Our London office opened in 1998 and has a growing team of both UK and internationally qualified lawyers. Our lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the complex legal issues facing any enterprise looking to invest and do business in the United Kingdom.
On the transactional side, the London office has a large dedicated energy team. Recent assignments have included pipeline projects, gas projects (including LNG and gas-to-liquids), mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, project financing, infrastructure projects, privatization, oil and gas exploration and production and carbon emissions trading. In addition to the energy sector, we are deeply entrenched in transactional work in all its forms, from M&A, to joint ventures, to advice on capital markets. Particular industry focuses include technology, media, telecoms, petrochemicals, life sciences and financial services sectors.
The London office includes a thriving dispute resolution practice with experience in complex litigation and international arbitration and mediation. The office also includes an intellectual property team with broad experience in all IP areas, including litigation. Recently, the London team added white collar defense matters and international fraud and corruption investigations to its capabilities.
The London office was recognized by researchers in the latest Chambers UK publication for its work in the Projects and Energy: Energy & Natural Resources category and in the latest The Legal 500 publication for M&A. We pride ourselves on the team approach we bring to every engagement, and we believe our collaborative approach improves the results we earn for our clients.
The firm’s M&A activity for the first half of 2015 is up approximately 16% ($9 billion) compared to the first half of 2014 when the firm worked on transactions totaling $56.6 billion. The increase marks the second year in a row in which the firm’s numbers for the first half of the year have risen, with 2015 representing a more than 205% increase when compared to 2013.
Baker Botts lawyers represented clients in a number of notable transactions over the past six months, including:
• Regency Energy Partners LP in the $18 billion merger with Energy Transfer Partners L.P. Dallas partner Neel Lemon and Houston partner A.J. Ericksen led the transaction.
• Liberty Broadband Corporation in the $5 billion acquisition of New Charter Class A Common Stock as part of Charter’s $75 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks. New York partners Buzz McGrath and Renee Wilm led the transaction.
• Conflicts Committee of Williams Partners L.P. in the proposed $13.8 billion acquisition by The Williams Companies Inc. The transaction was led by Houston partners Josh Davidson and Tull Florey.
• MeadWestvaco Corporation in the $16 billion merger with Rock-Tenn Company. Washington, D.C. partner Joseph Ostoyich provided antitrust advice in connection with the transaction.
• Depomed, Inc. in the $1.05 billion acquisition of the U.S. rights to the NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Palo Alto partners John Martin and Brian Lee led the transaction.
“During the first half of the year we saw the trend carry forward from 2014, with a high volume of big-ticket M&A work on behalf of our clients – the work ranged from Energy, to Media/Telecoms, to Technology as well as activity in other sectors,” said David Kirkland, Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department.
“Based on discussions with clients, we expect to see continued significant activity in our M&A practice for the balance of the year,” continued Kelly Rose, also Co-Chair of Baker Botts' Corporate Department.
Baker Botts is recognized as one of the world’s leading energy law firms, and our lawyers represent clients in this energy-rich region of the world with a platform of two offices: Dubai and Riyadh.
As client demand for legal counsel in energy and related fields continues to grow, we continue to expand the resources of our Middle East team. In 2013, we added 14 lawyers, including eight partners, to our offices in the region. This group of talented and experienced lawyers cements our position as one of the dominant legal forces in the Middle East and adds significant strength and depth to our already established team. Our new lawyers bring with them decades of experience in sophisticated corporate and commercial transactions, project finance, international dispute resolution, local law, regulatory and compliance. Their industry acumen extends into energy, aviation and defense, construction, hospitality and consumer products, with the added dimension of anti-bribery and related corporate compliance and internal investigations.
Our lawyers are well-versed in the business and cultural realities of the region. We have advised clients within the Gulf Cooperation Council and international clients on a wide range of local law issues in the United Arab Emirates and surrounding region. We also represent clients on projects in the telecommunications, defense, real estate, manufacturing, power, water, transportation and banking industries, among others. Our lawyers have extensive experience in banking and finance capital markets, corporate formation, business structuring, corporate governance, foreign investment, privatization, customs and government contracts.
We have further increased our commitment and presence in the region by forming a strategic alliance in Kuwait with the International Legal Group (“ILG”). Through the alliance, the two firms provide expanded resources to our combined client base, including access to formidable local law experience and international legal acumen across a range of subjects, disciplines and jurisdictions. A principal objective of the alliance is the enhanced ability of both firms to better serve companies active in Kuwait and Kuwait-based companies active internationally.
In 2014, our Middle East offices in the UAE were ranked Tier 1 by The Legal 500 for Projects and Energy.
We pride ourselves on the team approach we bring to every engagement, and we believe our collaborative approach improves the results we earn for our clients.