9 January 2008 -- Mayer Brown, a leading international law firm, announced today that Stephen F. Gates, former senior vice president and general counsel of ConocoPhillips, has rejoined the firm as special counsel in the Houston office's Corporate/Energy practice group. Gates was a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown for two years prior to his move to ConocoPhillips as general counsel in 2003.

Gates has more than 30 years' experience in the energy sector. Prior to ConocoPhillips and Mayer Brown, he spent 23 years at BP, where he was executive vice president and group chief of staff, and at Amoco, where he was vice president and general counsel. Additionally, Gates served as senior vice president and general counsel at FMC Corporation, one of the world's leading oil field service and chemical companies.

"Steve Gates is well known and highly respected in both the legal and energy arenas - not just in Houston but across the nation," said Mike Niebruegge, Partner-In-Charge of the Houston office of Mayer Brown. "He adds depth to an already strong and diversified energy practice group, and both Mayer Brown and our clients will benefit from his return to the firm."

While Gates will reside in the Houston office, he will provide counsel to and participate in client teams that span the firm's international offices and practice groups. "After five years at ConocoPhillips, I am excited to apply my 30-year background in energy to a wide variety of issues and challenges," said Gates. "Mayer Brown's energy team is heavily engaged in large projects and cutting edge legal matters that are defining the future of the industry. I am excited to rejoin the firm."

A Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Gates is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of General Counsel and served as chairman of the American Petroleum Institute General Law Committee and chairman of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. He serves on the board of the Houston Grand Opera, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) and the Appleseed Foundation.

Gates also served on the General Counsel Committee of the National Center for State Courts, the Executive Committee of the Civil Justice Reform Group and the Executive Committee of the Institute for Energy Law. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry at Harvard Law School and a member of the ABA Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege.

Gates graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and also holds a MBA from Harvard Business School. He received a bachelors degree, magna cum laude, in economics, from Yale University.