‘With the addition of Jonathan and Philip, we add two more quality partners with years of experience representing clients in complex arbitration and dispute matters.’

-- Michael Goldberg



Michael Goldberg is co-chair of Baker Botts’ International Arbitration and Disputes resolution group.










Middle East Disputes Lawyers A Perfect Match for Baker Botts

Editor's Note: This is one in a series of Q&As with Baker Botts partners on significantly enhancing Baker Botts’ Middle East practice by combining its existing practice with the acquisition of one of the most significant practices in the Middle East.



How was Baker Botts able to secure the highly-respected disputes skills of the team led by Jonathan Sutcliffe and Philip Punwar?


MG: We have been looking to expand our international dispute resolution (IDR) practice for some time. IDR is a very hot area for the firm, so expansion has been actively pursued, particularly with respect to the Middle East. Interestingly enough, as we looked to identify arbitration practitioners in the area, our initial list of disputes lawyers in the Middle East had Jonathan and Philip at the top. In a remarkable stroke of fate, at the same time we completed our list, their group became available and they reached out to us. This was a match that was meant to happen!


How does this Middle East team fit into your group?


MG: Our IDR group works as one group throughout all of our 14 worldwide offices. Thus, they join us today fully integrated as part of the Baker Botts IDR team. Our philosophy is to put our best lawyers on a case depending on the facts, the region and location of the matter. With the addition of these lawyers, we have added partners and associates with many years of experience representing clients in complex arbitration and dispute matters. They are a marvelous addition, not only for our clients in the Middle East, but for clients we represent throughout all of our offices.


What is unique about this team?


MG: Without question we limit ourselves in recruiting laterals since we have extremely high standards for quality of work product and client service. We also want to make sure we have not just quality in terms of ability, but also quality in terms of personality. Jonathan and Philip, and their team, fit in perfectly with our culture of acting as a team with the overriding goal being to do what is best for the client, not what is best for an individual lawyer or office. That is our philosophy and attitude, and it is one which the team joining us shares. They will fit in seamlessly with our IDR group.


How do their practices mesh with your group’s practice? 


MG:  These are quality lawyers who have handled various large and complicated disputes. Their experience in construction and energy, just to name a couple of areas, is right in line with our clients’ needs. Given our robust practice, this addition adds further capability for us, and our platform will provide them with significant growth potential. Truly a win-win transaction. 



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