Baker Botts is expected to announce next week that up to nine lawyers – three of them based in Texas – are joining the law firm’s environmental and workplace safety practice, The Texas Lawbook has learned.
The nine environmental attorneys have been partners in the Austin, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. offices of Chicago-based Katten Muchin.
With these hires, Baker Botts will now have more than 40 lawyers in its environmental law practice group and more than 725 attorneys worldwide.
Katten Muchin, which has been expanding aggressively in Texas, is planning to close its Austin office, which has only two lawyers. Michelle Apodaca, an of counsel in Katten’s Austin office who practices healthcare law, is remaining with Katten and will work remotely.
The Katten partners joining Baker Botts in Texas are:
- Greg Dillard, a University of Texas School of Law graduate who has served as the firm’s Houston managing partner. Dillard, according to his bio, has “a wide range of litigation experience before administrative law judges at OSHA, BSEE and other state and federal agencies. After a 20-day trial in one case, he earned the dismissal of all 42 willful citations and a decrease in penalties from $2.9 million to $7,000.”
- Scott Elliott, a partner in Houston and also a UT Law School alum, represents energy companies, chemical operations and automakers in a wide array of environmental, health and safety regulatory matters.
- Danny Worrell, a University of Houston Law Center graduate and a former geologist for Arco Oil and Gas, mostly represents manufacturers is a variety of environmental litigation and regulatory matters.
The lawyers are expected to start at Baker Botts on Monday.
Katten has tripled its presence in Texas during the past 18 months and now has 39 lawyers operating in the state.
“We have greatly enjoyed working with our departing colleagues over the past several years, and we wish them well in their new endeavors,” said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey.
Baker Botts declined to comment specifically on the new partners joining its firm, but it released this statement:
“We are always in the market to enhance our premier environmental, health and safety crisis response capabilities. We will continue to add talent that provides the strategic and cultural fit required to sustain the exemplary level of business and legal judgment that our clients expect from us in their most high-profile and sensitive EHS matters.”