Chris Carr ()
Baker Botts has recruited environmental partner Christopher Carr in San Francisco from Morrison & Foerster, where he was chair of the latter’s environmental and energy group.
Carr, who had worked at MoFo for 12 years, was also co-chair of the firm’s clean technology group and unmanned aerial systems and drone group. His practice focuses on natural resources permitting and litigation.
The strength of Houston-based Baker Botts’ energy practice appealed to Carr, who said that energy industry-related matters have made up an increasing share of his client work in recent years, in part because of the renewable energy boom.
“Baker Botts is top of mind for every energy firm and company in the U.S.,” Carr said.
The firm’s stable of natural resources regulatory lawyers in Washington, D.C., was also a selling point for Carr, whose practice includes permits required under federal laws such as the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.
Prior to joining MoFo in 2005, Carr spent roughly six years as an associate and partner at Stoel Rives. Before that he worked for the federal government, first as a fisheries officer in the U.S. Department of State and then as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“Chris has handled some of the toughest siting, permitting and approval fights in the country,” said a statement by Baker Botts environmental practice chair Scott Janoe. “He can do complex projects soup to nuts. His ability to pull land use approvals, secure environmental permits and advise on the preparation of environmental review documents, all on the front end of a project, makes him highly effective in defending projects against litigation challenges.”
Janoe also cited Carr’s expertise in California resources law and the California Environmental Quality Act, as well as his federal program experience.
Last year Carr and MoFo were hired on a pro bono basis to assist environmental groups seeking to block the federal government’s bid to sell Plum Island, home to an animal disease research lab off the coast of Long Island, New York. (Plum Island, which has spawned urban legends like the “Montauk Monster,” was the subject of a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that seeks to block any government sale.)
Carr is the sixth partner to join Baker Botts’ San Francisco office since it opened in early 2016. He said the opportunity to participate in growing the firm’s Bay Area location helped pique his interest in Baker Botts when it approached him. The firm has steadily sought to grow its new outpost, bringing on Farella Braun + Martel business transactions chair Samuel Dibble as a partner in May.
“I liked the hustle of Baker Botts,” Carr said. “I’m a person who likes to pound the pavement, hit the streets, and pitch, and that’s really what Baker Botts is looking for.”
In a statement, Baker Botts’ San Francisco managing partner Patricia Stanton said the firm is “thrilled to have [Carr] join our team as we continue to expand the range of services we offer clients from our California offices.”
Carr joins Baker Botts a week after the firm saw civil litigation partner David Super decamp for Lone Star State rival Bracewell in Washington, D.C. Earlier this month, Baker Botts brought back former partner Rebecca Huddle for its litigation group in Houston, where she left the firm in 2011 for a seat on a Texas state appellate court. But in April, Baker Botts saw six prominent energy partners depart its home base in Houston to help open a new local office for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.