Baker Botts Opens Shop in Beijing

With the opening of its Beijing office Thursday, Baker Botts L.L.P. established its second China office to complement its Asian regional hub in Hong Kong. Baker Botts now has 11 offices worldwide.

"How and where China acquires and develops its energy and mineral resources will be one of the great commercial themes of this century," said Baker Botts' Managing Partner Walt Smith. "Early on, we recognized the need for our lawyers to interact on a regular basis with government officials and state-owned enterprises in Beijing. Our 2005 Hong Kong office opening carried with it the promise of a presence in China's capital, and we are pleased to open in Beijing today."

According to John Kuzmik, head of the firm's China practice, "International and domestic financial resources aggregate in Hong Kong, but Beijing is where China's high-level business decisions are made. For infrastructure and energy projects, as well as for cross-border debt and equity transactions, a strong Beijing presence can be critical." Kuzmik is a leading China specialist, with more than 18 years' experience in Beijing and Hong Kong advising multinational corporations, developers, investors and lenders on matters involving China.

Libin Zhang, a partner resident in Beijing, will assist in introducing Baker Botts' global technology and litigation practices in China. Zhang has been advising clients on trading with and investing in China for more than 15 years.

"Our Beijing office includes practitioners with a range of expertise," Zhang said. "In addition to assisting multinational clients with their business in China, we will also continue to assist Chinese companies with international interests and aspirations."

During the last couple of years, Baker Botts has worked on many cross-market and unique legal issues related to China's energy industry. For example, the firm recently served as legal advisor to New XCL-China, LLC in connection with a transfer of upstream energy interests involving Sinochem Petroleum Limited, and represented Lyondell Chemical Company on its joint venture with China's Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co., which comprised a unique technology transaction.

Baker Botts has represented many of the world's leading energy companies on major projects in Asia for more than three decades. From its strategically placed Asian base in Hong Kong, Baker Botts is positioned to guide its clients through Asia's rapid economic development and increased demand for energy, resources and finance. China continues to dominate Asia's meteoric rise and the firm's Hong Kong and Beijing offices have built a strong and diverse practice that delivers sophisticated and time sensitive expertise on resource intensive transactions in China.

Baker Botts L.L.P., founded in 1840, is a leading international law firm with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Riyadh and Washington. With approximately 750 lawyers, Baker Botts provides a full range of legal services to regional, national and international clients.