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Top Billing: Leading Women of New York

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Robin Melman, Jennifer Tempesta and Adorys Velazquez help make the New York office a popular destination for lawyers across practices and industries to find opportunities and support at every stage of their career.

Robin Melman

“I like being an advocate,” partner Robin Melman said. “What drives me is taking that advocacy really seriously and being able to be in somebody’s or some company’s corner and just striving to provide the best advice in a helpful way. That’s very rewarding to me.”

Robin has been providing advice to clients on many of their most delicate and important executive compensation issues for over 15 years. Her clients have included public and private companies, boards of directors, compensation committees, special committees of the board of directors, chief executive officers and management teams. She is particularly adept at navigating the relevant corporate governance, disclosure, tax and contractual issues that arise during sensitive management transitions, including as part of deal negotiations.

According to Robin, the impact that human capital management disclosure requirements are having in the Board room is a particularly interesting development in her field.

“I am intrigued by how the human capital management disclosure requirements are expanding the area of focus of certain Boards and committees and blurring the lines between the executives and the employees,” she said. “There are these new disclosure requirements and issues of importance to investors that are leading to the evolution of working across human resources departments. Some of the issues that have typically been managed by the human resources departments are now reaching Board-level importance.”

“Providing a window into a company’s human capital management practices elevates the importance of the broader workforce and its implications to the bottom line of the company,” she added.

One of the best parts of Robin’s practice is its impact on people.

“I get to work on issues that are of utmost importance to people, and I would say my area of the deal is typically one of the most emotional parts of the deal,” Robin said. “I really love that. What I do is impacting the individuals who make up an organization.”

Robin said helping clients at key inflection points can be especially satisfying.

“I strive to provide sound advice, particularly to companies that are in vulnerable positions, and individual executives and management teams who are at important points in their careers,” she said. “And so, it’s these small victories on behalf of clients that are my proudest moments. Just guiding people and companies through difficult transition periods, promotions, terminations or retirements in a graceful way.”

Robin also appreciates working with the people at Baker Botts.

“It’s an organization made up of very smart people who also value kindness,” she said. “I love that.”

Jennifer Tempesta

“I've enjoyed Baker Botts since the day I joined as a summer associate focusing on patent litigation,” partner Jennifer Tempesta said. “I find patent litigation to be extremely interesting and exciting, and it doesn’t get old because we’re always working with new clients and technologies. I have an internal drive to advocate for our patent litigation clients.”

Jennifer focuses on patent litigation in both district courts and the International Trade Commission. Multinational clients rely on Jennifer's significant experience in various jurisdictions with all phases of litigation, including discovery, Markman hearings, summary judgment, and through trial.

Jennifer is also well-versed in appellate practice and has argued at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Jennifer also handles proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. As a registered patent attorney with strong technical acumen, clients seek Jennifer's advice in several fields, including payment processing, smartphones, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

“I find the topics that we deal with in our patent litigation matters to be engaging,” she said. “I've always enjoyed advocacy, whether it be written or oral. I also really appreciate the people that I work with here at Baker Botts.”

Jennifer has worked at the firm since she was a summer associate, and became a full-time attorney when she graduated law school in 2005.

“What drew me to Baker Botts was the cultural fit because it was essentially a boutique patent law firm within a big law firm,” she said. “I liked the feel of that, even to this day. It’s all worked out well.”

Making partner is one of Jennifer’s proudest achievements.

“It’s a goal that I have had since the beginning of my journey here and it just goes to show that women and other diverse candidates can make partner at big law firms like Baker Botts,” she said.  “Now I'm in a position where I can assist our associates with meeting that goal as well.”

Jennifer believes mentorship is one of the keys to career success.

“It’s definitely been helpful for me throughout the years to have positive encouragement from mentors, to have sounding boards for ideas and having guidance on how to expand my skillset,” she said.

Adorys Velazquez

“The best part of my practice is the strategizing and structuring of complex transactions,” partner Adorys Velazquez said.

“The early stages of structuring is one of the periods during a transaction when I work most closely with senior management and use my experience and skills to solve the transaction puzzle, putting it all together in a way that helps them achieve the business reasons for the transaction and their related goals,” she added.

Adorys, who is Deputy Chair of the New York Corporate Department, works with clients on capital markets and mergers and acquisitions transactions, and advises clients in matters related to securities law compliance as well as general corporate matters. She works with domestic and international companies, and leading international investment banks. Adorys has significant experience advising companies in the TMT sector and the energy sector, and also advises foreign private issuers, publicly traded master limited partnerships (MLPs) and clients in the international maritime and offshore sectors.

Having a leadership role in the legal profession is a fact not lost on her.

“Women leaders contribute diversity of thought and perspective, which are important elements of effective leadership and decision-making,” she said. “Female leaders also serve as role models, mentors and sponsors to other female attorneys, helping to ensure the success of the next generation of women attorneys and leaders in law and, thus, the continuation of that valuable diversity.”

Adorys also appreciates the culture of collaboration at Baker Botts.

“Baker Botts has an impressive client roster and a unique combination of culture and legal talent,” she said. “We work on some of the most sophisticated matters, across the table from some of the world’s other top law firms. The lawyers at Baker Botts have a wealth of knowledge, skill and experience that they bring to the clients with which they work and that they are willing to share with any other Baker Botts colleagues at any time. We enjoy working together all across the firm. It is a special place to be a part of, which is both professionally and personally rewarding.”

ABOUT BAKER BOTTS L.L.P.
Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of 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. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit bakerbotts.com.

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