John Martin is Managing Partner Emeritus of Baker Botts and continues to help drive strategic initiatives for the firm. He served as Managing Partner of the firm from 2019 to 2023 and was a member of the Executive Committee from 2014 to 2023. Based in the Palo Alto office, Mr. Martin was the first Managing Partner in the firm's 183-year history to be resident outside of Texas.
Clients have told Chambers that Mr. Martin “has incredible technology expertise, an authoritative presence and a great ability to deal with senior executives;” is “hands-down one of the best outside counsels I have ever worked with;” and has “the reputation as a brilliant deal person.”
Shortly after his election as Managing Partner, Mr. Martin launched "Accelerate" - a multi-year strategy to renew the firm by strengthening its value proposition for clients and sharpening its differentiation in the market. The strategy also focused on reinforcing the distinctive culture of the firm, emphasizing its core values of professional excellence and collaboration. Under Mr. Martin’s leadership, the firm improved its financial performance, strengthened its financial foundation, achieved strategic clarity, reinforced its culture of high performance, and modernized its business model.
Over the course of Mr. Martin’s term as Managing Partner, the firm enjoyed more than a 57% increase in profits per equity partner, a 26% increase in revenue per lawyer, and a 58% increase in its internal adjusted earnings per share. In 2022, the firm was one of four AmLaw 100 firms to achieve double-digit growth in RPL in 2022, according to The American Lawyer.
Under his leadership, the firm opened an office in Singapore, representing a major step in executing its strategy to leverage its global energy brand, sharpening its differentiation, and enhancing the firm's ability to meet the growing demands of its energy clients worldwide.
Further, in October 2022 the firm was recognized for the fourth straight year by Diversity Lab as "Mansfield Certified-Plus," for achieving representation of at least 30% women and diverse lawyers in several key areas - including significant leadership roles, inclusion in formal pitches, lateral recruitment, and equity partner promotions and representation.
A 39-year veteran of Baker Botts, Mr. Martin has served in various leadership roles, including Chair of the Technology Sector Committee, Partner-in-Charge of the firm's Palo Alto office and the firmwide Partner-in-Charge of Recruiting. Upon graduating from law school in 1984, he joined the firm's Houston office and relocated to the firm's growing Dallas office in 1988 and was promoted to partner in 1992. He relocated to Palo Alto in 2013 to lead the firm's California operations from Silicon Valley and was instrumental in opening the firm's San Francisco office in 2016 in response to increasing demands of the firm's growing client base.
Mr. Martin has deep experience as a trusted advisor representing clients in mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, capital markets and complex technology transactions. This includes representing both purchasers and sellers in public company and private M&A transactions, including cross-border transactions, business carve-outs and divestitures, recapitalizations, corporate reorganizations, spin-offs, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Mr. Martin also has substantial private equity and venture capital experience.
Selected comments by clients about Mr. Martin, as reported by Chambers & Partners (2004-2016), include:
- “the person I turn to if I have a difficult question”
- “immensely creative . . . the deal was very difficult to structure and he came forward with the creative ideas that helped us complete it”
- “very clear communicator and maintains focus on the important parts of the deal. . . very good in the give and take of points - he knows the points substantively and is very effective”
- “innate understanding of his clients’ business makeup”
- “his knowledge is top-flight, but his ability to communicate and guide negotiations is nothing short of amazing”
- “terrific negotiating skills”
- “knack for understanding the business itself and making it primary to the transaction”
- “talent for keeping things focused and putting together deals that really work”
- “strong on technical issues and he keeps sight of the bigger picture when negotiating - people listen to him”
- “the rigor and experience he and his team bring to bear in analyzing transactions is invaluable”
- “firm but collaborative style and understands the dynamics of a transaction”