Lawyers Michael P. Darden and Justin T. Stolte joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as partners in the new Houston office, the law firm said March 1.

Darden joined the firm from Latham & Watkins, and Stolte was formerly with Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), a member of its business development group. The two will work in oil- and gas-related transactions, and there will be other partners announced in the coming weeks, Gibson Dunn said.

Ken Doran, chairman and managing partner of Gibson Dunn, said Darden and Stolte have executed complex energy transactions in their experience.

At Latham & Watkins, Darden was global chair of the oil and gas transactions practice and global co-chair of the oil and gas industry team.  He handles international and domestic oil and gas ventures, energy infrastructure projects, asset A&D and energy-based financings.

Before joining Latham in 2010, Darden was a partner at Baker Botts.  Prior to that, he served in legal and/or commercial capacities at a number of companies. 

He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center, a master’s of business administration degree from Rice University and a bachelor’s of business administration degree from The University of Texas.

At Apache, Stolte carried out upstream and midstream transactions including deal origination, due diligence, negotiation, closing and post-transaction integration in a business/commercial role for the business development group.  At Gibson Dunn, he will handle A&D and joint ventures involving oil and gas assets.

Before joining Apache in 2014, he was an oil and gas transactional attorney at Latham & Watkins and Baker Botts. Prior to attending law school, he was a petroleum engineer for ChevronTexaco in the Permian Basin.

Stolte earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned a degree from the Colorado School of Mines.  In May, he will complete the Executive M.B.A. program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.