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Baker Botts LLP

Houston

Baker Botts LLP - Houston
  • One Shell Plaza
  • 910 Louisiana Street
  • Houston
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 77002-4995
  • Tel:+1 713 229 1234
  • Fax:+1 713 229 1522
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner: Andrew M Baker
  • Number of partners worldwide: 285
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: 415
  • Languages: Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin), English, Russian, Spanish

Firm Overview:
Baker Botts is a leading international law firm recognised for its service to clients across three key business sectors – energy, technology and life sciences – and throughout 14 offices located in the US, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and China. Dating back to 1840, Baker Botts lawyers and staff have worked on complex legal issues, including energy projects, intellectual property arguments, litigation, corporate transactions, environmental compliance challenges and tax disputes. As one of the largest law firms in the United States, the firm has worked on behalf of clients in more than 100 countries, and the firm regularly consults on matters that have a local, regional and global impact.

Main Areas of Practice:
Global Projects Department:
53 partners, 64 other lawyers
Global Projects lawyers provide clients with in-depth legal advice in the world’s major energy-producing regions. Areas include: oil and gas, project development and finance, real estate, energy regulatory and international trade. These focus on energy and infrastructure projects in both development and operational stages, as well as advisement in respect to regulatory, import/export, finance and commercial business transactions often required after these projects commence.

Intellectual Property Department:
45 partners, 91 other lawyers
The firm offers a national and international practice including patent litigation, patent procurement, patent licensing and due diligence. Other areas of practice include strategic IP counseling, trademark acquisition, trademark and copyright litigation, franchise and distribution and other intellectual property transactions. With the skill set to protect and advance clients goals, combined with technical knowledge and industry experience, firm lawyers are able to work with clients facing complex technology issues.

Litigation Department:
84 partners, 133 other lawyers
Litigators handle commercial, securities, professional liability, product liability, patent, white-collar, antitrust, international arbitration and energy litigation, as well as the appellate issues that arise from these matters. The firm’s representations reflect the broad litigation practice, with matters ranging from wins in highprofile cases to precedent setting victories. The firm’s lawyers excel in courtrooms across the United States and internationally, helping resolve clients legal problems in a variety of industries.

Corporate Department:
67 partners, 75 other lawyers
Corporate lawyers handle complex matters, advising clients on a full range of corporate, securities and financing matters, including public offerings and private placements of equity and debt for both issuers and underwriters or placement agents. In addition, the firm’s corporate lawyers have extensive experience in private equity and venture capital fund transactions and specialised financing in domestic and international contexts.

Environmental Department:
14 partners, 23 other lawyers
The firm has one of the largest and most diverse environmental practices among general practice firms. Lawyers advise on matters relating to the environmental aspects of major energy, industrial and infrastructure projects, including LNG, pipeline, electric power and refinery. In addition, environmental lawyers handle nearly every type of counselling and transactional matters, as well as offering full service litigation capabilities.

Tax Department:
19 partners, 29 other lawyers
Comprised of four sections, including income tax, state tax, employee benefits and executive compensation and private clients services, the tax department provides advice to clients across the spectrum of business activities and investments. Lawyers develop plans and structures to achieve clients’ objectives while minimising the impact of federal, state and international taxes. The firm also features a substantial employee benefits and executive compensation practice, and provides counseling to individuals, families and entrepreneurs on wealth transfer and succession planning tax issues.

Branches

  • 98 San Jacinto Boulevard,
  • Suite 1500 ,
  • Austin,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 78701-4078
  • Tel +1 512 322 2500
  • Fax +1 512 322 2501
  • Email : joe.knight@bakerbotts.com
  • 1001 Page Mill Road,
  • Building One,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304
  • Tel +1 650 739 7500
  • Fax +1 650 739 7699
  • Email : bryant.c.boren@bakerbotts.com
  • The Warner,
  • 1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20004-2400
  • Tel +1 202 639 7700
  • Fax +1 202 639 7890
  • Email : john.taladay@bakerbotts.com

Antitrust - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Baker Botts's antitrust team handles merger clearances and investigations, and has an active antitrust litigation practice. It has particular experience in representing clients in the technology and energy sectors. Of note, it recently acted for GKN on its GBP633 million acquisition of Volvo Aero.

Sources say: "It's an excellent antitrust practice. You get the sense you're dealing with people who have a very deep knowledge of the subject."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Taladay is a "sensible, straightforward" antitrust lawyer who produces "first-class" results for his clients. An antitrust all-rounder, he represents clients in cartel, civil litigation and merger-related matters. He led the team acting for GKN on the Volvo Aero merger.

Sean Boland is a "very fine and very capable" attorney who has built a fine reputation in the oil and gas industry, with one client describing him as "one of the best in the country" in that sector. He was heavily involved in National Oilwell Varco's $2.5 billion acquisition of Robbins & Myers.

Christopher MacAvoy receives praise as a "very, very talented" and "extremely capable" practitioner. He is active in the agency space and also handles antitrust litigation, recently representing C&S Wholesale Grocers in a putative class action alleging an anticompetitive conspiracy with another grocery company.

James Rill is a "very well-respected" senior figure at the firm, who "has an amazing capacity to keep working," according to sources. He has over 50 years of experience in antitrust law and has recently deployed this experience for MOSAID Technologies in relation to a complaint filed by Google concerning Nokia patents.

Corporate/M&A - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This team possesses a broad corporate skill set and supports clients in a wide range of transactions in the M&A, joint venture and private equity arenas. Noted for its relationships with a significant share of the region's major clients, Baker Botts operates across a variety of industries, including technology, energy and real estate. Lawyers have recently been engaged by Marriott International to handle the disposal of ExecuStay, and by CameronBlue Capital to assist with its purchase of Aegis Mobile.   

Sources say: "Its strongest points are client service levels and attention to detail. Baker Botts lawyers are extremely thorough and always attentive to the client."

KEY INDIVIDUALS David Pommerening is held in high esteem by market commentators in this space. As well as leading the team on transactions for Marriott International and CameronBlue Capital, he also played a role in GKN's $995 million acquisition of Volvo Aero.

Michael Gold demonstrates prowess in transactions involving public and private companies, and investment fund investors and issuers, among other clients. He is "extremely smart, knowledgeable and responsive," and recently represented GeoEye subsidiary M. J. Harden Associates in a sale of business to Photo Science.  

Environment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM Baker Botts is well known for its prowess in energy and environmental law. In the refining and petrochemicals field, the team advises major clients on product liability lawsuits and toxic torts. In highlights, it recently defended a large agricultural company in a large-scale toxic tort class action. Other areas of expertise include renewable energy, upstream oil and gas, midstream energy and Superfund work. The team has acted for various companies on sediment contamination matters at some of the country's biggest Superfund sites. 

Sources say: "Their work is consistently good, and they are able to design practical solutions." "We use them for our high-profile and high-importance issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Leading environmental practitioner William Bumpers has recently handled a number of high-profile challenges to EPA rulings, including challenging CAA regulations on behalf of leading cement companies. "He is absolutely top-notch. He has broad experience, a sharp intellect and a deep roster of contacts in the environmental field. He grasps technical concepts quickly, and is held in very high regard," say interviewees.

Thomas Jackson advises on a broad range of environmental matters, including water quality, natural resources, toxic torts and litigation.

Debra Jezouit focuses on CAA litigation, compliance and development. Sources say she "is extremely bright and talented, and knows the regulations backwards."  

Daniel Steinway is recognized for his strength in Superfund and cost recovery matters. According to sources, he is "a go-to lawyer and a tireless rainmaker."

Litigation - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This firm's DC office is staffed with a significant bench of respected lawyers who frequently handle a combination of white-collar, securities and complex commercial litigation. The team recently obtained a significant victory for Liberty Media following years of litigation against Vivendi Universal, with the jury awarding Liberty EUR765 million in damages. It was also successful in its representation of Marathon Oil Company and Marathon GTF Technology in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Other notable clients included Drummond Company and Samsung Electronics.

Sources say: "Baker Botts has a solid team of very strong lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "phenomenal" William Jeffress has a stellar track record in successfully handling general commercial litigation, and is also considered to be one of the "deans of the white-collar defense Bar." His recent work includes defending the former CFO of Bank of America in litigation related to the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

Joe Caldwell remains a respected member of the team whose practice encompasses both commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. He has represented clients from a wide range of sectors, illustrating the breadth of his trial expertise.

Michael Barta attracts a huge amount of praise from clients for his criminal defense practice, as well as his growing general commercial litigation portfolio. His recent work includes representing Samsung Electronics and several of its US affiliates in nine pending patent litigation matters across the country. Sources comment: "He is a great litigator who performs well in the courtroom." 

Climate Change - Nationwide

THE FIRM This climate change group provides the full range of climate change-related services, on both a domestic and international level. Particular areas of expertise include advising finance and energy clients on project development, carbon markets and the use of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery. The team recently represented a major clean energy generator in connection with the permitting of a carbon capture facility located next to a coal-fired power plant. Key clients also include Occidental Petroleum, Entergy and Xcel Energy.

Sources say: "A great firm." "They're doing a lot on implementing change."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "highly regarded" William Bumpers is hailed by sources as "a key player" in the market. He recently represented the Class of '85 Regulatory Response Group, providing an analysis of the EPA's proposed performance standards for existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units.

Corporate/M&A - Nationwide

THE FIRM Baker Botts consistently impresses observers with its significant market share in the energy sector and its technical abilities across a range of other industries. Its corporate offering spans the country, with key practice hubs situated in Texas, New York, DC and California. Some notable clients include LINN Energy, Halliburton and Marathon Oil. In a recent practice highlight, lawyers were engaged by El Paso Energy to act on its $7.15 billion acquisition by Apollo Global Management.     

Client Service "The strongest points are client service levels and attention to detail. Baker Botts's lawyers are extremely thorough and top-notch in terms of client service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Houston-based David Kirkland heads the firm's corporate practice group.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

THE FIRM This group wins accolades for its broad oil and gas capabilities, with strong depth and breadth in both regulatory and transactional matters. Its loyal clients are drawn from all corners of the industry and include high-profile organizations such as ExxonMobil, Shell and Marathon Oil. It specializes in handling complex and high-value disputes and recently represented Murphy Oil Exploration & Production in several claims and disputes relating to the Eagle Ford shale play in south Texas. It also successfully acted for ExxonMobil and BP West Coast Products, among others, on a pipeline rates case valued at $350 million.

Client Service "All the attorneys were outstandingly efficient and very responsive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Brooksany Barrowes continues to impress market sources with her expert handling of electricity regulatory and litigation matters. She recently defended Ameren in a dispute over an interconnection agreement and is currently assisting Shell with the configuration of a range of complicated transactions in the Community Choice Aggregation program, which are to take place between Shell and various parties including the City of San Francisco.

"First-rate lawyer" Thomas Eastment leads the firm's energy regulatory practice. He continues to impress clients with his "profound understanding" of oil and gas regulatory and litigation matters. He has enjoyed an active year representing a number of major oil and gas companies including Repsol, ExxonMobil, BP West Coast Products and HollyFrontier before the appeal courts in pipeline rate disputes.

Joshua Davidson continues to drive the group's work in MLPs, representing the likes of Pacific Coast Oil Trust, Plains All American Pipeline and TC Pipelines in oil and gas public offerings valued in excess of $350 million each.

"Terrific, talented lawyer" Elaine Walsh is fluent in both regulation and litigation as well as transactional issues. In a recent highlight, she acted for NRG Energy on its $200 million purchase of Energy Plus Holdings.

"Phenomenal lawyer" William Lamb is lauded for his "market knowledge and sound judgment," and for being "incredibly insightful and savvy." Enthusiastic clients report that he can "always quickly devise a clever solution to the multitude of challenges that arise in any complicated transaction."

Oil and gas department head Hugh Tucker is described as a "very good listener and project driver." Over the past year, he has been active on a wide range of transactional work including joint ventures, divestitures, acquisitions and disposals. Highlights include acting for Hess Corporation on its $594 million purchase of half of CNX Gas's interest in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio.

Thomas Moore has recently moved to the firm from Dewey & LeBoeuf, bringing with him vast experience of the domestic and international oil and gas transactional markets. He is well versed in a variety of matters ranging from LNG and gas trading projects to divestitures and acquisitions.

Hillary Holmes is "absolutely excellent," say clients. She recently played an instrumental part in the representation of the John Wood Group in the disposal of its Well Support Division to GE Energy Manufacturing, a $2.8 billion transaction.

The "outstandingly efficient and very responsive" Anthony Speier makes his debut in the oil and gas transactional table this year following market acclaim. "He is a great up-and-coming lawyer who has the ability to influence and negotiate in a way that's very appealing," reports one client. He specializes in executing M&A and joint venture transactions on behalf of a wide spectrum of clients including Rosneft and Marathon Oil.

Environment - Nationwide

THE FIRM The environmental team at Baker Botts works out of offices in Washington, DC and Texas, and is celebrated for its expertise in the energy sector, which includes involvement in upstream oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining and renewable energy matters, among other issues. The group recently defended an agricultural company in an ongoing toxic tort class action suit in Iowa. Key clients include Marathon Petroleum, BP and NRG Energy.

Sources say: "The service we receive is outstanding." "They have just been terrific, and one of the best firms I've had the pleasure of working with."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Leifer chairs the environmental department from Washington, DC. He specializes in environmental litigation, including product liability, toxic tort and bankruptcy cases.  

Franchising - Nationwide

THE FIRM The Baker Botts franchising and distribution practice continues to handle a broad range of domestic and international distribution matters. Recent highlights include advising Marriott International on the spin-off of its timeshare and residential businesses into a new company, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. Marquee clients also include notable retail and hospitality entities such as 7-Eleven and La Quinta Inns. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Reilly is a key contact at the firm.

Intellectual Property - Nationwide

THE FIRM This practice is well known for its patent litigation skills, although this view overlooks the sterling work done by its attorneys in patent prosecution, licensing and the handling of IP assets in M&A. The group also offers a real depth of technical expertise serving clients in industries such as energy, life sciences, and consumer and high-technology electronics. Clients include AT&T, Cisco Systems and Facebook. 

Sources say: "A very formidable force to have on your side."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Bart Showalter, in Dallas, leads the firm's IP practice.

International Arbitration - Nationwide

THE FIRM This leading firm continues to conduct challenging, high-value commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. The scope of the practice is impressive, with practitioners acting for respondents and claimants across a wide range of industries. The US-based team is split between offices in Washington, DC and Houston, and coordinates closely with the firm's foreign offices. Its client base reflects the breadth of the team's expertise, and includes Sangatta Holdings, Kia Motors and the Russian Federation.

Sources say: "It is a strong and disciplined team of professional lawyers with branch offices all over the world, giving it a wide scope and a strong network of local professionals." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Goldberg cochairs the international arbitration and dispute resolution practice, and has long-standing experience in the field. Sources praise "his ability to analyze issues in multiple jurisdictions." He offers expertise in acting as counsel and arbitrator in a wide range of disputes.

Jennifer Smith focuses on commercial arbitration and is praised as being "very bright, hard-working and well organized." She is currently involved in a number of arbitrations relating to the energy and technology industries.

Michael Lennon is highly respected as "the consummate professional – he's always reachable, very patient and understanding, full of good ideas and knows exactly how to handle all the parties on a case." He offers particular expertise in disputes involving the energy sector.

Life Sciences - Nationwide

THE FIRM Baker Botts's life sciences team works out of offices in Texas, New York, Palo Alto and DC. The practice covers products-related litigation, corporate transactions and IP. Abbreviated New Drug Application and other patent litigation is an area of particular activity. Clients include Merck, AstraZeneca, Novartis and three Novartis subsidiaries. The team continues its ongoing representation of AstraZeneca in the high-profile Seroquel personal injury litigation.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Earl Austin heads the life sciences practice.

Outsourcing - Nationwide

THE FIRM Baker Botts's Texas-based practice has a longstanding presence in the outsourcing sector. The team is notable for its skill in representing service providers in numerous ITO and BPO transactions. Expertise includes electronic security, private cloud and procurement and supply chain management. Clients include Accenture and Dell.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Technology group head John Martin retains a significant outsourcing practice. Sources hold him in high regard as an established practitioner with a commendable understanding of the key issues facing clients.

Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM Baker Botts focuses on product liability cases in the pharmaceutical, chemical and energy sectors. It represents Elan Pharmaceuticals as national counsel in litigation concerning the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. Toxic tort work is another staple of the practice, which is currently acting for a major petroleum company on lawsuits alleging property damage and personal injuries from a release of gasoline. Other clients include Merck, BASF and Union Carbide.

Sources say: "They provide an excellent service in all of the work they do for us."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Tynan Buthod is a key contact.

Projects - Nationwide

THE FIRM Baker Botts’s oil and gas projects group is one of the most formidable in the country. The practice is valued for its wide-ranging project finance expertise and dedication to its clients, which include leading energy companies such as ExxonMobil and Reliance. The team has vast experience in handling a broad array of projects, ranging from domestic and international midstream and downstream projects, to upstream development in the Gulf of Mexico. It continues to dedicate a large proportion of its time to transactional work relating to shale plays, and recently represented KKR in relation to its participation in the development of the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.

Client Service "Our experience with Baker Botts has been extraordinary. They are very attentive to the client's needs, are effective negotiators and have a wonderful variety of project finance experience. We would rate them among the highest in this area."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are quick to recommend Steven Miles as a "very service-oriented, highly responsive and very commercially aware" practitioner. He has recently acted on several of the firm's significant mandates, an example of which is his advice to Cheniere Energy Partners in connection with the extension of its Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Maura Goldstein has had another busy year representing clients in relation to various renewables and alternative energy projects. In a recent highlight, she represented Buchanan Renewables in connection with a cross-border electric power generation project valued at $290 million. 

Real Estate - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm has a wealth of experience across all traditional real estate transactions, including financing, leasing, joint ventures and development. It also has extensive experience advising on the full life cycle of funds, from establishment to portfolio disposition and asset liquidation. The team has handled several important matters for key client Hines in recent months, including the development of a Class A office building overlooking Bryant Park. Other clients include Coventry Development Group, E2M Partners and the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation.

Sources say: "Tremendous lawyers." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Dallas-based Patricia Stanton chairs the firmwide real estate group.

Tax - Nationwide

THE FIRM This Houston-based giant has long been respected for its expertise in energy transactions. As such, it is an excellent first choice for advising on tax issues relating to the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors, among others. Its expertise encompasses a range of matters, including MLP, state and local, partnership, M&A and international issues. The group's recent highlights include acting for the Energy and Minerals Group in relation to Tallgrass Energy Partners's acquisition of midstream assets from Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. It also recently represented Marathon Oil in its $3.5 billion acquisition of Hilcorp Resources. 

Sources say: "An outstanding service-oriented firm. Collaborative with their clients, and focused on providing quality support and advice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The Houston-based Richard Husseini chairs the firm's tax practice.

Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM This nine-partner corporate team benefits greatly from the firm's strong position in the energy sector, and also handles impressive transactions in the media, technology, telecoms and real estate sectors. Its active clients include Mediacom, QVC and Ascent Capital. It recently advised Liberty on its $10 billion plans to spin-off all its assets not affiliated with the Starz entertainment brand into a new subsidiary, Liberty Media, with the intention of renaming its parent company 'Starz'.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Bob Murray is a key contact for the practice.

Intellectual Property - New York

THE FIRM This national firm's New York office has a truly comprehensive practice, embracing commercial advice, transactional, litigious and prosecution work involving the full array of IP rights. Bolstered by a number of lateral hires in recent years, the team's coverage in terms of technical expertise and industry knowledge continues to impress clients such as Columbia University, Genentech and Samsung Electronics.

Sources say: "They've seen it all. I can pick up the phone and get an answer straight away."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Scheinfeld chairs the IP department in New York and internationally. He is a renowned authority on patent law, and litigates hi-tech cases, particularly those with a focus on computer science and mathematics.

Media & Entertainment - New York

THE FIRM The team at Baker Botts has a considerable history within the media and entertainment industry. It represents a broad array of clients across telecommunications and broadcasting. The group continues to advise long-standing client Liberty Media, as well as Ascent Capital Group, OpenTV and Mediacom Communications.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Murray is a key contact for corporate media and entertainment work.

Antitrust - Texas

THE FIRM This firm has long experience advising on antitrust litigation at both the state and federal level, and continues to grow its practice in this field. Within Texas, its strength in energy matters is evidenced by its work for such clients as ConocoPhillips, Halliburton and Marathon Oil. Other notable highlights include successfully defending Actelion Pharmaceuticals against conspiracy claims under California's Cartwright Act.

Sources say: "We've been impressed with their responsiveness and the depth and insight that they bring."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Dallas-based Van Beckwith is a key contact.

Banking & Finance - Texas

THE FIRM Houston-born firm Baker Botts demonstrates impressive skills in the banking and finance arena. The group is particularly recognized for its strengths in intellectual property, technology and energy-related finance, among other areas. It acts for both borrowers and lenders, and provides a full range of expertise across the general financial services spectrum. Highlights include advising Prudential Insurance on a series of complex senior notes offerings, and representing JPMorgan Chase in several sophisticated, high-value credit agreements with firms from the energy industry.

Sources say: "They consistently do a standout job."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Roderick Goyne is noted as "the consummate legal professional." His "depth of knowledge and tremendous experience" are greatly valued by interviewees. As well as a significant dedication to syndicated finance, other recent focuses include increased private placement work for clients such as AIG.

Well respected by market observers, Alison Boren is admired for her "strong negotiating skills," which ensure her clients' "complete confidence." She is particularly admired for her debt work.

The "energetic and skillful," Luke Weedon is a growing presence in the banking and finance arena. Notable work includes representing Citibank and JPMorgan Chase in relation to credit facilities of, respectively, $700 million and $1.5 billion. 

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Texas

THE FIRM Baker Botts has risen to prominence in recent years on the back of its acclaimed work in cases of national repute. The firm utilizes its deep bench to undertake large-scale matters across the spectrum of bankruptcy representations. The team is particularly known for its exemplary track record in bankruptcy litigation, and for its expertise in advising on the acquisition of distressed assets. Highlights of the past year include the ongoing representation of Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver in the highly publicized $8 billon receivership of Allen Stanford and the companies that he owned.

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "tremendous" Jack Kinzie chairs the firm's bankruptcy and restructuring group. He has immense experience representing a diverse range of clients, including institutional lenders, creditors, debtors and distressed asset acquirers. He has developed particular expertise in advising on prepackaged mass tort bankruptcies.

James Prince is often recognized for his litigation expertise but has a broad-ranging practice, with peers quick to identify him as a "real and complete bankruptcy lawyer." He recently completed the firm's representation of Pride International, the largest creditor in the Seahawk Drilling Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Peers are impressed with Luckey McDowell's courtroom presence. He regularly acts for hedge fund and private equity clients, and recently represented YA Global Investments in the California bankruptcy of Cobalis. 

Capital Markets - Texas

THE FIRM This team frequently handles a range of transactions for issuers and underwriters including IPOs, secondary offerings, Rule 144A offerings and shelf registrations. It recently represented Berry Petroleum on a $600 million senior notes offering. Other notable clients include Transocean, Morgan Stanley and CenterPoint Energy.

Sources say: "A tremendous practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "MLP expert" Joshua Davidson is "highly meticulous" and "does a very good job," impressed sources report. His clients include Maxum Energy Logistics and EQT Midstream Partners.

Corporate/M&A - Texas

THE FIRM This team maintains a leading position in the Texas market, playing a significant role in some of the year's biggest transactions. Energy remains a dominant focus for the team, with technology-related transactions also featuring regularly on the deal list. Recent highlights include representing Pride International throughout its $8.7 billion acquisition by Ensco, reflecting the team's market-leading capabilities. Other high-profile clients include Marathon Oil and Halliburton.

Sources say: "The firm has a strong group of lawyers in every practice area relevant to our business, and they are very responsive to our requests for assistance."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very talented" Andrew Baker is identified by market observers as a well-known figure in the market. Based in the Houston office, he is the firm's managing partner and continues to serve a variety of public and private companies on corporate matters.  

David Kirkland attracts praise for his "outstanding" practice. He recently led on the Pride acquisition, and has handled several matters for client Imperial Sugar Company over the past year.

Stephen Massad acted for Lazard as financial adviser to Progress Energy on its high-profile all-stock merger with Duke Energy, a $13.7 billion transaction.  

Peers highlight Neel Lemon as a "really top-notch guy" in this space. He has a broad practice advising investment banking and corporate clients on a range of issues.

Gene Oshman represented StarTex Power in its $142.5 million acquisition by Constellation Energy. He is a highly experienced corporate attorney with knowledge of public offerings, securities offerings, M&A and corporate governance. 

Ted Paris recently led the team acting for EP Energy on its $7.15 billion acquisition by Apollo Global Management.

Well-respected Geoff Newton is praised as "a very smart attorney." He handles a healthy volume of work from private equity clients, especially from those funds focusing on the energy and real estate sectors.

Kelly Rose is highly active in the market, with sources saying she is "on the rise" in this area. 

Energy & Natural Resources - Texas

THE FIRM This experienced team continues to operate at the high end of the market, and is noted for its representation of industry giant CenterPoint Energy in cases before both the PUCT and the Texas State Court. The group also successfully represented Marathon GTF in a high-value breach of contract dispute before the Delaware Chancery Court.

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Barkley concentrates on representing public utilities in matters ranging from smart meters to contested rate cases. He is praised for his "extremely deep knowledge of state regulation."

William Kroger is a highly regarded litigator with a focus on regulatory matters. Clients praise his "excellent rate-setting skills" and his "ability to walk us through the process and plan what's needed." He was lead partner in a recent nuisance case involving a wind farm for BP Alternative Energy North America.

Environment - Texas

THE FIRM This environmental practice is widely regarded as one of the strongest in the state. The group has extensive experience across a variety of environmental issues, including upstream oil and gas, electric generation, renewable energy and petrochemicals. A recent work highlight saw it represent the BCCA Appeal Group in a challenge to the EPA's actions on rules submitted for approval by the State of Texas, concerning the state's implementation of the CAA. Other significant clients include ExxonMobil, BP and Targa Resources.

Sources say: "I think that the service has been terrific." "They're a great shop of lawyers."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Pamela Giblin as "an extraordinary lawyer" and "a legend of the Texas Bar." She recently advised Waste Control Specialists on the development and licensing of a radioactive waste disposal facility. 

Molly Cagle recently joined the team from Vinson & Elkins and brings experience across a broad spectrum of issues, including permitting, regulation and environmental disputes.

Matthew Kuryla recently acted for BP in litigation brought against its Texas City refinery by the State of Texas on a claim for civil penalties, as well as a permanent injunction for alleged violations of the Texas CAA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations. 

Jennifer Keane focuses on environmental regulation, with a particular emphasis and expertise in CAA issues.

Derek McDonald represented Texas Oil and Gas Association in preventing the listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species, successfully obtaining a six-month extension on the decision, and drafting the Texas Conservation Plan for the lizard.

Intellectual Property - Texas

THE FIRM Baker Botts has one of the most dynamic and extensive IP practices in the Southwest, and can now be said to enjoy a nationwide reputation for its lawyers' work in the discipline. The Texas group has a deep pool of resources on hand to tackle any legal issue concerning all categories of IP rights, regardless of scale or international scope. Major clients include Dell, Halliburton Company and BlackBerry.

Sources say: "A very formidable force to have on your side."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Partridge is a "very strong trial lawyer" with significant victories to his name, and is a fixture in the courts of the Eastern District of Texas, one of the nation's most active battlegrounds for IP litigation. He has tried cases centering on hard and soft IP rights.

Barton Showalter's standing at the Texas IP Bar is such that fellow attorneys "refer defense case clients to him in a flash." He is the firmwide IP department chair, and has particular expertise in electronics, semiconductors, communications and software.

Kevin Meek heads the IP team at the firm's Austin office. His "very diverse, rich practice" takes in patent, trademark and copyright work, both contentious and noncontentious.

Gene Spears specializes mainly in the prosecution and enforcement of chemical patents. He has litigated cases concerning chemical, genetic engineering, diagnostic and mechanical technologies.

Douglas Kubehl is praised by big-name clients for his conscientiousness and affability to work with. He litigates patent cases involving technologies of all kinds, and is also an expert in IP licensing and the management of patent portfolios.

Mitch Lukin has an admirably broad IP practice, which includes transactions and agreements involving IP rights of all kinds, as well as portfolio development, counseling and infringement litigation.

Nicolas Barzoukas recently joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Barzoukas is a patent litigator specializing in pharmaceuticals and, more specifically, Hatch-Waxman Act cases in which allegations of infringement are made by branded pharmaceutical concerns against generic drugs companies.

Litigation - Texas

THE FIRM Baker Botts is firmly established as a solid choice for international matters, patent, bankruptcy, appellate and securities litigation. The team services clients across the energy, financial and professional services industries, to name but a few. Its attorneys are well connected and clients applaud their ability to anticipate issues in a case. The firm's esteemed clients include Ernst & Young, Halliburton and ExxonMobil.

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Wonderful trial attorney" Gregory Copeland is a key litigator on behalf of ExxonMobil. He has expertise in energy litigation, and is highly regarded for his work in antitrust, competition law and complex corporate litigation.

Rod Phelan has a superb, broad-based commercial litigation practice. He recently litigated on behalf of law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in a professional liability case brought by a number of plaintiffs from Highland Capital Management.

The preeminent appellate attorney Thomas Phillips is lauded as "very intelligent, respected and well connected."

David Sterling has an excellent reputation in securities litigation, and recently led in a shareholder dispute on behalf of Imperial Sugar.

Macey Reasoner Stokes has a prominent appellate practice and has represented clients in both state and federal courts, including the Texas Supreme Court. She had a notable victory recently in representing an eminent energy industry client.

"Excellent litigator" Robb Voyles recently acted on behalf of Halliburton on disputes with a former subsidiary regarding a tax sharing agreement. He chairs the firm's litigation practice group.

Richard Josephson is well known for his general commercial litigation practice, and has particular experience in life sciences and pharmaceutical litigation. He regularly represents large pharmaceutical companies, such as Merck, in complex litigation cases.  

John Anaipakos is admired for his broad-based commercial practice, and is known as being "good all-around." He also possesses expertise in the areas of energy and professional litigation.

"Excellent lawyer" Irv Terrell's practice is based largely on complex business litigation, although he regularly homes in on the areas of antitrust, securities and IP disputes.

Senior associate Evan Young is known by sources as "supersmart and very responsive." His excellent reputation is reflected in his appointment as amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in a recent groundbreaking pro bono matter. 

Real Estate - Texas

THE FIRM This well-established real estate practice remains a key player in the Texas market, and specializes in joint venture transactions, acquisitions, disposals and complex commercial real estate development. Highlights of the past year include representing key client Hines in the $1 billion redevelopment of mixed use site CityCenterDC. The impressive client list also includes Clarion, Crescent Real Estate and E2M Partners. 

Sources say: "They're absolutely the best advisers – 24/7 service, very hard-working and always available." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The well-respected Jon Dunlay is described as "an excellent lawyer and gentleman," and further praised for being "easy to get along with." He has recently been involved in representing Hines in the development of a Houston high-rise office tower for Apache Corporation.

Patricia Stanton offers expertise in debt and equity financing, restructurings and workouts. Sources regard her as "a dynamo" and also single her out as being "incredibly diligent, thoughtful, and a tireless worker."

Robert Wright has a fine reputation among peers and remains highly sought by clients across the country to handle developments, acquisitions and disposals of substantial real estate projects, including hotels and shopping centers.

Connie Taylor wins enthusiastic praise from commentators who laud her as "very personable – she can get her point across with no inkling of arrogance."

Fred Dunlop has more than 40 years' experience in real estate matters, and concentrates his practice on sophisticated commercial transactions for investors, developers and institutional lenders.

Tax - Texas

THE FIRM This large tax practice continues to be held in high regard by market commentators, who laud its strategic tax analysis, collaboration skills, advisory techniques, depth and experience. Its lawyers are known for advising businesses in both the technology and energy sectors, and handle tax controversy, oil and gas tax, international tax, Subchapter C, Subchapter K and MLP tax issues. Clients include EQT Midstream Partners and CenterPoint Energy. The team recently acted for The Energy & Minerals Group on a $1.8 billion matter relating to Tallgrass Energy Partners' acquisition of Midstream Assets from Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

Sources say: "A top-notch firm with a lot of depth and a lot of experience."

KEY INDIVIDUALS John Porter's highly regarded practice tends to focus on estate and gift litigation work, in addition to fiduciary issues, the valuation of business interests and income tax disputes. He is also known for his litigation and dispute work in relation to the IRS. 

"Outstanding practitioner" Stephen Marcus is praised by peers, particularly for his dispute work. He is adept at handling tax planning and issues relating to federal income tax law.

Technology - Texas

THE FIRM This practice is well known as one of the strongest teams in Texas, whose talented experts attract a variety of plaudits. Clients value the team's appreciation of business requirements, and its understanding of the commercial impact of legal developments. The interdisciplinary group offers a wide range of experience, and represents leading names from the software, consumer electronics and academic research fields. Highlights include advising international clients such as Accenture, AT&T and Raytheon.

Sources say: "Customer-focused, and results- and value-oriented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head John Martin can draw on extensive experience in business-critical transactions, and is a valued adviser on M&A deals. Sources have high praise for his well-rounded service, and assert that "his knowledge is top-flight, but his ability to communicate and guide negotiations is nothing short of amazing." One client enthused: "He is hands-down one of the best outside counsels I have ever worked with."

Don McDermett has established a well-respected practice that attracts leading clients such as Samsung Telecommunications America and GENBAND. His wide-ranging knowledge of corporate transactions includes valuable expertise in complex acquisitions and strategic alliances, and clients appreciate his "timely, practical and strategic advice."

Charles Szalkowski remains a highly regarded figure who "provides inspiration and leadership" to the rest of the legal community. Market commentators praise the wealth of experience he has accumulated during his exemplary career.

Technology - Texas

THE FIRM This practice is held in high regard for the breadth of its capabilities. Sources are impressed by the deep expertise of its lawyers across a range of transactions, including complex ITO and BPO arrangements. The firm is highly active in work for both vendors and customers, and represents big-ticket names such as Accenture and Dell.

Sources say: "This team is able to draw on a lot of talent."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly respected John Martin chairs the firm's technology department. Sources draw attention to his impressive command of the technology market, which enables him to take on high-value transactions.

Market commentators are quick to remark on the strength of Brian Henchey's outsourcing practice. He continues to work for a number of clients from the healthcare industry, as well as advising financial and energy companies on their outsourcing needs.

Jordan Herman is entrusted with various business-critical mandates, and is well known for his work for high-profile suppliers.