News Releases

Baker Botts Promotes 10 Lawyers to Special Counsel


HOUSTON, March 1, 2024 – Baker Botts, L.L.P., a leading international energy, technology and life sciences law firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of 10 attorneys to the position of special counsel, effective March 1, 2024.

“Our newest special counsel demonstrate the highest level of professional excellence, core to our firm, by rendering highly strategic and insightful advice, outstanding client service, and a range of valuable contributions to our firm and the communities which we serve,” said Baker Botts Managing Partner, Danny David.

The new special counsel are listed below, with brief biographies that follow.

Sofia Doudountsaki – Antitrust & Competition, Brussels

Sofia advises on all aspects of EU competition law, including EU and cross-border merger control, abuse of dominance, cartel investigations, and antitrust compliance issues. She also advises clients on the impact of national foreign direct investments (FDI) screening rules and the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) on their transactions and investments.  Prior to joining Baker Botts, Sofia worked in the Brussels office of another international law firm and as a Law Clerk (“Référendaire”) at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. She speaks English, French, and Greek.

Emily Heasley – Private Clients, Houston

Emmie’s practice focuses on estate planning and estate administration for extremely high net worth clients (most of whom have family-owned businesses), with a particular focus on implementing strategies to save federal gift and estate taxes and provide for business succession. Emmie manages the preparation of wills and trusts, lifetime transfers of assets, analysis of tax issues, and the restructuring of family-owned businesses.

Paige Laborde – Environmental, Safety and Incident Response, Houston

Paige has extensive experience representing clients in response to investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with a focus on Process Safety Management (PSM) and Clean Air Act Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. She also advises clients in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), state and local regulatory agencies, and public service commissions.

Stephen O'Donohue – Intellectual Property, New York

Stephen’s practice focuses on high-tech intellectual property litigation matters, in particular patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims in federal court and the International Trade Commission. Stephen has taken numerous cases from complaint through trial and appeal in matters involving a wide array of technologies that include semiconductor design and manufacturing, laser ophthalmic surgery equipment, LED illumination lens design, graphics processing and 3-D rendering, automobiles, home exercise equipment, and speech recognition software.

Michael Portillo – Corporate, Austin

Michael represents entrepreneurs and emerging companies in the technology, renewable energy, and life sciences industries at all stages, from formation and seed financing through development of the business and venture capital financings to the liquidity event.  Michael provides advice and support on governance matters, day-to-day operations and a variety of transactions, including financings, mergers and acquisitions, technology transfers and strategic partnerships. In addition to his company-side work, Michael also has significant experience representing venture capital and strategic investors in early and growth-stage financings.

Ashwat Rishi – Intellectual Property, New York

Ashwat's practice includes preparation and prosecution of patents; conducting intellectual property due diligence, patentability, validity, and freedom-to-operate assessments; and IP licensing and transactional matters. He has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting complex patent portfolios in the U.S. and in major markets abroad, covering a wide range of technological fields, including medical devices, manufacturing equipment and processes, industrial machines, consumer products, and mechanical devices. Ashwat has particular experience in developing and managing strategic patent portfolios based on competitive intelligence, taking into account defensive and offensive strategies.

Matthew Sheridan – Litigation, Houston

Matt guides clients through the entirety of complex disputes. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a range of high-stakes, complex commercial matters in both state and federal courts and in arbitration within the energy, chemical, and power industries. Matt has extensive experience defending claims for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA, including class actions. He also represents companies in a broad range of commercial litigation, such as securities litigation, consumer claims, personal injury, and business litigation involving fraud and contract claims.

Michael Silliman – Intellectual Property, Houston

Michael practices in all areas of intellectual property law, including patent and trade secret litigation, adversarial proceedings at the USPTO (including inter partes review), patent prosecution, and technology transactions. He also counsels clients on patent portfolio management, freedom-to-operate analyses, and licensing strategies. Michael advises clients on matters involving a broad array of technologies, including energy tech, renewables, oil & gas, computer systems, AI, flash memory, software, electrical devices, and clean energy. He also assists clients in the IP-related aspects of corporate and technology transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, joint development arrangements, licensing, contracting and employment arrangements.

Costa Smith – Corporate, London

Costa advises on a wide range of corporate matters, with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity transactions in the technology and infrastructure sectors. Costa has particular experience in digital infrastructure transactions, acting for a range of operators, hyperscalers and financial sponsors (such as private equity investors and infrastructure funds) with respect to telecoms infrastructure, data centers and smart cities infrastructure. The transactions on which Costa advises are often cross-border in nature.

Andrew Wilson – Intellectual Property, Washington, D.C.

Andrew's practice focuses on high-tech patent litigation and transactions, with a particular emphasis on software. He has experience with complex intellectual property issues involving the relationship between open source and proprietary software, including in cloud-hosted products (SaaS), distributed software products, and machine-learning and artificial intelligence systems. Andrew frequently practices before U.S. Federal District Courts, the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), and Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Exclusion Order Enforcement Branch (EOEB) in patent litigation matters involving software-related inventions and other intellectual property rights pertaining to software. His prior experience as a software developer further aids his ability to develop effective strategies for clients.

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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