Five partners at Texas-based Baker Botts are seeking leadership of the firm, according to Bloomberg Law.
The firm is exploring the possibility of a merger. According to three sources familiar with the situation, litigator Danny David, energy lawyer Jason Bennett, and dealmaker Samantha Hale Crispin have expressed their interest in becoming the new managing partner. Additionally, trial lawyers Roger Fulghum and Kevin Sadler are also said to be seeking the role, as reported by two sources.
The partners are competing to succeed John Martin, who has been leading Baker Botts for over four years and is known for spearheading its expansion into California, is stepping down due to reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65.
The candidates recently presented their proposals to the firm’s partners, with a majority of them expressing a desire to pursue a merger with another firm.
The primary motivation behind this move is to achieve greater scale and protect the firm from poaching by competitors. While discussions regarding potential combinations have been ongoing at the firm for the past two years, David and the other candidates have pledged to intensify these efforts if elected.
Baker Botts has experienced a decrease in its headcount in recent years, partly due to the competition from larger firms aiming to strengthen their presence in Texas.