Michael S. Goldberg

Practice Group Chair - International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution (Firmwide) Partner

Mike Goldberg Photo


P: +1.713.229.1401 F: +1.713.229.2801

New York

P: +1.212.408.2579

Michael Goldberg ‘is simply a winner’ and ‘has the unique ability to invoke confidence with the client, which is even more impressive when you consider that the clients include distinguished government officials’.

Legal 500 – International Arbitration - 2015

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).

Michael Goldberg is a “very creative lawyer who can propose solutions that clients would not necessarily have thought of.”

Chambers Global 2014

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.

Michael Goldberg is “noted for his broad dispute resolution skills, offering particular experience in high-stakes international litigation and arbitration.”

Chambers Global 2015

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.

Sources praise “his ability to analyse issues in multiple jurisdictions.” He offers expertise in acting as counsel and arbitrator in a wide range of disputes.

Chambers Global 2014

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.

Michael Goldberg is a "very good at thinking through the ramifications of a variety of different decisions." Deemed to be "very smart and business savvy"

Chambers Global 2015

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.

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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, "Technology Disputes," 5th IEL-SEERIL International Oil and Gas Law Conference, London, June 2015
  • Luncheon Keynote Panelist, Cuba in Transition - "Business Engagement Strategy," Georgetown University and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2015
  • 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