Gazprom Oil Trial

DALLAS, February 2, 2015 -- Baker Botts, a leading international law firm, today announced that its client, OAO Gazprom, the Russian-based oil and gas company, has successfully defended a claim for $1.37 billon USD lodged by Moncrief Oil International.

The Fort Worth, Texas jury trial, which was in its fourth week of testimony presented to 14 jurors from the Fort Worth area, was suddenly dismissed with prejudice by Moncrief on Monday, February 2, 2015.

“This was a major victory for our client Gazprom. The dismissal of this case during trial puts an end to years of litigation by Moncrief Oil International over alleged trade secrets and supposed interference with its business, none of which had merit. It took a long time to get here, but this is the right result,” said Michael Calhoon, a Trial Partner with Baker Botts.

“This was a difficult case from the start, which was tried in Moncrief’s hometown but we worked hard to share our side of the story with the dedicated and hard working women and men of the jury. The jury did a great job understanding the complexities of the global liquified natural gas business,” said Van Beckwith, a Trial Partner with Baker Botts.

This was the third attempt by Moncrief to win damages after earlier attempts in 2007 before a Texas federal court and in 2010 in Germany were both dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

“After years of litigation losses in federal court, Moncrief Oil decided their hometown state court offered the best opportunity for victory. I am proud of our trial team for not backing down and ultimately getting to the truth, which resulted in this dismissal with prejudice,” said Michael Goldberg, a Trial Partner with Baker Botts.

Members of the Baker Botts legal team included: Michael Calhoon (Partner, Washington); Van Beckwith (Partner, Dallas); Ryan Bangert (Partner, Dallas); Michael Goldberg (Partner, Houston); Aaron Street (Partner, Houston); Macey R. Stokes (Partner, Houston); Tom Phillips (Partner, Houston); John Lawrence (Senior Associate, Dallas); Eddie LaCour (Associate, Washington), Kristin Cope (Associate, Dallas); Monica Hughes (Associate, Dallas); Melissa Hurter (Associate. Dallas); Chequan Lewis (Associate, Dallas); Mark Little (Associate, Houston), Russ Herman (Associate, Houston)

Next Story / Baker Botts

18 Major Trial Outcomes in 12 Weeks

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:

  • Baker Botts successfully defended OAO Gazprom, the largest Russian energy company, and the other defendants in a trade secrets case in state court in Fort Worth, Texas. The plaintiff in that case, Moncrief Oil, which sought over $1.25 billion in damages from Gazprom, dismissed its case with prejudice after 4 weeks of trial.
  • Baker Botts won an important jury trial in federal court in Dallas, Texas on behalf of Ralph Janvey, the receiver for Stanford International Bank, who is working to recover assets on behalf of Stanford’s defrauded investors. In the trial against former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero, the jury found Romero must return hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees he received as a member of Stanford’s advisory board.
  • Baker Botts successfully defended Samsung in a jury trial in federal court in Austin, Texas in which Masakazu Ushijima, a Japanese inventor sued Samsung for patent infringement relating to Samsung’s LCD televisions and computer monitors. The jury found that none of the Samsung products infringed Ushijima’s patent.
  • In a trial before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Baker Botts obtained a ruling for its client, CaptionCall, against Ultratec, a competitor of CaptionCall, in providing communications and telephone equipment to the hearing impaired. The PTAB ruled that all eight Ultratec patents at issue were not patentable.
  • Baker Botts won a jury trial in a breach of contract case for LyondellBasell in state court in Houston, Texas against GIM Channelview. The jury awarded LyondellBasell $8.8 million – almost the full amount sought – and awarded GIM Channelview nothing on its $4.5 million counterclaim.
  • A jury in federal court in Dallas found for Baker Botts’ client, De Boulle Diamond & Jewelry, Inc., on all issues in a trademark case involving the right to use the word "Boulle" in the U.S. diamond and jewelry business. Baker Botts associates won three jury trials in motor vehicle accident cases on behalf of insureds of Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Company.
  • In addition to those trial wins, Baker Botts has achieved the following other victories in litigation matters thus far in 2015:
  • The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a new hearing to Linda Carty, who has been on death row for over a decade, on the basis prosecutorial misconduct at her trial. Baker Botts is representing Carty on appeal pro bono.
  • Baker Botts won a dismissal with prejudice of a securities class action lawsuit in federal court in Houston against a major engineering and construction company and its executives.
  • The Fourteenth Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment barring an indemnity claim brought by Baker Botts' client, a major oil and gas company, and rendered judgment that the client was owed duties to defend and indemnify.
  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment rendered by a district court against Stanford receiver Ralph Janvey in favor of The Golf Channel. The Court of Appeals held that The Golf Channel is liable to Janvey for nearly $6 million that The Golf Channel had been paid by Stanford.
  • Baker Botts obtained a reversal from the Dallas Court of Appeals of a $38 million judgment in a case involving aviation services. Baker Botts was brought into the case to handle the appeal following entry of judgment.
  • After issuing a Wells Notice, the SEC closed an investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Africa by Baker Botts’ client, an exploration company.
  • The Texas Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision against Baker Botts client AT&T, and ruled that the Harris County Flood Control District must pay AT&T’s expenses to relocate its facilities from a bridge scheduled for demolition by the District’s flood control plan. Baker Botts was brought into the case at the appeals stage.
  • The Texas Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a decision in favor of Baker Botts client, The Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, in a suit brought against it by the City of Houston and a group of employees challenging the pension system’s determination that city convention and hotel workers who were transferred to a quasi-governmental entity controlled by the city were still covered "employees" under the city worker pension plan.
  • Baker Botts defeated a motion to certify a class of Louisiana purchasers of commercial waste hauling services in an antitrust class action suit in federal court in Louisiana against a local subsidiary of Waste Management.
Next Story / Middle East

For over forty years, your trusted advisor for complex regional matters

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.

Next Story / London

Enhancing service to clients doing business in the UK, Europe and internationally

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.

Next Story / Gazprom Oil Trial

Baker Botts Trial Lawyers Secure Billion Dollar Defense Win, End Decade-Long Legal Battle