News Releases

Baker Botts Promotes 19 Lawyers to Special Counsel


PALO ALTO, March 2, 2021 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international energy, technology and life sciences law firm, is pleased to announce that 19 lawyers have been promoted to special counsel, effective March 1.

“These lawyers consistently provide outstanding client service and regularly exhibit professional excellence as well as strong contributions to their clients, colleagues and the firm,” said John Martin, Managing Partner of Baker Botts.

The new special counsel comprise members of the Corporate, Global Projects, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Tax Departments. They are listed below with brief biographies that follow.

Eileen Boyce, Corporate, Houston

Ms. Boyce counsels clients across a broad range of corporate and securities law matters. She represents public and private companies, investment banking firms and other investors in public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities. She also represents public and private companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Ms. Boyce assists clients on an ongoing basis with general corporate concerns, including Exchange Act reporting, corporate governance and Section 16 matters. She has been named a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for the last three years.

Luke Burns, Global Projects, Houston

Mr. Burns counsels both domestic and foreign companies and private equity firms on a broad range of energy-related transactions and projects. His practice focuses on acquisitions and divestitures of onshore and offshore upstream oil and gas assets, farmouts and other development arrangements, and both large-scale and small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Stephanie Cagniart, Litigation, Austin

Ms. Cagniart represents clients in a broad range of complex business-related disputes. She has experience in a variety of state and federal trial courts, has argued before multiple courts of appeals including the Texas Supreme Court and several US. Courts of Appeals, and has briefed cases in numerous appellate courts and to the United States Supreme Court. She has been named a "Rising Star" in appellate litigation since 2018 by Texas Super Lawyers, and in general commercial disputes in 2020 by The Legal 500 U.S.

Clint Culpepper, Corporate, Austin

Mr. Culpepper represents borrowers, issuers, agent banks, underwriters, institutional investors, direct lenders and other investors in connection with secured and unsecured financings, including private placement transactions, acquisition financings, working capital credit facilities, asset-based financings, term loans and high-yield debt offerings. He was named “One to Watch” for Banking and Finance Law by The Best Lawyers in America, 2021.

Lee Davis, Corporate, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Davis represents underwriters and issuers in corporate securities transactions, including initial public offerings, private placements, Rule 144A/Regulation S, registered secondary equity and debt offerings, debt exchanges, tender offers and continuous equity (ATM) programs. He also represents clients in mergers and acquisitions and provides guidance on SEC compliance and disclosure, corporate governance and other general corporate matters.

Adam Dawson, Litigation, Brussels

Mr. Dawson has extensive experience in merger control and has represented numerous clients before the European Commission as well as national competition authorities. His work has also focused on advising clients in abuse of dominance complaints and investigations. He has experience in a broad range of industries, including digital platforms, human and animal health, energy & natural resources, chemicals, heavy machinery, packaging and air transport.

Lauren Dreyer, Intellectual Property, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Dreyer focuses her practice on high-technology patent litigation in U.S. district courts, the International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She has litigated a wide range of technologies, including telecommunications, consumer electronics, medical devices, and other electronics and software-focused technology. Before joining Baker Botts, Ms. Dreyer clerked for the Honorable Raymond T. Chen of the Federal Circuit.

Yi Dulkeith, Intellectual Property, New York

Ms. Dulkeith has over 14 years of experience practicing across a wide spectrum of intellectual property matters. Her practice involves strategic portfolio management and prosecution, due diligence, opinion work, and post-grant proceedings. Her primary technical areas focus on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, with a focus on immunotherapy, cell therapy, gene editing, stem cell technology, biomarkers and diagnostics. She earned Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Yale University in 2007.

Michelle Eber, Intellectual Property, Houston

Ms. Eber represents energy, high-tech, telecommunications and software companies in protecting their intellectual property and defending against claims of infringement. Her practice focuses on high-stakes patent and trade secret litigation matters. She also regularly represents companies in technology transactions. Her litigation and transactional experience has involved a variety of technologies, including energy-related technologies, telecommunications systems, data and video compression systems, and computer hardware and software technologies.

Matt Fusina, Global Projects, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Fusina provides legal counsel on the development and finance of energy and infrastructure projects, both in the United States and internationally. His practice is primarily focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas and hydrogen related transactions. His extensive LNG experience includes assisting clients developing liquefaction and regasification projects, LNG-to-power projects and small-scale LNG projects. His work encompasses the entire lifecycle of the project development process.  In addition, Mr. Fusina represents end users and non-dealer counterparties in a wide variety of derivative transactions.

John Gaustad, Intellectual Property, Palo Alto

Mr. Gaustad works on a range of intellectual property matters, focusing primarily on patent infringement litigation and proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB"). He has litigated cases involving a wide range of technologies, including location-based services, search-engine optimization, computer software, fiber-optic networks, and telecommunication systems. John also has extensive trade secret and commercial litigation experience. Prior to attending law school, he earned a B.S. in aerospace engineering.

Izabella Kharlamova, Litigation, Moscow

Ms. Kharlamova concentrates primarily on dispute resolution issues. Her practice focuses on international arbitration, including both commercial arbitration and investor-State dispute settlement, as well as cross-border litigation. She has acted as counsel in both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations (including under the SCC, LCIA, UNCITRAL rules) and as tribunal secretary under UNCITRAL rules. Prior to joining Baker Botts’ Moscow office, she practiced in the firm's London office as part of its arbitration team.

Allison Watkins Mallick, Litigation, Washington, D.C. & San Francisco

Ms. Watkins Mallick advises clients facing complex environmental challenges, focusing on litigation, regulatory advocacy, and compliance counseling. She assists companies and industry coalitions across multiple sectors, including energy, agricultural processing, cement and chemical processing. She has litigated cases in state and federal venues across the country, helps clients participate in rulemakings, and advises on compliance issues. She has particular expertise in air-related issues.

Laura Katherine Mann, Corporate, Houston

Ms. Mann represents public and private companies in a broad range of corporate and securities matters. She represents issuers, investment banking firms and other investors in public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities, including initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary public offerings and 144A offerings. Her practice also includes mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters, including Exchange Act reporting and corporate governance.

David Morris, Tax, Palo Alto

Mr. Morris advises public and private companies on U.S. federal income tax matters, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, securities offerings and internal reorganizations. He also represents companies and individuals in examinations, appeals and litigation with the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

Leah Davis Patrick, Tax, Houston

Ms. Patrick focuses on U.S. federal income tax controversy matters and litigation. She represents large companies and high net worth individuals nationwide in tax disputes with the IRS. She regularly assists clients in matters involving complex tax controversies and assists individuals, partnerships, and corporations in navigating challenging income and excise tax issues. Her practice also includes advising clients regarding the tax-efficient structuring of business mergers, acquisitions and dispositions and transactions involving corporations, partnerships and S corporations.

Christine Ryu-Naya, Litigation, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Ryu-Naya is an experienced antitrust lawyer whose practice focuses on U.S. and international merger clearance, counseling, investigations, and antitrust litigation. She has counseled clients through all stages of the merger review process, including representing parties before the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission in connection with complex and vigorously challenged transactions, negotiating and complying with government information requests, coordinating antitrust filings in foreign jurisdictions, and negotiating and implementing consent orders.

Quentin Wiest III, Corporate, New York

Mr. Wiest advises companies on compliance with federal securities laws and stock exchange listing requirements. In his practice, he assists companies with SEC and stock exchange reporting and disclosure requirements, stockholder meetings and proxy statements, stockholder proposals, beneficial ownership reporting requirements and corporate governance. Additionally, he represents companies in a broad range of corporate transactions, including offerings of equity and debt securities as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Jennifer Wu, Corporate, Austin

Ms. Wu counsels public and private companies on a wide range of corporate and securities matters. She represents issuers across the technology and energy industries and investment banking firms in public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities, including initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary public offerings, and 144A offerings. In addition, Ms. Wu advises public companies on Exchange Act reporting and compliance matters, special committee representation, and ongoing corporate governance. She has been named a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for the last three years.

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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