Baker Botts boosts disputes capability with Squire Sanders hire

Squire Sanders partner Chris Caulfield has left the firm to join the London office of Baker Botts.

Caulfield, who led Squire Sanders’ export control practice in the UK, trained at legacy firm Hammonds nearly 11 years ago.

He joins the US firm today (5 March) with plans to expand the litigation practice and export control group, the two areas Caulfield will be head.

The move follows the appointment of London head Steve Wardlaw, an energy lawyer who formerly headed Baker Botts’ Moscow office (17 September 2012). At the time of his appointment Wardlaw said he aimed to build the office’s international arbitration, asset finance and debt capital markets along with other areas.

“I’d like to take the office to a size that is satisfactory for a US firm in London,” said Wardlaw when he assumed the position. “We’re very cautious about growth but I’d like to see us at up around 70 to 80 lawyers in three-to-four years.”

The London office of the firm, which is best known for its energy work, opened in 1998 and currently has 35 lawyers.

The US remains the firm’s primary market, although over the past couple of years the majority of Baker Botts’ work in Russia has switched from advising foreign companies on Russian-based matters to 90 per cent of its new business coming from Russian companies.

Baker Botts is currently representing the Russian Federation on what is estimated to be the largest arbitration claim (in aggregate), brought about in several jurisdictions by Yukos Oil Company