News Releases

Lateral Hires Expand Baker Botts’ Russian Finance, M&A, Corporate Capabilities

Levinson, Stepanov Bring Extensive Experience to Firm’s Moscow Office

MOSCOW, February, 11, 2008 -- Maxim Levinson and Sergei Stepanov, who have extensive experience in international finance, M&A and corporate legal issues, have joined Baker Botts L.L.P. as a partner and special counsel, respectively, in the firm’s Moscow office.

The addition of Levinson and Stepanov follows the recent announcement of Simon Elliott joining the firm to lead the Moscow office’s real estate practice efforts.

“Our client base in Russia continues to expand, with an increasing volume of instructions being received on behalf of businesses, corporations and individuals based in the country,” said Baker Botts Managing Partner Walt Smith. “Adding Maxim and Sergei to our Moscow office ensures that we will continue to maintain a high-level of service in Russia that our clients expect of an international law firm.”

Levinson advises clients on a wide range of merger and acquisition activity, particularly in the oil and gas and energy sectors. He also has a broad range of experience in structuring, drafting and negotiating international finance transactions, including acquisition and project finance transactions, financings guaranteed by export credit agencies, and cross-border leases. He was named a leading project finance/energy practitioner in Russia by European Legal Experts.

Stepanov has more than 10 years of experience handling complex corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions and joint venture transactions in diverse sectors of the Russian economy. He also has experience advising Russian and foreign companies on upstream and downstream activities in Russia, including projects involving the construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines, mining and petrochemicals.

Prior to joining Baker Botts this month, Levinson and Stepanov were with the Moscow office of White & Case as partner and senior associate, respectively. Levinson previously worked as counsel for a leading Russian oil company and a major Russian bank.

“Russia remains a focal point for the world’s energy markets, but we are also seeing a marked increase in complex M&A and financing transactions, both in the oil and gas sector but also in general, as the economy in this country continues to mature,” said Steven A. Wardlaw, Partner in Charge of the firm’s Moscow office. “Maxim and Sergei have first-hand experience in guiding our clients through the complexities of operating in Russia.”

Levinson and Stepanov earned their legal degrees from the Kazan State University School of Law.

About Baker Botts in Moscow: Baker Botts’ involvement in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) dates back to the 1970s when the firm advised a major energy client on a large natural gas project in the former Soviet Union. For more information, please click here.

About Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts L.L.P., dating from 1840, is a leading international law firm with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Riyadh and Washington. With approximately 800 lawyers, Baker Botts provides a full range of legal services to international, national and regional clients. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:
Michael A. Cinelli
Associate Director, Public Relations
713/229-1764 (office)
281/546-4295 (cell)
[email protected]

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