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Baker Botts Elects 18-Member Partnership Class

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PALO ALTO, February 16, 2022 – Baker Botts, L.L.P. a leading international energy, technology and life sciences law firm, today announced the promotion of 18 lawyers to partner, effective March 1, 2022. It is the firm’s largest partnership class since 2008. 

“Our newest partners reflect the depth of our talent and have consistently demonstrated their ability to be future owners and leaders of the firm,” said John Martin, Managing Partner of Baker Botts. “This diverse group also illustrates our commitment to the areas in which we have truly differentiated strengths. These lawyers provide exemplary service to our clients through a spirit of collaborative entrepreneurship.”

The 2022 class of partners comprises lawyers from the firm’s Corporate, Global Projects, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Tax Departments.

The members of the newest partnership class are listed below, with brief biographies that follow.

Matt Adler, Litigation, Washington, D.C.

Matt’s practice focuses on merger clearance, counseling, compliance, and antitrust litigation. He regularly handles merger reviews with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and international competition law agencies. He has significant experience in the entertainment, technology, life sciences, and energy sectors. He has counseled clients through complex and vigorously challenged transactions, including multiple transactions with divestitures and other merger remedies. He regularly advocates for clients on matters involving significant quantitative issues, including data and econometric analysis.

Matt is currently a vice chair of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association on the Distribution and Franchising Committee.

Eileen Boyce, Corporate, Houston

Eileen’s practice focuses on complex mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate matters. She also regularly advises issuers, underwriters and selling shareholders in securities offerings (including IPOs), private placements and securities compliance issues. Her practice spans a range of industries, including oil & gas, natural resources and consumer goods.

She has advised on some of the most significant M&A and capital markets transactions in the past year, including Coterra Energy Inc. (formally known as Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation) in its $17 billion merger with Cimarex Energy Co.

Eileen has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters) from 2019 to 2021.

Stephanie Cagniart, Litigation, Austin

Stephanie represents clients in a broad range of complex litigation matters, including securities litigation, oil and gas matters, contract disputes and general commercial litigation. She has experience in a variety of state and federal trial courts,  has argued before the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits, and has briefed cases in numerous federal and state appellate courts including the United States Supreme Court.

Stephanie has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in appellate litigation in 2018-2021 by Texas Super Lawyer, "Rising Star" in Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes by The Legal 500 U.S. in 2020-2021, and a "Top Woman Attorney in Texas, Rising Star" in appellate litigation in 2022 by Texas Monthly.

Clint Culpepper, Corporate, Austin

Clint represents agent banks, direct lenders, underwriters, initial purchasers, institutional investors, borrowers and issuers in connection with secured and unsecured debt financings, including institutional private placements, leveraged acquisition financings, working capital facilities, bridge loans, asset-based financings, term loans, high-yield debt offerings and other forms of debt financing.

He has worked on some of the most high-profile financing deals in the past year, including advising Summit Midstream Partners, LP on its $700 million private offering of senior secured second lien notes, Arcosa, Inc. on its $400 million private offering of senior notes, and the underwriters in Enbridge’s inaugural issuance $1 billion of sustainability-linked senior notes.

Clint is recognized as "One to Watch" for Banking and Finance Law by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward White, Inc.), 2021 and 2022.

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

Lauren is an intellectual property litigator at both the appellate and trial levels. Her practice concentrates 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, Lauren clerked for the Honorable Raymond T. Chen of the Federal Circuit. Lauren has been Chair of the NextGen, Law Clerks and Law Students Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association since 2018.

Nicholas Frey, Tax, Palo Alto

Nicholas focuses on executive compensation, benefits, deferred compensation, ERISA, and mergers and acquisitions due diligence matters, and has substantial experience in advising venture capital and emerging growth companies on compensation and benefits issues with respect to their key employees.

Nicholas advises clients regarding the implementation and administration of employee benefit plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans and equity incentive plans. He also provides guidance to clients on compliance with the provisions of ERISA, and other federal laws. He counsels public, private and nonprofit entities on employee benefit and executive compensation issues in mergers and acquisitions.

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

Matt is a member of the firm's Global Projects Practice where he 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, clean hydrogen/ammonia, and CCUS-related transactions. His extensive LNG experience includes assisting clients developing liquefaction and regasification projects, LNG-to-power projects, and low-carbon LNG arrangements. His work encompasses the entire lifecycle of the project development process, including project structuring, soliciting bids, providing advice on joint venture arrangements, and negotiating commercial, operational and financial agreements.

In addition, Matt represents end users and non-dealer counterparties in a wide variety of derivative and carbon credit transactions, including to hedge various risks, meet carbon targets, monetize assets, and finance acquisitions.

Brian Kerr, Litigation, New York

Brian has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in hundreds of state and federal class actions, involving damage claims ranging anywhere from $1 million to billions of dollars. From prosecuting a securities fraud action against Vivendi for plaintiffs and obtaining a 10-figure jury verdict, to successfully defending a corporation in a billion dollar bet-the-company litigation, Brian’s versatility provides a unique strategic advantage in all litigation phases.

Brian also provides full-service representation to clients throughout the art world, from collectors to dealers, investors to artists, representing clients in art litigation and other dispute resolution, including issues relating to authentication and stolen art. 

Michael Knierim, Intellectual Property, New York

Michael is a patent litigator who has represented both plaintiffs and defendants throughout all stages of patent disputes brought before district courts, the International Trade Commission, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. With a background in physics, he maintains a diverse practice spanning a broad range of technological fields, including media and telecommunications, optics, electronics, medical devices, imaging, as well as software and business methods, where he leverages his source code programming.

In addition to patent litigation, Michael also advises clients on patent portfolio development and strategies, patent validity and infringement, and clearance in connection with due diligence matters.

Daniel Kruger, Global Projects, Washington, D.C.

Dan’s practice centers on project development, construction and design, with a basis in all aspects of commercial real estate law. He has extensive experience drafting and negotiating engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, stand-alone agreements for design and construction services, and land acquisition and land use documents. Dan has a particular focus on railroad and railroad-adjacent infrastructure development and real property aspects of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) projects. He also regularly advises developers and owners of utility-scale power generating facilities, including several of the largest existing solar projects, as well as pipeline and cable carriers, manufacturing companies, hotels and residential real property developers.

Dan’s construction practice also involves negotiating and commenting on provisions in the contractor and professional agreement forms published by the American Institute of Architects, Royal Institute of British Architects and Joint Contracts Tribunal.

Allison Watkins Mallick, Litigation, San Francisco

Allison advises clients facing complex environmental challenges, focusing on litigation, regulatory advocacy, and compliance counseling. She assists represents companies and industry coalitions across multiple sectors, including energy, cement, manufacturing, chemical processing, and agricultural processing. Her work includes the defense of environmental permits for new projects and existing facilities, federal and citizen enforcement suits, class actions, and toxic tort claims.

Allison's work covers a wide variety of issues, including environmental justice and climate change. She helps develop solutions that work for clients and the communities in which they operate.  She has particular experience in air-related issues, having defended Clean Air Act enforcement cases actions and citizen suits, developed plans strategies for compliance with Regional Haze obligations, and drafted comments on over 50 EPA rulemakings under the Clean Air Act.

Joe Perry, Litigation, New York

Joe’s practice focuses on advising companies and individuals in white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, internal investigations and complex civil matters. Joe counsels clients in large-scale federal and state criminal investigations and has substantial experience representing clients in enforcement matters before the SEC, CFTC and other federal and state regulators.  He has meaningful trial and appellate experience in both federal and state courts.

Prior to joining Baker Botts, Joe was a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office where he conducted countless grand jury investigations and tried numerous cases to verdict.  Joe also clerked for the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, a former senior associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, advising on a variety of complex civil and criminal matters.

Joe has served as a member of the firm’s hiring committee, previously co-chaired the associate liaison committee, and maintains an active pro bono practice.

Harrison Rich, Intellectual Property, Dallas

Harrison helps clients navigate complex, high-stakes patent infringement disputes. His patent litigation experience spans competitor cases to defending against non-practicing entities, and he has represented both patent owners and accused infringers in cases resulting in favorable outcomes.

Harrison has litigated in many of the country's most popular patent venues, including the Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, Northern District of California, District of Delaware, and Northern District of Texas. He has experience handling all phases of a case, including pre-suit investigations through trial. Most recently, Harrison assisted a global network security company through a complex set of patent infringement cases and co-pending inter partes reviews.

Julie Rubenstein, Litigation, Washington, D.C.

For over a decade, Julie has built a career taking high-stakes cases to trial. Her trial experience spans multiple subject-matter areas, including securities fraud, antitrust, products liability, intellectual property, defamation, and breach of contract. Her industry experience is equally broad, including media and communications, sports, healthcare, and manufacturing. Julie recently helped Baker Botts secure a hung jury in a federal criminal healthcare fraud case and was on the trial team that helped achieve a blockbuster victory for firm client Liberty Media Corp. in a securities fraud trial.

Julie’s career is book-ended by her years at Baker Botts, in between which Julie spent several years practicing at a specialized trial boutique in Washington, D.C.

Charles Strecker, Litigation , Dallas

Charles represents public corporations, private companies, and individuals in state and federal courts throughout the country. His broad litigation practice includes complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, and professional liability matters with an emphasis on cases involving complex financial, accounting, and disclosure issues.  Charles also represents accounting firms, auditors, and tax specialists in connection with investigations conducted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the SEC and state regulators.

Charles was recognized by D Magazine as one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” in 2020.

Martha Thomsen, Litigation, Washington, D.C.

Martha is an experienced environmental litigator and advisor. Her litigation practice includes trial as well as appellate work, with a focus on complex litigation arising under a variety of federal and state environmental statutes. She has experience in highly technical suits involving waste and water issues, including various suits and a recent bench trial arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Martha also regularly advises clients on compliance with state and federal environmental laws and represents clients before environmental agencies. This work spans a variety of environmental statutes, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), wildlife, and state laws.

In 2021, Martha was recognized by Chambers USA as an environmental “Associate to Watch” and by Bloomberg Law as a “Fresh Face to Know in Environmental Law.”

Kim Tuthill White, Litigation, Houston

Kim advises clients on federal and state environmental regulatory compliance and represents them in environmental enforcement, litigation, permitting and transactional matters. Her environmental practice focuses on compliance counseling and enforcement defense for upstream and midstream oil and gas companies under state and federal air, water and waste environmental, oil and gas and pipeline safety regulations.

Kim has a particular focus on Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and sustainability reporting issues. She assists companies with developing, implementing and reporting on ESG initiatives to demonstrate environmental best practices and long-term environmental resiliency and value. She provides pipeline safety compliance counseling for companies' interstate and intrastate pipelines and gathering lines, under federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requirements and corresponding state regulations.

Megan LaDriere White, Intellectual Property, Dallas

Megan is a patent attorney who works closely with clients to develop and protect their intellectual property. Megan is experienced in all areas of patent law, including complex patent litigation, post-grant trials such as inter partes reviews, as well as patent prosecution and counseling. In federal courts across the country and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Megan litigates patent disputes and prosecutes patents relating to a diverse range of technologies including telecommunications, cellular, software, financial services, power generation and coal facilities, medical devices and health care, and online social networking and dating services.

Megan is recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star in Intellectual Property (Thomson Reuters), 2020-2021 and will be serving on the board of directors for the Junior League of Dallas for 2022-2023.

ABOUT BAKER BOTTS L.L.P.
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 bakerbotts.com.

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