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.
As we look to the future, it is important to revisit the past.
Baker Botts traces its history to the earliest days of the Republic of Texas. Peter Gray founded the firm in 1840 with its beginnings in the railroads that were starting to crisscross the young nation. In 1874, Mr. Gray left the firm called Gray, Botts & Baker for the Supreme Court of Texas. After his departure, his two partners, Colonel W.B. Botts and Judge James A. Baker, changed the firm name to Baker & Botts. Over the years, the name changed slightly, becoming Baker Botts L.L.P. in 2000.There are several events that catapulted the firm to national prominence:
A succession of Baker Botts lawyers have carried on the impressive accomplishments of firm founders and assisted in the development of the City of Houston, advised presidents during times of war and founded the Texas Law Review. We hired our first female lawyers in the 1920s and embraced the expanding role of lawyers in business resulting from new government regulations generated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation.
Today, Baker Botts has approximately 725 lawyers in 14 cities around the globe from which we serve our clients with the highest ethical and professional standards, dedication to their business needs and the most collegial association among its lawyers and staff.
Baker Botts’ vision of the future was eloquently expressed by Judge Hiram M. Garwood, a partner in the early 20th century, who said of the firm:
“I have always thought of it, not as a mere temporary association of individuals, however pleasant or however profitable, but as a permanent institution, just as Harvard or the Bank of England is an institution, with a strength, a life and individuality made up from, yet greater than, all or any of its members, in that the accumulated knowledge and achievements of its members, past and present, become the common capital of all to preserve, increase and transmit to those who shall come after us.”
HOUSTON, April 16, 2015 - Baker Botts, a leading international law firm, today announced that during the first 12 weeks of 2015, the firm won 18 significant trial and other litigation matters for clients.
"In each of these cases, all very different and all dealing with different facets of law - from energy, to financial fraud, to patent litigation to insurance defense and a pro bono appeal of a death row case - our trial lawyers and litigators prevailed in challenging and complex cases and achieved significant victories for our clients," said Andrew M. Baker, Managing Partner of Baker Botts.
"We try cases, and this is a record that is hard to beat," added David Sterling, Chair of the Litigation department at Baker Botts. "Our firm has a robust, vibrant and talented litigation department and these 9 trial wins and 9 other litigation victories, all in the first quarter of the year, highlight the momentum the firm has and the expertise of our trial lawyers," added Mr. Sterling.
A summary of the trial wins follows:
In addition to those trial wins, Baker Botts has achieved the following other victories in litigation matters thus far in 2015:
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.