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Paul Hastings' Houston office head hops to hometown giant Baker Botts

3 minute read

Signage is seen outside of the Paul Hastings law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - Capital markets lawyer Doug Getten, who left Vinson & Elkins to help build Paul Hastings' Houston office and chaired its local corporate department and hiring, is heading back to a firm with Texas roots.

Getten is leaving Los Angeles-founded Paul Hastings for Baker Botts, his new firm said Wednesday. He'll be a capital markets partner in Baker Botts' corporate department, focused on the energy sector.

Baker Botts attracted Getten because it has a wide range of lawyers who specialize in oil and gas and renewables and "one of its core strengths and strategies is energy," he said.

Getten started his law career at Houston-based Vinson & Elkins before joining Paul Hastings in 2014 as of counsel. He became partner in 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. Paul Hastings opened its Houston office in 2012 and now has about 25 lawyers there, according to its website.

A representative for the firm wished Getten well in a statement Wednesday.

Out-of-state law firms including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati have grown their Texas presence in recent months. Tech sector money and talent is flowing into the state as companies including Oracle Corp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co move operations there.

The Biden administration has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands, which could also bring business to Texas lawyers.

Getten said Wednesday that "any partner at a major law firm that has a energy background would be foolish not to recognize the opportunities" in renewables right now.

Capital is going toward renewables, he said, noting the rise of environmental, social and governance-related investment priorities. "With the focus on ESG right now, which I have no reason to think won't continue, there's just not a lot of capital going into traditional oil and gas," he said.

Baker Botts has nearly 50 lawyers in its renewable and clean energy practice listed on its website. It lists 165 lawyers in the firm's energy practices. The firm has about 725 lawyers total.

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