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Baker Botts Promotes Nine Lawyers to Special Counsel


HOUSTON, January 30, 2019 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm today announced the promotion of nine lawyers to the position of Special Counsel.

“These are all exceptional lawyers who are focused on providing the highest level of client service on a daily basis. Moreover, they exemplify our core values of professional excellence, teamwork and collegiality, integrity and service back to the communities in which they work,” said Andrew M. Baker, Managing Partner of Baker Botts.

A brief biography of each Special Counsel is noted below.

Krisa Benskin - Houston

Krisa advises clients with respect to the design and implementation of employee benefit plans and compensation arrangements. She has wide-ranging experience with all aspects of health and welfare plans, including requirements under ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Krisa also advises clients with respect to the design and ongoing compliance and tax-qualification of qualified plans, including 401(k) plans and defined benefit plans.

Vernon Cassin  - Washington D.C. 

Vernon’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and international arbitration. He has represented a wide variety of sovereign and private clients in cases involving fraud, breach of contract and violations of United States and foreign securities laws.

Andrew GeorgeWashington D.C.

Andrew represents individuals and corporations in all stages of criminal and civil litigation, as well as in investigations and internal corporate diligence. He has first-chaired trials, evidentiary hearings and appeals at both the state and federal levels.

Andrew's criminal defense practice has included representation of individuals and corporations during both pre- and post-indictment, investigations for fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, false statements, health care fraud and false statements, and violations of the FCPA.

Andrew's civil practice has spanned a broad range of commercial disputes in areas including breaches of contract, environmental regulation, public utility regulation (particularly involving new technologies), employment law and a number of cases involving thefts of intellectual property.

Neil MacdonaldHong Kong

Neil advises on the development, financing, acquisition and disposal of energy, power and mining projects.

Neil has experience advising on the development of LNG projects (including floating regasification and liquefaction projects), multi-user LNG terminal use arrangements, LNG and gas sale and purchase agreements, charterparties, gas-transmission arrangements, farm-in arrangements, joint venture and shareholder agreements and construction contracts.

Patrick Matthews - Dallas

Patrick represents and counsels owners and investors in a range of commercial real estate transactions throughout the United States, including the representation of owners in connection with the acquisition, disposition, development and financing of commercial real estate projects; and landlords and tenants in connection with office, retail and industrial leases.

Joseph PerryNew York

Joseph’s practice focuses on representing companies and individuals in white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, internal investigations and complex civil matters. He counsels clients in large-scale federal and state criminal investigations, as well as advises clients on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other regulatory matters involving the SEC, CFTC and federal and state regulators.

Joseph has both meaningful trial and appellate experience in both federal and state courts.

Richard Ramirez - Houston

Richard handles all aspects of estate planning and estate administration for high net worth individuals, representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration, and representation of charities. He primarily focuses on preparation of wills and trusts, lifetime transfers of assets and restructuring family owned businesses. His practice emphasizes the implementation of advanced asset transfer strategies that preserve estates by minimizing federal gift and estate taxes, as well as strategies to transition ownership of family businesses and legacy properties from one generation to the next.

Kevin VickersSan Francisco

Kevin primarily focuses on legislative and environmental matters. Covering a wide range of industries, from radioactive waste to high-speed trains, Kevin has drafted complex legislation for all levels of government. He pulls from his experiences in politics, litigation practice and compliance counseling to tailor outside-the-box solutions for his clients, such as obtaining clarifications of legislative history from lawmakers in order to support his clients' positions in court.

His work includes water, waste, air and endangered species issues, as well as planning and development laws. In addition to helping change laws via legislation, Kevin has helped at both the trial court level and the courts of appeals. He also counsels clients on permitting, contracting, compliance and transactional matters. He also counsels clients on permitting and compliance, including under the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws, as well as providing counseling on contracting and transactional matters.

Jason WilcoxWashington D.C. 

Jason's practice focuses on assisting clients with understanding and complying with complex legal regimes governing the international trade of goods, services, software and technology and cross-border investment.

Jason counsels clients in advisory and enforcement matters involving economic and trade sanctions administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), antiboycott laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Jason also advises clients on various U.S. customs issues, including classification and valuation, rules of origin, country-of-origin marking, antidumping and countervailing duties, U.S. government procurement and eligibility for special treatment under various trade agreements and special legislation.

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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