Michael S. Goldberg

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



P: +1.713.229.1401 F: +1.713.229.2801

New York

P: +1.212.408.2579
Mike Goldberg Photo

Michael Goldberg “maintains a global reputation for excellence in international arbitration.” He is praised for his “deft touch” and is described as “tremendous.”

Chambers USA 2017

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 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 2015 – International Arbitration

During his thirty-five 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 a “very creative lawyer who can propose solutions that clients would not necessarily have thought of.”

Chambers Global 2014

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.

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’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.

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 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.

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 is a past Chair of the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Related Experience


  • International Arbitration – lead counsel in arbitrations under the AAA, ICDR, CPR, 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, Former Owner of the Houston Rockets
  • Tilman Fertitta, CEO Landry's, Inc. and 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

Awards & Community

Recommended as a “Leading Lawyer” for International Arbitration in The Legal 500 U.S., 2016, 2017 & 2018. He is described as “strategic, personable and highly experienced.”

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward and White, Inc.), 2016

Listed in Who's Who Legal for Arbitration, 2016

Recognized as a "Trailblazer" for White Collar Litigation by The National Law Journal, 2015

Presented the Light of Justice in Action Award by the Texas Defender Service, December 2017

Chambers USA
Recognized 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.”

Chambers Global 2015
“Michael Goldberg is well known for handling cross-border investment disputes. Based in Houston, he co-chairs the international arbitration and litigation department alongside Jay Alexander. “

Chambers Global 2015
“Based in the USA, Michael Goldberg is highly regarded for his experience in representing the Russian government and its key officials in high-profile litigation and arbitration matters abroad.”

Chambers Europe 2015
“Based in the USA, Michael Goldberg of Baker Botts LLP is highly regarded for his experience in representing the Russian government and its key officials in high-profile litigation and arbitration matters abroad.”

Chambers Global 2014
"This UK-based team consists of nine international lawyers that advise on key disputes in Russia. It regularly acts for large Russian corporates on high-profile litigation and arbitration proceedings, as well as handling disputes that intersect English and Russian law. Michael Goldberg and Dominic Pellew are key contacts."

Chambers Global 2014
Deemed to be “very smart and business savvy” by commentators, Michael Goldberg is also highlighted as being “very good at thinking through the ramifications of a variety of different decisions.” He co - chairs the firm’s international arbitration group.

Chambers Global 2013
"One of the most prominent litigators at the firm, Michael Goldberg has represented a number of high-profile Russian clients, and built a favourable reputation in a number of jurisdictions."

Chambers Global 2013
"Michael Goldberg co-chairs the practice, and brings experience of both serving as counsel and sitting as an arbitrator in a range of disputes. His work representing the Russian Federation in all of the cases arising from disputes with the former oil company YUKOS showcases his ability to handle complex and multiparty cases."

Chambers Global 2013
Michael Goldberg co - chairs the international arbitration and dispute resolution practice, and has long-standing experience in the field. Sources praise “his ability to analyze issues in multiple jurisdictions.” He offers expertise in acting as counsel and arbitrator in a wide range of disputes.


Publications, Speeches & Presentations



Protecting Your IP Assets in a "Technology Divorce"

Joint ventures, licensing agreements and other commercial relationships often center on the sharing of technology. When those relationships end, break down or are abused, the parties often face complex disputes over the use or abuse of proprietary technology.