Legal Business Blogs

70 years’ experience: Hogan Lovells adds Baker Botts disputes trio in Houston

Hogan Lovells has tapped Baker Botts’ disputes team in Houston with the hire of three partners with almost 70 years’ combined experience at the firm, including the former head of the Houston office.

Houston-based partners Maria Boyce, Jennifer Smith, and Cristina Rodriguez all leave Baker Botts to join Hogan Lovells as it expands its litigation, arbitration and employment practice group.

Boyce, who focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation, spent 27 years at Baker, becoming partner in 1997. She became the department head of litigation in 2002, and then partner in charge of the Houston office in 2007 which she ran for six years before being elected as member of the executive committee in 2009.

Smith, who is qualified in England and Wales, leaves the firm after 23 years, having served as deputy head of the firm’s litigation department for seven years. Her primary focus is international arbitration with experience in cross-border disputes across the energy, petrochemicals, shipping and technology industries.

Rodriguez departs Baker Botts after 19 years, during which she was a founding member of the firm’s diversity committee since 2004. She has experience of professional liability, commercial, securities and employment litigation and her practice includes advising employers on the handling of sensitive internal investigations and the defence of employment litigation.

Hogan Lovells chief executive Stephen Immelt said: ‘As Houstonians with global practices and perspectives, Maria, Jennifer, and Cristina are the kind of market leaders who will add to our team. Houston is critical for many of our energy clients in Texas and international clients in Latin America and beyond.’

Hogan Lovells has this year expanded in various jurisdictions internationally. The firm established a presence in Australia with Allens partners Nicky Lester and Tim Lester spearheading the launch in Sydney and Perth respectively in March, and also expanded its Tokyo practice with a corporate hire from local boutique in April.