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Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Michael Holmes

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Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department



Michael has been a member of the firm's litigation department since 1997. His practice includes corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, representation of directors and officers, securities litigation, contracts, and general commercial disputes. Michael has significant experience in Delaware corporate law matters and master limited partnerships. Michael has tried cases before state and federal courts and arbitration panels, and has handled a variety of corporate investigations, including internal investigations and investigations initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Michael has been recognized by Texas Rising Stars from 2004 - 2012.

Michael currently serves as a leader of the firm's Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice group.


  • Member: American Bar Association, Antitrust, Litigation, and International Law Sections; State Bar of Texas; Houston Bar Association; Houston Young Lawyers Association
  • Committee Member: Civil Practice and Procedure Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law


Michael graduated from The University of Texas, B.A. in 1994, and J.D. with Honors in 1997. He was admitted to Texas Bar in 1997.

United States: Dispute resolution

General commercial disputes

Within: General commercial disputes

Vinson & Elkins LLP has an active litigation and trials practice; from its multiple offices, its lawyers litigate high-stakes cases around the country. Illustrating the firm's solid reputation in the energy sector and its trial capabilities, the firm was retained by Energy Transfer Equity to defend its right to terminate the company's proposed merger with Williams, which was claiming $10bn in damages; the team – which included Michael Holmes, John Wander and Craig Zieminski – was successful in both Delaware Chancery Court and Supreme Court. Jim Thompson is the head of the firm's litigation practice, and Craig Seebald co-heads the complex commercial litigation group with Wander.

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M&A litigation: defense

Within: M&A litigation: defense

Vinson & Elkins LLP represents issuers, underwriters, accounting firms, financial institutions, and directors and officers in deal-related litigation and it is a growing force in the MLP litigation space, handling cases in Texas, Delaware and across the US. In Dallas, John Wander and Michael Holmes (who is 'a rock star with a good strategic mind' and who often handles matters in Delaware) are key partners in the practice. The pair defended Energy Transfer Equity in Delaware Supreme Court and secured its right to terminate a $38bn merger with the Williams companies due to the failure of a condition precedent. The lawsuit, in which Williams sought to force ETE to close the merger, went from complaint to trial in just six weeks. Holmes also secured a major victory for C&J Energy Services when the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a shareholder’s challenge to its $2.9bn transaction with Nabors Industries.

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Securities litigation - defense

Within: Securities litigation - defense

Vinson & Elkins LLP frequently represents issuers, underwriters, accounting firms, financial institutions, and directors and officers in securities fraud class actions, and it climbs the ranking this year. John Wander, who is co-head of the firm's complex commercial litigation practice, and Michael Holmes in Dallas are the two key partners. Holmes and Austin-based Jennifer Poppe defended EZCORP in a 10b5 class action in New York that alleged false and misleading statements or omissions regarding, inter alia, regulatory compliance issues with Cash Genie, in which the company owns a controlling interest. The claim was settled favorably. Holmes and San Francisco-based Michael Charlson secured a significant victory for Plains All American Pipeline by securing the dismissal of a class action seeking $1.5bn in damages for stock losses allegedly caused by a pipeline leak in California. Clifford Thau in New York is also recommended.

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