HOUSTON, December 2, 2013 -- Baker Botts officials today announced three important changes in Partners in Charge that are going to take place next year. Effective January 1, 2014, John Porter will become Partner in Charge for the Houston office; Rob Scheinfeld will move into the Partner in Charge post for the New York office; and John Lonsberg will assume the post of Partner in Charge for our Middle East offices.

Maria Boyce, currently the top administrator of the Houston office, and Lee Charles, who manages the New York office, will refocus their energies on the full-time practice of law. Boyce will continue to serve as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. The firm expects Bob Jordan, Partner in Charge of the Middle East offices, will return to Dallas sometime in the late spring or early summer after a transition period.

“Maria, Lee and Bob have each provided invaluable service to our firm. I can’t say enough about how these special individuals have helped move forward our strategic plan,” said Baker Botts Managing Partner Andrew Baker. “I want to thank Maria, Lee and Bob personally for their leadership in three very different markets. They each have made outstanding contributions to the success of the firm over the years, and they all exemplify a standard of excellence that is a trademark of Baker Botts.”

Since September 2007, Boyce has effectively guided the firm’s largest and oldest office through the 2008 recession and a substantial increase in competition from law firms opening offices in Houston.

“Maria -- the first female Partner in Charge of a Baker Botts office -- has been a groundbreaking administrator who infused the Houston office with a business development ethos second to none,” Baker said. “During her tenure as Partner in Charge, Maria has been instrumental in developing strong relationships with several important firm clients. In addition, Maria successfully introduced programs to enhance the Firm’s presence in the Houston community, ranging from women’s initiatives to professional development.”

Porter is well-prepared to take on the challenges of Partner in Charge of the Houston office, Baker said. He has spent the past 27 years with the firm in Houston, earning top honors for representing clients on wealth management issues and widespread recognition as a “Leader in the Field” for tax litigation. He is currently a senior partner in the Tax department, handling federal gift, estate and income tax litigation and controversy work, and has served many years on the Firm’s Admissions Information Committee.

In New York, Charles has spent the last 10 years as Partner in Charge, the longest-tenured Partner in Charge at the firm. He has provided outstanding leadership and counsel to the firm’s lawyers and staff over that period, which included some of the City’s most difficult times, including the aftermath of 9/11, the financial crisis and, most recently, Hurricane Sandy.

Charles will continue to make valuable contributions to the Firm as a partner in the Corporate department in our New York office.

“Lee’s successful balance of the many needs of our New York office while growing and diversifying our corporate practice demonstrates his many skills as both a lawyer and a leader,” Baker said.

The firm is fortunate to have Scheinfeld step into the Partner in Charge position, Baker added. Scheinfeld is a member of the Executive Committee and is the New York IP Section Chair, assignments he has held since 2008 and 2003, respectively. For some 30 years, Scheinfeld has practiced intellectual property law and litigation, representing local and international companies as plaintiffs and defendants in patent, copyright and trade secret misappropriation disputes and lawsuits across the country.

“I am confident Rob will provide the leadership necessary to continue moving the New York office forward,” Baker said.

Jordan has spent the past four years leading the firm’s Middle East offices. He was instrumental in helping to bring John Lonsberg and his team of lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright to the firm, which has dramatically expanded and strengthened our footprint in the region. Jordan’s knowledge of and interest in the business and political issues that make the Middle East a dynamic location for the firm and its clients -- and his experience as the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the days immediately after 9/11 -- were invaluable in the many successes we have seen in the region during his tenure as Partner in Charge, Baker said.

“I am confident John Lonsberg will continue building on the foundation that Bob (and David Emmons before him) has built in the Middle East,” Baker said. “John’s wealth of experience in the region -- he has been resident in the area since 1980 -- will provide our clients key insights into how best to manage the challenges they face each day. “

Lonsberg’s practice concentrates on international commercial transactions, including the negotiation of strategic alliances in the aerospace, petrochemical and high-technology industries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. He also advises clients on the regulation of business activities, including the satisfaction of foreign investment and fiscal requirements.

About Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 15 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients’ industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Throughout our 173-year history, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit www.bakerbotts.com.