This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Texas
Baker Botts LLP can trace its ancestry back to the 1840s, when Peter Gray founded Gray, Botts & Baker in Houston, Texas. Today the firm is home to 744 lawyers across 13 global offices, but its headquarters, along with others in Dallas and Austin, are as successful as ever, and it earns our award for Texas Law Firm of the Year.
|BAKER BOTTS LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 67|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime||4||Oil & Gas||13|
|Corporate Governance||2||Project Finance||4|
|Labour & Employment||1||Trademarks||1|
Sixty-seven inclusions across 19 practice areas demonstrate the firm’s exceptionally broad expertise. True to its Texan roots, the firm is particularly strong in the oil and gas sector and boasts 13 listings in the corresponding chapter. Those we list represent producers, processors, transporters, distributors and marketers of all forms of energy, as well as a number of service companies. Steven Miles and Jason Bennett, of the Washington, DC, and Dallas offices respectively, were described to researchers as “highly astute and very committed” energy lawyers. Their recent work has included advising Cheniere Energy on the multi-billion dollar expansion of its Sabine Pass LNG terminal. The “talented” Kevin Keenan practises from the Houston office and has “unrivalled experience in this sector”. He concentrates his practice on crude oil and natural gas and has played a key role in negotiating and documenting the long-term purchase and sale of crude oil, crude oil products, natural gas and LNG. Dubai’s Sean Korney and Moscow’s Steven Wardlaw garnered praise from respondents for their “invaluable market insight”. Hamish McArdle has advised Sinochem on its $3.1 billion acquisition of a 40 per cent interest in the Peregrino oilfield and, says one source, is “my first choice in the UK”.
The US offices perform particularly well in the environment chapter, with eight listings across Austin, Houston and Washington, DC. William Bumpers heads the firm’s global climate change group and focuses his practice on the Clean Air Act and climate change issues. Sources commended his “authoritative grasp” of this ever-evolving sector and also praised fellow Washington, DC, lawyer Daniel Steinway for his “impressive knowledge”. Pamela Giblin has practised environmental law since 1970 and is one of Austin’s “premier” lawyers in this area. Jennifer Keane and Matthew Kuryla are both “greatly admired” for their “considerable expertise”.
Baker Botts has doubled its presence in the M&A chapter in the last year. Six lawyers are recognised for the “phenomenal” work they have done in this sector. Houston’s Stephen Massad represented Lazard as financial adviser to Progress Energy in the $13.7 billion all-stock merger of Progress and Duke Energy Corporation, and is considered a “first-class” transactional lawyer. Dallas partner Neel Lemon acted in the $445 million ACS acquisition of HRO business from Mellon and has “a brilliant knack for strategy”, say peers.
Four lawyers are listed for their project finance expertise. Nigel Thompson has advised Saudi Electricity Company in all aspects of its independent power project programme, which was formed to develop and finance up to five independent power projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. William Giusti is a “big name in New York” and has advised Jamaica Public Service Company on a NEXI-insured loan facility to finance the expansion of a hydroelectric generation facility and the upgrade of existing power generation and transmission facilities in Jamaica.
The firm’s arbitration group also performs well, with four listings across three offices. London’s Jay Alexander and Alejandro Escobar, along withHouston-based Michael Goldberg, have all been involved in the defence of what is reported to be the largest arbitration claim ever, representing the Russian Federation in multiple proceedings relating to the former Yukos Oil Company. Dominic Pellew divides his time between London and Moscow and has acted for Renaissance Group in LCIA arbitration proceedings and associated court litigation in Cyprus and London against a Russian buyer under a share sale agreement. Sources described him as “highly persuasive” and “absolutely top notch”.
With multiple listings in 15 other chapters from offices in Asia, Europe and North America, Baker Botts’ reputation as a “global legal powerhouse” is well and truly borne out by our research.
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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.