Baker Botts secures Ashurst energy projects team for Singapore debut
Baker Botts, a US law firm, has opened an office in Singapore with a team of energy projects and transactional lawyers joining from Ashurst.
The opening of the Singapore office marks the firm's return to an on-the-ground presence in the Asia Pacific region after closing its bases in Hong Kong and Beijing in 2021 and 2020 respectively. The decision to shut the offices was made after careful consideration of the market.
According to John Martin, the Managing Partner of Baker Botts, the newly established Singapore office will leverage the firm's already "substantial" relationships in the region. This expansion aims to enhance Baker Botts' ability to offer comprehensive support to their global clients based in the United States while also assisting international clients with their inbound transactions in the United States.
Richard Guit, who recently joined from Ashurst's local office, will lead the newly established office in Singapore. He will be joined by fellow partners Daniel Reinbott and Michael Harrison, as well as special counsel Jessica Ham and Giles Ashman. Adding to the Singapore team is Lewis Jones, a global projects partner who has relocated from Baker Botts' London office, along with an associate.
Collectively, the team of lateral partners possesses comprehensive expertise spanning the entire energy and resources sector. Their knowledge encompasses a wide range of areas, from traditional natural gas and LNG projects to commodity-related work.
Additionally, they specialise in emerging developments in the energy transition field, such as low-carbon hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol, CO2 liquefaction, cross-border renewable energy imports, and associated infrastructure. Having worked on numerous projects across the Asia-Pacific region, the team also brings substantial experience in joint ventures (JVs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
Initially, the newly established office in Singapore will focus on providing energy transactional advice. However, Baker Botts has expressed its intention to expand its services in Singapore as the office continues to grow.
This expansion includes plans to incorporate private equity offerings into their portfolio. Furthermore, the firm aims to serve its global client base not only in the energy sector but also across industries such as technology, life sciences, and venture capital.
“With significant changes taking place in the energy market, and Asia’s dominance as a driver of global energy consumption and decarbonisation developments, Singapore is a critical office for the firm’s support of our global client base,” said Jason Bennett, department chair of Baker Botts’ global projects practice and co-head of its energy sector.
Bennett further emphasised that the Singapore office will serve as the central hub for Baker Botts' energy, infrastructure projects, project finance, and dispute resolution capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region. The office will collaborate closely with the firm's offices in the United States, London, and the Middle East to ensure seamless coordination and comprehensive support for clients.
Chambers recognises Baker Botts' energy practice for its strong global network of oil and gas experts and its expertise in transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters. As a Houston-based firm with a deep-rooted history in the energy sector, the team at Baker Botts has successfully served clients such as BHP, Transmission Developers, and CenterPoint Energy Resources in the United States.
Guit highlighted the exceptional quality of Baker Botts' energy practice, emphasising its premier status. He expressed excitement about the prospects of developing Singapore into a centre for cross-office collaboration. This strategic move will enable the firm to provide valuable support to clients across the Asia-Pacific region and tackle their most significant opportunities and challenges.