Education and Honors

  • J.D. (with honors), The University of Texas School of Law, 1982
  • B.A. (magna cum laude), political science and legal studies, Rice University, 1979
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal/International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration: “Michael Goldberg chairs the Firm’s International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution section and received worldwide recognition for the strength of his practice.”

    Recognized in Chambers USA as a nationwide leading lawyer in international arbitration: “Michael Goldberg has developed into a serious, able and deeply tenacious arbitration practitioner.” “Offers fantastic judgment and is able to cut through to the important issues immediately and with great effect.” “The forceful and capable Michael Goldberg deploys his excellent trial skills to great effect in arbitration.”

    Recognized by Legal 500 U.S. as a leading lawyer in international arbitration. “Practice chair Michael Goldberg impresses with his ‘intelligent approach’ and ‘obvious understanding of arbitral proceedings’. “Highly regarded.” He brings to the team a ‘wealth of knowledge’ relating to international arbitration.” “His ‘combination of experience, focus and intelligence make him a force to be reckoned with.”

    Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America

    Recognized in Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides for Commercial Arbitration

    Recognized in the PLC Cross-Border Dispute Resolution Handbook as highly recommended for “extensive trial experience in complex commercial and international arbitration matters”

    Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer in Business Litigation

    Recognized in Benchmark Litigation as a litigation star. “Michael Goldberg receives praise from clients for his extensive trial experience handling complex commercial and international matters. ‘He’s very smart [and] has a keen ability to get through the layers of an argument and get to the key [points].’ Clients also lauded Goldberg for his ability to interact well with an in-house legal team.”

Admissions and Affiliations

Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

State Bar of Texas

New York State Bar

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

United States Supreme Court

London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

The Institute for Transnational Arbitration of The Center for American and International Law

Michael S. Goldberg


One Shell Plaza
910 Louisiana Street
Houston, Texas 77002-4995
United States
30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York 10112-4498
United States



Michael S. Goldberg is a senior trial partner at Baker Botts, with extensive trial experience in complex commercial, governmental and international arbitration matters. He is co-chair of the firm’s international dispute resolution section (international arbitration and litigation).

During his thirty-two years of practice, Mr. Goldberg has served as lead counsel in litigation matters as diverse as antitrust/competition, banking/finance, bankruptcy, commercial, construction, corporate acquisitions, defamation, discrimination, energy, environmental, ERISA, FCPA and other criminal investigations, intellectual property, partnership, premises liability, products liability, qui tam and real estate.

Mr. Goldberg also has served as lead counsel and negotiator in a wide array of transactional matters. He has maintained a reputation of always striving for the best “big picture” result for his clients—whether negotiating with corporations, joint venturers, or governmental entities, acting as chief spokesperson with the media, or dealing with corporate crisis matters.  He served as general counsel for professional sports teams such as the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Mr. Goldberg’s experience extends to a broad array of international matters involving clients, adversaries, and/or issues in Angola, Armenia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Yemen.

Mr. Goldberg has served as a council member of the Council of Legal Opportunities (CLEO), an organization that works with minority and low-income students to help them prepare for and attend law school. He is an Adjunct Professor of International Arbitration at the University of Texas School of Law.

Mr. Goldberg is a past Chair of the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Representative Engagements


  • International Arbitration – lead counsel in arbitrations under the AAA, ICC, LCIA, PCA, SCC and ZCC
  • Russian Federation and key officials – lead counsel on several litigation matters brought against the Russian Federation and various Ministers
  • Gazpromneft – lead counsel on a multibillion-dollar bankruptcy filing by Yukos Oil Company
  • Ford Motor Company – national counsel for 20 years, handling a wide variety of high-stakes litigation matters for the company
  • Kia Motors Corporation – lead counsel in an international (ICC) arbitration for Kia Motors Corp. in a dispute over a joint venture in Brazil
  • Hines Interests Limited Partnership – lead counsel for 20 years on a wide variety of real estate matters
  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (Brazil) – lead U.S. counsel on various commercial disputes

Governmental Relations

  • Negotiations with Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission officials regarding criminal investigations and international disputes
  • Negotiations with mayors, city councils and governors regarding financial subsidies for business relocations
  • Negotiations with Chinese government officials regarding the release of international star Yao Ming to play in the NBA
  • Relationships with several political leaders around the world
  • Negotiations with the Houston mayor and city council for a $300 million arena complex
  • Former co-head of firm’s Political Action Committees

International Transactional Matters

  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and Techint International Construction Corp. – consortium bid with Enron and IPL for a BOT bid in excess of $1 billion for expansion of the TransEcuadorian Pipeline
  • Mitsubishi Corporation – long-term styrene supply contract secured by a mortgage on the styrene plant
  • Mitsubishi Corporation – asset purchase of a local U.S. engineering company
  • Local U.S. company – advice regarding contractual issues with a manufacturer in India
  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht – consortium construction bid with Bechtel to Shell for the $3 billion development of the “Camisea” gas fields


  • Leslie Alexander, Owner of the Houston Rockets
  • Jeff Starzec, General Counsel, Cobalt International Energy, Inc.
  • Mario Garnero, President, Brasilinvest Empreendimentos e Participacoes S.A.
  • Dennis Grindinger, Executive Vice President, South America, Hunt Oil Company

Publications, Speeches and Presentations


  • Frequent commentator on international arbitration, including articles in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Dow Jones Newswire, Reuters News Service, MarketWatch, Global Arbitration Review, Latin Lawyer, and Energy Law360
  • “Arbitration in Russia,” Lexology Navigator, September 2014 (Ryan Bull, Egor Chilikov and Dustin Appel, co-authors)
  • “North American Overview,” International Comparative Legal Guide to International Arbitration 2013, 10th Edition; Global Legal Group, Ltd., July 2013 (Ryan Bull, co-author)
  • Featured in the cover story of the Summer 2007 edition of Focus Europe
  • “Resource-Rich Nations Are Reshuffling the Deck” (expropriation issues in South America), National Law Journal, August 7, 2006 (Dev Krishan, co-author)
  • “Navigating Cross-Cultural Waters in International Arbitration,” Inside the Minds: Leading Lawyers on the Art & Science of Arbitration, Mediation & More, Aspatore Books, 2004 (Jay Alexander, co-author)

Speeches and Presentations

  • Moderator, ITA-IEL Forum of the International Energy Arbitration Conference, January 2015, Houston, Texas
  • Presenter, “International Arbitration in the Energy Arena,” Oil & Gas Mini MBA 10-Day Management School, Produced by CWC School for Energy, Houston, October-November 2014
  • Panelist, “FCPA, Sanctions and Other Government Actions Impacting International Arbitrations,” ICDR/AIPN Conference on Dispute Resolution in the International Oil & Gas Business, Calgary, Alberta, October 2014
  • Panelist, “The Expectation: How Important Is Enforcement In The Choice Of International Arbitration?” 26th Annual ITA Workshop, Dallas, June 2014
  • Co-chair, International Energy Arbitration, An ITA-IEL Joint Winter Forum, Houston, February 2014
  • Panelist, “Dispute Resolution Clauses Gone Bad,” 2014 International Upstream Energy Transactions, University of Texas School of Law, Houston, January 2014
  • Co-chair, 8th Americas Workshop, The Merits Hearing: Getting the Message to the Tribunal, Santiago, Chile, April 2012
  • Presenter, “Advocacy in International Arbitration,” Practicing Law Institute: International Arbitration 2012, New York, March 2012
  • Presenter, “A Practical Discussion of Claims, Issues and Interim Measures Facing Parties in an Energy Dispute,” 3rd IEL-SEERIL International Oil and Gas Law Conference, London, June 2011
  • Co-chair, 22nd Annual ITA Workshop, Dallas, June 2011
  • Moderator, “The Second Look Doctrine: Twenty-Five-Plus Years after Mitsubishi,” 4th Annual Arbitration and National Courts: Conflict and Cooperation Conference, Houston, May 2010
  • Panelist, “Regional Oil & Gas Disputes - CIS & Europe,” ICDR/AIPN Conference on Dispute Resolution in the International Oil & Gas Business, Houston, April 2010
  • “Dispute Resolution Strategies - How to Get In and Out,” Oil & Gas Mini MBA 10-Day Management School, Produced by CWC School for Energy, Houston, October 2009, 2011
  • “Beginning the International Arbitration Process,” Baker Botts Sponsored Arbitrators Meeting, Dubai, UAE, March 2009
  • Session chair, “Dispute Resolution,” IEL-SEERIL International Oil and Gas Law Conference, London, November 2008
  • “International Arbitration: What Is It? How Do You Get In? How Do You Get Out?” 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, February 2008
  • Faculty presenter, “Insider Insights: Complex Energy Disputes,” ITA Workshop, June 2007
  • “Dealing With Expropriation: Recent Developments in South America,” Baker Botts/Ernst & Young Joint Seminar, July 2006
  • “Introduction to International Arbitration,” Association of Women Attorneys, November 2005
  • “Cultural Negotiations: The Yao Ming Deal,” Southwest CEO Council, March 2004
  • “Differences in Negotiating Style Between Chinese and Americans,” Asia Society’s Annual Ambassadors’ Forum and China Conference, February 2004
  • “How to Negotiate With the Chinese,” 2003 International Conference on U.S. Export to China: Opportunities and Pitfalls, co-sponsored by the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, City of Houston, Texas Department of Economic Development, and University of Houston, November 2003