Baker Botts

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Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts
Headquarters One Shell Plaza
Downtown Houston, Texas, United States
No. of offices 15
No. of attorneys 700
Major practice areas General practice, Corporate, Environmental, Global Projects, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Tax
Revenue NA
Date founded 1840
Company type Limited Liability Partnership
Slogan Deeper understanding. Better solutions.
Website
www.bakerbotts.com
One Shell Plaza contains the Baker Botts headquarters

Baker Botts L.L.P. is a major United States-based international law firm of around 700 lawyers, with a long, prominent history and significant political connections, claiming more than half of the Fortune 100 companies among its clients.[1] Headquartered in One Shell Plaza in Downtown Houston, Texas,[2][3] the firm has a major list of energy related clients. It is said to be the second-oldest law firm west of the Mississippi,[4] with Rose Law Firm of Little Rock, Arkansas (founded November 1, 1820)[5] laying claim to the title of oldest.

History[edit]

The firm traces its history to 1840 in the Republic of Texas, with the beginning of legal practice by founding partner Peter W. Gray. Gray represented the Allen Brothers, founders of the city of Houston. Confederate Colonel Walter Browne Botts (from Fredericksburg, Virginia) joined the firm in 1865, and it became Gray and Botts. In 1872, James Addison Baker (a.k.a. Judge Baker; 1821–1897; from Huntsville, Texas) joined the firm and the name was changed to Gray, Botts & Baker. Gray left the partnership in 1874, to join the Supreme Court of Texas, and the two remaining partners, Walter Browne Botts and James A. Baker, renamed the firm Baker & Botts. Peter Gray also died in 1874. Judge Baker's son, also James Addison Baker (a.k.a. Captain Baker and James A. Baker, Sr.; 1857–1941) joined the firm as a clerk in 1877, a lawyer in 1881, and became partner in 1887, at which time the name became Baker, Botts and Baker.

In 1896, Captain Baker, personal attorney for Texas millionaire William Marsh Rice (Rice became a client of Peter Gray in the 1850s), drew up a new will for Rice and was the will's executor. In 1900, Rice was poisoned in his bed by his valet, Charles F. Jones, and his New York City lawyer, Albert T. Patrick, a sensational crime that made national headlines. Captain Baker was a key witness and helped investigate the murder after Patrick produced a will that gave him control of the 5 million dollars in 1904. Baker got the will he drew up entered as evidence in the case, and it was subsequently proved that Patrick had forged Rice's signature on the will he submitted. The case was not settled until 1910, and by that time the estate had grown to almost 10 million dollars. When the intent of Rice's will was finally executed, it led to the establishment of the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Art, and Science, which is now called Rice University.[6] Captain Baker was the first chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees. Rice University has maintained ties to Baker Botts since that time.

Jules Henri Tallichet joined the firm in 1909, bringing with him Southern Pacific Railroad, his major client at Sam R. Fisher in Austin, Texas.

Captain Baker's son, James Addison Baker, Jr. (1892–1973), also joined the firm in 1919 and his classmate and friend Henry Malcolm Lovett (son of the first president of Rice University, Edgar Odell Lovett) joined in 1924. Walter H. Walne served as managing parter from 1926 to 1933.

After leaving public service, former Chief of Staff in President Ronald Reagan's first administration and United States Secretary of State James Addison Baker, III (a.k.a. James Baker) joined the firm as a senior partner in 1993. He maintained two offices in Washington, being also affiliated as a partner at the Carlyle Group (with the title of senior counsel).[7] Prior to government service, Mr. Baker had worked for the rival Houston law firm Andrews & Kurth[8] to avoid suspicions of nepotism.[4]

In 2000, the firm renamed itself Baker Botts.[9]

Notable partners and employees[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baker Botts corporate website Retrieved on August 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Baker Botts hires corporate partner." Austin Business Journal. Wednesday January 21, 2004. Retrieved on August 25, 2010.
  3. ^ "Houston, Texas." Baker Botts. Retrieved on August 25, 2010. "One Shell Plaza 910 Louisiana Street | Houston | Texas..."
  4. ^ a b Williams, Marjorie. "Jim Baker is smooth, shrewd, tough and coolly ambitious. That's why Washington loves him", The Washington Post, January 29, 1989.
  5. ^ http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=2241
  6. ^ The Life of William Marsh Rice
  7. ^ Vise, David A.. "Former Secretary of State Baker Joins Carlyle Group", The Washington Post, March 11, 1993.
  8. ^ Torry, Saundra. "As the Revolving Door Turns - Now You See Them, Now You Don't", The Washington Post, March 22, 1993.
  9. ^ History - Baker Botts
  10. ^ White House press release
  11. ^ Bryce, Robert. - "It's a Baker Botts World". - The Nation. - September 23, 2004.
  12. ^ "Retired Supreme Court Justice Joe Greenhill dies in Austin". Austin-American Statesman. February 11, 2011. 

External links[edit]