Michael S. Goldberg

Practice Group Chair - International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (Firmwide) Partner



P: +1.713.229.1401 F: +1.713.229.2801

New York

P: +1.212.408.2579
Mike Goldberg Photo

Michael Goldberg "[c]an persuasively and cogently argue something in a very short space of time no matter what the pressure...he's a true advocate; one of the best."

Chambers USA 2019

Michael S. Goldberg is a senior litigation partner at Baker Botts, with extensive trial experience in complex commercial, governmental and international arbitration matters. He is co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution section (international arbitration and litigation).

Michael Goldberg "is noted for his "clear, persuasive and compelling oral arguments.'"

Legal 500 2019

During his thirty-five years of practice, Mr. Goldberg has served as lead counsel in litigation matters as diverse as antitrust/competition, banking/finance, bankruptcy, commercial, construction, corporate acquisitions, defamation, discrimination, energy, environmental, ERISA, FCPA and other criminal investigations, intellectual property, partnership, premises liability, products liability, qui tam and real estate.

Mr. Goldberg's experience extends to a broad array of international matters involving clients, adversaries, and/or issues in Angola, Armenia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Yemen.

Mr. Goldberg has served as general counsel for professional sports teams such as the NBA's Houston Rockets. He has also served as a council member of the Council of Legal Opportunities (CLEO), an organization that works with minority and low-income students to help them prepare for and attend law school. He is an Adjunct Professor of International Arbitration at the University of Texas School of Law.

Recommended as a “Leading Lawyer” for International Arbitration in The Legal 500 U.S., 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019, and inducted to Initial Hall of Fame in 2018.

Presented the Light of Justice in Action Award by the Texas Defender Service, December 2017

Recognized as a "Trailblazer" for White Collar Litigation by The National Law Journal, 2015

Michael has been described as "strategic and business oriented" and “is highly regarded for his representation of sovereigns and corporates in a variety of high-value international arbitrations globally." – Chambers USA 2018

“’Terrific litigator’ Michael Goldberg of Baker Botts LLP is a hugely experienced trial lawyer who is completely at home advising clients across a wide range of highly contentious international litigation and arbitration matters.” – Chambers Global 2017

Related Experience


  • International Arbitration – lead counsel in arbitrations under the AAA, ICDR, CPR, ICC, LCIA, PCA, SCC and ZCC
  • Russian Federation and key officials – lead counsel on several litigation matters brought against the Russian Federation and various Ministers
  • Gazpromneft – lead counsel on a multibillion-dollar bankruptcy filing by Yukos Oil Company
  • Ford Motor Company – national counsel for 20 years, handling a wide variety of high-stakes litigation matters for the company
  • Kia Motors Corporation – lead counsel in an international (ICC) arbitration for Kia Motors Corp. in a dispute over a joint venture in Brazil
  • Hines Interests Limited Partnership – lead counsel for 20 years on a wide variety of real estate and construction matters
  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (Brazil) – lead U.S. counsel on various commercial disputes

Governmental Relations

  • Negotiations with Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission officials regarding criminal investigations and international disputes
  • Negotiations with mayors, city councils and governors regarding financial subsidies for business relocations
  • Negotiations with Chinese government officials regarding the release of international star Yao Ming to play in the NBA
  • Relationships with several political leaders around the world
  • Negotiations with the Houston mayor and city council for a $300 million arena complex
  • Former co-head of firm’s Political Action Committees

International Transactional Matters

  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and Techint International Construction Corp. – consortium bid with Enron and IPL for a BOT bid in excess of $1 billion for expansion of the TransEcuadorian Pipeline
  • Mitsubishi Corporation – long-term styrene supply contract secured by a mortgage on the styrene plant
  • Mitsubishi Corporation – asset purchase of a local U.S. engineering company
  • Local U.S. company – advice regarding contractual issues with a manufacturer in India
  • Construtora Norberto Odebrecht – consortium construction bid with Bechtel to Shell for the $3 billion development of the “Camisea” gas fields


  • Leslie Alexander, Former Owner of the Houston Rockets
  • Tilman Fertitta, CEO Landry's, Inc. and Owner of the Houston Rockets
  • Jeff Starzec, General Counsel, EnVen Energy Corp.
  • Mario Garnero, President, Brasilinvest Empreendimentos e Participacoes S.A.
  • Bernt Netland, President & CEO, Intercontinental Terminals Company, LLC

Awards & Community

Chambers Global 2018 – International Arbitration – USA
"Practice chair Michael Goldberg maintains a global reputation for excellence in international arbitration work, offering experience in disputes involving clients and investments across Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America."

Chambers USA 2017
Michael Goldberg "maintains a global reputation for excellence in international arbitration." He is praised for his "deft touch" and is described as "tremendous."

Legal 500 US 2017 – Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration
Michael Goldberg is "strategic, personable and highly experienced"

Chambers 2016 – International Arbitration – USA
Michael Goldberg has "remarkable success in very complicated matters."

Legal 500 2015 – International Arbitration
Michael Goldberg "is simply a winner" and "has the unique ability to invoke confidence with the client, which is even more impressive when you consider that the clients include distinguished government officials."

Chambers Europe 2015
"Based in the USA, Michael Goldberg of Baker Botts LLP is highly regarded for his experience in representing the Russian government and its key officials in high-profile litigation and arbitration matters abroad."

Michael Goldberg is a past Chair of the Holocaust Museum Houston.





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