in merger control, distribution agreements, exclusionary conduct and matters on the intersection between IP and antitrust law. Clients value his “commercial insight” gained while head of antitrust at Royal Philips Electronics. The DC office fields four practitioners, among them John Taladay, co-chair of the antitrust practice, is particularly “well known” for his work in merger control and cartel cases. James F Rill receives numerous recommendations for his longstanding experience in the field. A former assistant attorney general in charge of the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division, Rill is a “leading authority” on competition matters.
Baker Botts is home to some of the world’s finest dispute resolution lawyers and receives five listings in the arbitration chapter and a further four in the commercial litigation chapter. Co-chair of the firm’s international dispute resolution section Michael S Goldberg is noted in the arbitration chapter for his “sensational” abilities as lead counsel in arbitrations. He is currently representing the Russian Federation in multiple proceedings relating to the former Yukos Oil Company. William H Jeffress Jr is a “talented litigator” with almost 40 years’ experience. His practice includes fraud, government procurement, antitrust, securities, insurance, tax, health care, civil rights and public corruption cases among others and he is listed in the commercial litigation and business crime defence chapters. Jennifer M Smith is qualified to practice in the US and England and Wales and is “greatly valued by clients”. She is credited for helping to expand the firm’s international arbitration practice and has been “hugely successful” in that endeavour. She is recognised for her “leading capabilities” in the arbitration and oil and gas chapters.
M&A is a strong focus for the firm and six practitioners are recognised in the corresponding chapter. Chair of the firmwide corporate practice J David Kirkland is recommended in both the M&A and corporate governance chapters for his “trusted advice”. His representative work includes advising Schlumberger in its $11 billion acquisition of Smith International. Ted Paris is commended for his leading role in high profile transactions including representing EP Energy Corporation in its $7.15 billion acquisition by Apollo Global Management.
Baker Botts continues to support its local communities through donating its time and resources to hundreds of organisations as well as taking on pro bono cases including a death sentence case in South Carolina, and obtaining habeas corpus relief for an individual in prison in Texas.
The firm continues to expand to better serve its clients and is currently moving forward with plans to open an office in Rio de Janeiro. Our research demonstrates the firm’s prominent position in the international arena, a result of its commitment to serving its clients with the utmost attention to detail.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.