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07/22/13

Baker Botts Strengthens Middle East Presence by Recruiting Big Team from Norton Rose


International law firm Baker Botts LLP has announced the arrival of an elite corporate and disputes practice group in their Middle East offices. The group that has made the lateral move includes 14 lawyers and a big number of support staff, which previously belonged to Norton Rose Fulbright LLP . According to a press release of Baker Botts, the group has accumulated experience of more than a century of practice in GCC countries. The joining group comprises eight former partners of Norton Rose, who specialize in a broad range of transactional and dispute matters. This team is expected to work from Baker Botts' offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

The group is led by veteran lawyer John Lonsberg, who is recognized as the leading force behind the establishment of Fulbright & Jaworski's presence in the Middle East. He joined Fulbright in 2005, and served as Partner In-charge for the Middle East practice at the law firm. Other partners making the lateral move with Lonsberg include Mark Bisch, Jonathan Sutcliffe, Joseph Colagiovanni, Hassan Elsayed, Richard Devine and Philip Punwar in Dubai, while Sam Eversman would be joining the Riyadh office of Baker Botts.

Speaking on the lateral hire coup Andrew Baker, Managing Partner at Baker Botts says, "This team -- considered 'go-to' choices for any business requiring legal counsel in the Middle East -- has extensive experience in the region over a wide range of industry segments and practice areas that goes back for more than 30 years."

Baker further informs that the lawyers in this group "are frequently referred to as 'the region's lawyers,' and we are pleased to have them join the firm and our Middle East team. This affirms our commitment to having a strong presence in the region and to support clients, whether based in the Middle East or elsewhere, regarding their business interests in the region."

The hiring of the group has increased the headcount of lawyers in Middle East offices of Baker Botts to 40, turning it into a dominant legal force in the region and having one of the largest teams among U.S. law firms in the region.

The new lawyers hired by Baker Botts specialize in a wide range of Middle East legal matters including regulatory and compliance, corporate and commercial transactions, project finance, local law across industries like energy, consumer products, anti-bribery, technology, defense, hospitality, construction, international arbitration and dispute resolution.

With regard to the team led by John Lonsberg, Jamie Baker, International Partner for Baker Botts, said that over the years they have become familiar with John and his partners' ability to successfully represent clients on transactions and disputes across the GCC countries. "It was always clear that we share similar approaches to the practice of law. We see a lot of synergy with the group and look forward to expanding the services we can offer our collective client base," he adds.

On his part, Lonsberg said that he saw the teams 30 years presence in the Middle East as complementing the development of Baker Botts in the region.

Baker Botts LLP

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