Baker Botts L.L.P., dating from 1840, is a leading international law firm with offices in Abu Dhabi, Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Palo Alto, Riyadh and Washington, D.C.. With approximately 750 lawyers, Baker Botts provides a full range of legal services to international, national and regional clients.
- Business Type:
- Law firm
- Industry Type:
- Banking & Finance / Insurance / Legal
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
Baker Botts is an international law firm with 700 lawyers and a network of 15 offices around the globe. Based on our broad experience and our in-depth knowledge of our clients’ industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors.
Baker Botts has earned the privilege of working on some of the most fascinating and complex legal matters in the world. Throughout our 170-year history, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence.
Our firm has a long, distinguished tradition of service to our clients, tracing our history back to the 1840s. During the earliest days of Houston, Baker Botts represented the burgeoning industries of cotton merchants, brokers and railroads.
Today, Baker Botts has offices around the globe. Since the 1840s, we have served leading industries, organizations and individuals, while staying at the forefront of emerging technologies.
Deeper Understanding. Better Solutions.
It’s the right thing to do.
We believe in giving back to our communities. We volunteer and donate time and resources to hundreds of organizations. Our lawyers and staff are active board members and leaders within their communities.
Baker Botts is involved in several local schools and education programs. We partner with schools, Partners in Education Programs and A Community for Education or (ACE) to tutor elementary school children and serve as mentors to students who need positive role models. We have helped increase test scores, assisted families from these volunteer schools during the holidays, and provided students with opportunities to learn about the legal system.
We help build houses for those in need through Habitat for Humanity and the Buildable Hours program. We raise money and participate in various walks/runs such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The firm regularly supports women and minority bar associations and other organizations that promote diversity in the legal profession, and many of our lawyers are members of, and serve in leadership positions in such organizations. We participate with various Bar Associations, groups that specifically support women and minorities and those that support access to legal services for under-represented constituents.
In addition to our involvement with charities, Baker Botts is a long standing supporter of the arts. Arts organizations are at the forefront of cultural progress; they enrich our cities with innovative and inspiring performances and exhibits.
Involvement with our communities and organizations brings valuable perspectives, experiences and talents to the firm, allowing us to be more creative, effective and ultimately successful in the practice of law and service to our clients.
As we look to the future, it is important to revisit the past.
Baker Botts traces its history to the earliest days of the Republic of Texas. Peter Gray founded the firm in 1840 with its beginnings in the railroads that were starting to crisscross the young nation. In 1874, Mr. Gray left the firm called Gray, Botts & Baker for the Supreme Court of Texas. After his departure, his two partners, Colonel W.B. Botts and Judge James A. Baker, changed the firm name to Baker & Botts. Over the years, the name changed slightly, becoming Baker Botts L.L.P. in 2000.
There are several events that catapulted the firm to national prominence:
- The Galveston hurricane of 1900 destroyed what was then the largest city and port in Texas. Commerce moved inland to Houston, which replaced Galveston as the state’s largest city.
- Oil was discovered in 1901 near Houston, creating dozens of companies that relied on Baker Botts as their legal counsel.
- William Marsh Rice, an American businessman and founder of Rice University, was found dead in his Madison Avenue apartment. A will left his entire estate to a New York lawyer to administer as a secret trust. Captain James Baker (the second of five lineal descendants of founder, Judge James A. Baker) went to New York and determined that Mr. Rice did not die of natural causes but was murdered, that the will was a forgery, and that his butler did it!
Captain Baker served as the first chairman of the board of trustees of Rice University, founded with Mr. Rice’s saved fortune. A Baker Botts partner has been on that board virtually ever since.
A succession of Baker Botts lawyers have carried on the impressive accomplishments of firm founders and assisted in the development of the City of Houston, advised presidents during times of war and founded the Texas Law Review. We hired our first female lawyers in the 1920s and embraced the expanding role of lawyers in business resulting from new government regulations generated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation.
Today, Baker Botts has approximately 700 lawyers in 15 cities around the globe from which we serve our clients with the highest ethical and professional standards, dedication to their business needs and the most collegial association among its lawyers and staff.
Baker Botts’ vision of the future was eloquently expressed by Judge Hiram M. Garwood, a partner in the early 20th century, who said of the firm:
“I have always thought of it, not as a mere temporary association of individuals, however pleasant or however profitable, but as a permanent institution, just as Harvard or the Bank of England is an institution, with a strength, a life and individuality made up from, yet greater than, all or any of its members, in that the accumulated knowledge and achievements of its members, past and present, become the common capital of all to preserve, increase and transmit to those who shall come after us.
At Baker Botts, our lawyers take great pride in their legal skills and all are expected to be exemplary professionals with consummate experience in their particular disciplines. We strive to provide an environment where all can fully apply their skills to help the firm excel in delivering legal services and understanding our clients’ most complex business issues.
We adhere to the highest ethical standards. We know that our reputation for high quality legal services and integrity is our most valued asset. We maintain an approach to our practice that enhances our ability to identify ethical issues as they arise, and we pride ourselves in having the fortitude to do what is right.
Our heritage encompasses more than 170 years. Providing excellent lawyering during that period has consistently given us the privilege of working on some of the most fascinating and important legal matters in the world. Our heritage creates a strong sense of stewardship and ensures that our lawyers and staff alike look at generations past and consider future generations when making decisions about our practice.
We believe in giving something back to the communities in which we live and work. We encourage our lawyers and staff to be actively involved in pro bono, charitable, diversity and other community activities because it helps them to develop as better people and professionals and because, quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.
Finally, we like each other, respect one another and enjoy working together in a collegial atmosphere. We believe this is reflected in the quality of our work and in the productive relationships we foster.
We are proud of our clients and the work we do for them. Our values and culture are very important to us.
Weaving a stronger fabric.
Baker Botts is committed to fostering diversity in the firm and the legal profession. Diversity threads valuable perspectives, experiences and talents throughout the firm, thereby allowing us to be more creative, effective and ultimately successful. Baker Botts does not tolerate discrimination in any form, whether on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity or any another category protected by state or federal law.
Our diversity efforts have gained important recognition. We have been the recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award for the South/Southwest Region. The Sager Award is presented annually to law firms that have demonstrated sustained commitment to improve the advancement of minority lawyers. In 2011, the Gulf Coast Advisory Board, a member council of the Texas Diversity Council, presented Baker Botts with the “Corporate Commitment Award” in recognition of the firm’s “extraordinary and unfailing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and business community.”
Additionally, each year, we are ranked among the top law firms for diversity and are included on several external diversity indices. Every year, since 2004, Baker Botts has ranked among the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity on Multicultural Law magazine’s annual survey. We are also consistently ranked among the top 100 law firms on Minority Law Journal/American Lawyer’s annual Diversity Scorecard. We have also received high marks , including perfect scores of 100, on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Index and Best Places to Work Survey, which ranks organizations for policies, practices and benefits for LGBT employees.
We partner with and support numerous organizations that promote diversity in the legal profession, including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Bar Association, National Hispanic Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and National Association of Women Lawyers.
Giving back. Moving forward.
Baker Botts has long been committed to the communities in which we live and work. Helping those in need is a big part of that commitment. Each year, we provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal services to a broad array of causes, including:
- Adoption/child custody cases
- Civil rights cases
- Constitutional law issues
- Death penalty cases
- Family law issues
- Non-profit agency work
- Children and families in need
- Contract advice
- Corporate and tax counsel
- Community development
Baker Botts encourages lawyers to devote time to pro bono legal work. Pro bono clients are on par with other clients--providing the full resources of the firm and the same level of client service. This work is valued on an equal basis with legal services provided to fee-paying clients.
On average, we spend nearly 50,000 hours on pro bono causes every year, including a number of life-changing cases that have helped exonerate the innocent, assist the homeless, advocate for children at risk and families in need.
For example, in 2010 we helped a Salvadoran woman who escaped from a trafficking ring be reconciled with her family after nearly three years. Golda Semeno was lured to Mexico with the promise of work. Upon her arrival in Mexico, her new employer held her hostage and demanded money from her family. Baker Botts was able to secure visas and other necessary paperwork to safely reunite her with her family.
We also helped the largest Catholic lay volunteer program in the country, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), complete a multi-state merger for the JVC that included legal filings in five states, the incorporation of the new organization and assistance in managing a number of labor and employment issues. In all, about 250 JVs each year work in the United States and in seven countries around the world. As a result of the new entity, JVC is able to provide its services to those in need more efficiently.
The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation honored the firm for defending them in a critical property dispute with the City of Houston. The City stated that it intended to sell the real estate on which the Center was located, despite the fact that the Center held a 99-year lease, still in effect. Baker Botts successfully prevented the City from selling the property, which would have disrupted the lives of almost a thousand mentally challenged people and their families.
We are involved in educational pro bono initiatives as well, such as the annual Invention Convention, a competitive event sponsored by the Richardson Independent School District in Texas. Each year, students from kindergarten through high school develop their own invention, along with a marketing plan to sell it. Since 1991, Baker Botts has sponsored and judged the contest. Once the judges determine the “Most Patentable Invention” award, we work with the winner on a pro bono basis, helping him or her file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and cover all expenses involved in filing the application.