Refining and Petrochemical


Baker Botts has core strengths in energy, intellectual property and air quality environmental issues. As an international law firm focused on the energy industry and technology, Baker Botts brings to its downstream energy work the combined strengths of its deep knowledge of the energy industry; its environmental practice focused on air quality policy, permitting and enforcement and climate change and its Intellectual Property Practice with significant experience in downstream oil and gas and petrochemical processes and manufacturing.

We have over 150 lawyers, spanning almost all of our practice groups, whose primary focus is serving energy industry clients. Our lawyers have broad experience covering nearly every aspect of the downstream energy business, from refineries to petrochemical plants of all types, lubricants and additives and retail and distribution.

Transactional Practice
Unlike many law firms whose experience begins and ends with M&A and financing agreements, our transactional lawyers not only are fluent in public and private merger and acquisition agreements and joint venture agreements and credit and project financing documents, but also are well-versed in vital site-level agreements such as O&M agreements, shared services, utilities and facilities agreements among multiple site users and EPC contracts as well as commercial contracts such as feedstock supply, transportation, storage, terminalling and product sales agreements. Our lawyers routinely advise on domestic and cross-border public and private mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures ranging from full-function, multi-plant joint ventures to manufacturing joint ventures, technology joint ventures and sales and marketing joint ventures, and a variety of plant development and upgrade and expansion and co-generation projects.

Intellectual Property
Our intellectual property energy team comprises lawyers that hold at least one degree in chemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry and related fields. Over one-third of our energy IP lawyers hold advanced degrees in these disciplines. Our IP lawyers routinely handle patent prosecution, IP due diligence, patent portfolio and freedom to operate assessment, licensing and cross-licensing and infringement matters for refining, gas processing and liquefaction, pipeline operation, petrochemical manufacturing and catalysts. Baker Botts’ well-regarded copyright and trademark lawyers have advised clients with respect to their downstream retail operations and lubricants business.

We are at the forefront of understanding the environmental regulatory challenges that the downstream industry faces. Our environmental lawyers provide business-driven advice and advocacy to downstream energy clients in a responsible, proactive and cost-effective way. We have a focus on air quality environmental work. Approximately one-third of our environmental lawyers concentrate on advising our clients on virtually every aspect of federal and state air regulation and international air emission programs and strategies. Our Clean Air Act experience extends to counseling and permitting services, litigation, and advocacy efforts on behalf of individual clients and industry groups. We also have deep experience in water quality and solid waste permitting, enforcement and cleanup issues. Our lawyers routinely handle NEPA review and comprehensive environmental permitting for applications before numerous Federal and state agencies. We are counsel to several targeted multi-client coalitions aimed at shaping environmental policy.

We were an early pioneer in greenhouse gas emissions trading and continue to have a strong focus in the evolving Climate Change area. We are counseling numerous clients to help them in understanding the likely direction of U.S. policy, the impacts of carbon ceilings and potential federal legislation, including carbon tax and cap and trade proposals. We also counsel clients on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under existing laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and various state analogues.

Process Safety
We were the counsel to an independent blue-ribbon safety review panel investigating plant safety issues for a major international oil and gas company and have subsequently counseled many clients to help them strengthen their process safety systems and crisis management response. Baker Botts has a compelling combination of substantive experience and investigation capabilities to help our clients manage corporate crises of any kind. Our lawyers have helped our clients address difficult issues that arise during crises; including criminal enforcement. Through significant criminal investigation experience, we know both the governmental players and the criminal enforcement process.

Dispute Resolution
Our litigators and arbitration lawyers handle many significant matters for downstream energy clients in nearly every aspect of their businesses. We have significant experience in defending oil company franchisors in suits by dealers whose retail franchises were terminated or sold and in pricing decisions. Our experience is cross-border and we help our clients in international disputes in both arbitration forums and court and in government investigations.