One of Texas's elite firms, Bakers Botts has
deep roots in the Lone Star State-and a long history of counseling
the oil industry and Republican administrations. It also fields
sturdy teams in technology, energy, life sciences, complex
litigation, white-collar defense, and appellate advocacy.
From Agriculture to Oil to
Baker Botts was Texan before Texas was a
state. The firm's origins date back to 1840, when Peter Gray
founded a firm in the land known then as the Republic of Texas.
Gray's first clients were agricultural interests-sugar, cotton, and
timber-and the Southern Pacific and Union Railroads. By 1874 more
partners had joined, forming Gray, Botts & Baker. Gray
subsequently stepped down from the firm in order to accept a seat
on the Supreme Court of Texas, leaving the practice in the hands of
Colonel W.B. Botts and James A. Baker (a.k.a Judge Baker), who
nudged Gray's name off the firm stationery and began working as
Baker & Botts.
The subsequent history of the firm runs
parallel to the story of Texas. A hurricane destroyed the
prosperous port of Galveston in 1900, shifting the state's
commercial epicenter to Baker & Botts' turf in Houston. The
following year, dozens of oil wells opened around Houston, and the
firm quickly became counsel of choice for the burgeoning industry.
Its clients included companies that evolved into Chevron, Texaco,
The Great Depression and ensuing New Deal laws
inspired the firm to expand its corporate and regulatory practices;
in 1972, Baker & Botts opened a DC office devoted to federal
regulatory work. More offices in Texas and a New York location
specializing in telecom, technology, and financial services work
followed. The firm's name was streamlined to Baker Botts in 2000.
Since that time, Baker Botts has continued its growth with the
opening of offices in Riyadh, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing,
Palo Alto, and most recently, San Francisco.
Judge Baker's son, James A. Baker II (a.k.a.
Captain Baker), became a clerk at the firm in 1877, an attorney in
1881, and a partner in 1887. Captain Baker would grow the firm to
become one of the largest in the country in the early
20th century and he and the firm played an integral role
in Houston's development. Baker & Botts has a long connection
to Rice University where Captain Baker chaired the first board of
trustees. James A. Baker III, who served in senior government
positions under three United States Presidents including as the
nation's 61st Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush,
is a partner in the DC office. Secretary Baker also served as
counsel to George W. Bush's presidential campaign and in the
Bush v. Gore litigation stemming from the 2000 recount.
George W. Bush had deep connections to the firm himself, having
done a tour of duty in the firm's mail room in 1962. James A. Baker
IV (a.k.a. Jamie Baker), who chairs the firm's Global Projects
department, is a partner in the firm's DC office with his father.
Even the firm's Managing Partner is a Baker, though Andrew M. Baker
is not related to the rest of the Bakers.
Moving On Up
For 2016, Baker Botts' gross revenue increased by 20%
to $846.5 million. "Building on the success of the prior year, 2016
was a very strong year for the firm, which again highlights the
depth and breadth of our domestic and global platforms,"
said Andrew M. Baker, Managing Partner.
Baker Botts Launched Two New Family-Friendly Initiatives. The
firm now offers Parental Leave Mentors in each office to
assist parents as they welcome a new child through birth or
adoption. The firm also partners with Milk Stork. "We
are focusing on making the transition back to the workforce
for parents smoother and we hope less stressful for them and for
their families," said Elaine Walsh, a Washington based partner
and Chair of the firm's Global Women's Forum.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Baker Botts announced that it has acted for its client, Liberty
Media Corporation ("Liberty Media") to successfully close its
acquisition of Formula One. "We have become a go to firm when
clients are working on complex and challenging antitrust issues in
Europe and around the world," said Catriona Hatton, Partner in
Charge of the firm's Brussels office and Co-Chair of the firm's
Global Antitrust and Competition Law Practice.
Baker Botts announced that it has been recognized by two of its
clients, AT&T and PepsiCo, for its industry leading diversity
programs and initiatives. On April 5, 2017, Baker Botts was
recognized for its demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity
and inclusion in the legal profession at PepsiCo's annual diversity
recognition day. On May 3, 2017, Baker Botts received the AT&T
Legal Department 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Achievement Award.
The award is given to the one law firm among AT&T's preferred
firms that has made the greatest strides and progress towards
diversifying its attorney ranks and enhancing diversity in the
Putting Energy into IP
Baker Botts, best known for its energy practice, has built one
of the nation's largest and most successful intellectual property
practices, opening offices in tech hot spots and developing an
unusual compensation system to attract and keep talented lawyers.
The Texas Lawbook profiled the firm's IP practice in
November 2016 under the headline "The Patent for Evolving
Intellectually Goes to Baker Botts."