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Vinson & Elkins LLP

1001 FANNIN STREET, SUITE 2500, HOUSTON, TX 77002-6760, USA
Tel:
Work +1 713 758 2222
Fax:
Fax +1 713 758 2346
Email:
Web:
www.velaw.com
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Firm Rankings


United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’ and is ‘consistently responsive, offering thoughtful advice and a deep understanding of the substance of the issue at hand’. The team is best known for its transactional practice and advises a mix of banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions on the full spread of real estate business deals. The group has particular expertise in the energy and oil and gas sectors; highlights included advising Sunoco Logistics on its strategic oil pipeline-related joint venture with ExxonMobil, which resulted in the formation of Permian Express Partners; acting for Magellan Holdings on its acquisition of land in the Apache Mountain Pasture; and assisting Milestone Apartments REIT with its $2.9bn acquisition by Starwood Group. The team also acted for SemGroup in its $2.1bn acquisition of Houston Fuel Oil Terminal, one of the largest oil terminals in the US. The practice is headed by Paul Martin in Dallas, where Russell Oshman is the other key figure.

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

At Vinson & Elkins LLP, Matthew Jacobs in San Francisco as well as Craig Seebald and Alden Atkins are acting as the lead advisers to Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas in a DOJ investigation into alleged price-fixing in the automotive parts industry, and in related civil litigation; the DOJ investigation is linked with similar investigations in the EU, Canada and Japan. Seebald and Jacobs also represent Joseph Giraudo in federal grand jury real estate bid-rigging litigation.

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Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team, which is led by Craig Seebald (Washington DC) and James Reeder (Houston), is trusted by clients such as AirTran Airways and Phadia US for their most significant litigated antitrust matters. Recent highlights include acting for Southwest Airlines in Re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, which concerns an alleged conspiracy among four US airlines to restrict passenger capacity in order to drive up the price of air fares; Alden Atkins (Washington DC) led the team in this matter, which also included Jason Powers (Houston), Neil Imus (Washington DC) and John Wander (Dallas). In 2017, Seebald, Jason Levine (Washington DC) and Matthew Jacobs (San Francisco) represented Hitachi in Re Optical Disc Drive Products Antitrust Litigation.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team, which is chaired by Houston-based James Reeder and Craig Seebald in Washington DC, works closely with the firm’s corporate group to advise on all types of antitrust issues connected with transactions. Its wide-ranging workload includes HSR filings and global merger notifications, merger investigations and litigation. William Vigdor (Washington DC), Reeder, counsel Deborah Milner (Houston) and others represented Plains All American Pipeline (Plains) in an FTC investigation into the client’s agreement with Valero Energy providing for the acquisition by a Valero subsidiary of two petroleum storage facilities in Northern California owned by a subsidiary of Plains. The team also handled a subsequent related lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California seeking to block the transaction. Washington DC-based Neil Imus’ work in 2017 included assisting Select Energy Services with antitrust issues associated with its merger with Rockwater Energy Solutions. The team has also acted for clients such as MoneyGram International, Omega Protein and Concho Resources.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

‘One of the best in the energy sector’ Vinson & Elkins LLP is ‘peerless in oil and gas’ appellate work as well as managing appeals ranging from intellectual property to mass torts and regulatory matters. Dallas-based duo Thomas Leatherbury and Matt Henry successfully represented Oncor Electric Delivery Company in the Texas Supreme Court case, stemming from Oncor’s decision to recalculate its annual base rates. John Elwood secured a victory for Cortron Corporation in the Second Circuit appeal pertaining to an antitrust dispute with MacDermid Printing Solutions. Houston-based Marie Yeates is ‘quick on her feet, persuasive, extremely intelligent, thoroughly prepared and informed, extremely committed to clients and their objectives’. Austin-based Michael Heidler is another name to note.

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is noted for its ‘extraordinary service and sophisticated understanding of various industries and government investigations’. The government investigations practice is headed by Clifford Thau in New York. San Francisco’s Matthew Jacobs is recommended for healthcare and FCA-related work, while Washington DC’s Craig Seebald stands out for his criminal defense expertise. Recent work includes representing KBR in multiple FCA cases concerning the company’s logistical support of US military forces during the war in Iraq. Washington DC’s William Lawler represented Michael Marshall, who has been indicted in connection with allegations of government program fraud concerning various small business administration programs. Other clients include BAE Systems and Southwest Airlines.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP demonstrates ‘a thorough understanding of the business realities’. The Houston-headquartered firm maintains a prominent position for energy litigation, though the breadth of its commercial litigation capabilities is notable. In a recent highlight, Jim Thompson and Phillip Dye secured a victory for client Antero Resources Corp when a Colorado federal jury awarded it just over $60m in a breach of contract case against a New Jersey company. Dallas-based Matthew Moransees the big picture from a business standpoint and is excellent at navigating towards the best possible outcome’.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP handles commercial arbitrations and investor-state disputes in the energy, infrastructure and construction sectors. It is representing the Panama Canal Authority in a series of disputes with Grupo Unidos por el Canal and is acting for Chicago Bridge & Iron Company in an ICC construction arbitration against Refinería de Cartagena regarding the modernization and expansion of the Reficar refinery in Colombia. James Loftis in Houston heads the department and is ‘an extremely skilled attorney’. Counsel Tim Tyler, who is also based in Houston, has ‘deep knowledge’. Washington DC-based Alden Atkinsstands out for his vast knowledge of commercial and investment arbitration’.

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M&A litigation: defense
M&A litigation: defense - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has a prominent role in many energy sector M&A deals and consequently handles high-stakes litigation that arises from those transactions. John Wander, who is co-head of the complex commercial litigation group, and Michael Holmes in Dallas scored a significant victory for Energy Transfer Equity when the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Delaware Chancery Court’s 2016 post-trial opinion granting the company the right to terminate a proposed $38bn merger with The Williams Companies. Another highlight saw Holmes and Craig Zieminski secure the dismissal of a challenge to a $2.86bn merger for C&J Energy Services.

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

The securities litigation group at Vinson & Elkins LLP, which is led by John Wander and Michael Holmes in Dallas, has several noteworthy partners, including Clifford Thau in New York and Austin-based Jennifer Poppe. The firm represents issuers, underwriters, accounting firms, financial institutions, and directors and officers in securities matters. Thau, Holmes and Poppe acted for EZCorp in a 10b-5 case alleging it made false and misleading statements regarding, inter alia, the regulatory compliance of UK entity Cash Genie and the nature of its consulting relationship with Madison Park LLC. In In re Plains All American Pipeline LP Securities Litigation, Holmes is defending a $1.5bn claim arising from the rupture of a pipeline in Santa Barbara County.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings
Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Capital markets: debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Among the leaders for energy offerings’, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s capital markets team also secures a steady flow of work relating to the aviation, healthcare, real estate and TMT sectors. David Oelman and Matthew Strock co-head a Houston-based team that also benefits from the senior experience of firm chairman Mark Kelly and of counsel Michael Harrington. Among its issuer-side highlights, the firm advised Concho Resources on its $1.8bn offering of senior notes and it also assisted Occidental Petroleum Corporation with its $1.5bn offering of senior notes. The firm has also been active on the manager side and recent work includes advising the underwriters on Enterprise Products Partners’ $1.7bn offering of junior notes. In 2017, Lande Spottswood and Thomas Zentner were promoted to partner.

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Capital markets: equity offerings
Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Capital markets: equity offerings - advice to managers - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

In line with its firmwide strength in oil and gas, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston-headquartered practice predominantly handles offerings for energy and natural resources issuers - it also acts for a significant volume of REITs, life sciences companies and financial institutions. In a deal that demonstrates its core strength, practice co-head David Oelman advised BP Midstream Partners on its $765m IPO. In another company-side highlight, Douglas McWilliams and Ramey Layne advised Natural Gas Partners-backed Vantage Energy Acquisition on its $552m IPO. The firm’s growing prominence on the manager side is evident in McWilliams and Layne’s recent advice to the underwriters on Silver Run Acquisition’s $1bn IPO, while Oelman assisted the underwriters with Antero Midstream’s $875m IPO. The group also draws on the experience of capital markets co-head Matthew Strock.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings
Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to issuers - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings - advice to underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston-based practice, which acts for a relatively even split of issuers and managers, has a prominent record for offerings in the energy and natural resources sector - it also regularly handles deals relating to the real estate, telecoms and technology industries. Among its energy highlights, counsel Daniel Spelkin led advise to CrownRock on its $1bn offering of senior notes and of counsel Michael Harrington assisted Concho Resources with its $600m offering of senior notes. In a non-energy highlight, Spelkin and key partner David Stone advised telecoms company, Belden, on two offerings of notes totaling €750m. On the underwriter side, Stone advised the underwriters to Southwestern Energy on its $1.5bn public offering of senior notes. David Oelman, who co-heads the capital markets practice, is also recommended.

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Commercial lending
Commercial lending: advice to borrowers - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Commercial lending: advice to lenders - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

The ‘outstanding’ team at Vinson & Elkins LLP is praised for its ‘excellent market knowledge’ and for being ‘very responsive’ and ‘very efficient’. The firm is particularly strong on energy sector-related financings, both for borrowers and lenders, and has high-quality lawyers working out of its Houston, Dallas and New York offices. On the lender side, the firm has strong relationships with major institutions such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. The firm also acts for several direct lenders, such as the Carlyle Group, which it advised, through its Carlyle Energy Mezzanine Opportunities Fund, on a $400m investment to fund the development of EOG’s oil and gas assets in Oklahoma. On the borrower side, the firm advised AltaGas on the financing for its $6.4bn acquisition of WGL Holdings. Another highlight was representing Patterson-UTI Energy on the financing of its $1.7bn acquisition of Seventy Seven Energy. Outside of the energy sector, the firm also advised Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates on the financing of its $3.6bn acquisition of DigitalGlobe, a global leader in Earth imagery. The well-regarded team is jointly led by Brian Moss and Erec Winandy out of Houston and Dallas respectively.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP leads the way in advising sponsors and equity investors on the financing of major oil and gas projects; Washington DC-based Katy Gottsponer is acting for AES and the Motta Group on the $535m project financing of the Colón LNG-to-power project, and Keith Fullenweider, New York-based David Wicklund, Mark Brasher and Dallas-based John Grand are all part of a team assisting Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners with its $1.6bn investment in the Rover pipeline in the US. The practice is also well versed in handling infrastructure work, and in one example Kaam Sahely and Mark Brasher are assisting Texas Central Partners with the finance for a high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. In another Texas mandate, the same duo advised Gulf Coast Ammonia on the $800m financing of a hydrogen-based ammonia production facility. John Connally and James Cuclis head the team. All named partners are based in Houston save where stated otherwise.

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s ‘strong’ restructuring practice has been particularly busy in the energy space, securing a number of both debtor and creditor-side mandates during the increase of energy E&P bankruptcies. On the debtor-side, David Meyer in New York and Harry Perrin in Houston led the successful $3.6bn restructuring of Energy XXI, with the company emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2016. The team also advised Sundevil Power Holdings on Chapter 11 proceedings and the 363 sale of its power generation asset portfolio. On the lender side, practice head William Wallander and Paul Heath, both based in Dallas, acted for JPMorgan Chase as administrative agent and senior lender of a $550m secured senior credit facility to Chaparral Energy in its Chapter 11 proceedings.

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s government contracts practice provides ‘a top-notch service’, with deep expertise in high-value bid protests and claims litigation; FCA issues are another cornerstone area for the group. The team represents Boeing in a bid protest against the US Air Force’s decision to allow L3 Technologies to select the aircraft to replace the EC-130 Compass Call intelligence aircraft, citing alleged unfair conflicts of interest. In the FCA sphere, the team is acting for BAE Systems in a case brought by the government concerning the client’s alleged violation of the Truth in Negotiations Act; the government claims the client failed to provide accurate rates and quantities during negotiations on the price of a contract to manufacture armored tactical vehicles used by the US Army in Iraq. David Johnson and Daniel Graham, who provides ‘great contract advice’, co-lead the team, which includes the ‘experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ duo, of counsel Michael Charness and counsel Jamie Tabb.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy litigation: oil and gas
Energy litigation: oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Jointly led by Jim Thompson and John Wander, the team at Vinson & Elkins LLP represents a broad client portfolio, including Marathon Oil Corporation, Magellan Midstream Partners and Plains All-American Pipeline in state and federal courts, with a particular strength in Texas. Recent mandates include the representation of Energy Transfer Equity in a Delaware Supreme Court lawsuit regarding the termination of a proposed $38bn merger with The Williams Companies due to the failure of a condition precedent and acting on behalf Antero Resources in litigation against South Jersey Gas and its affiliate concerning the alleged breach of terms of a natural gas contract. Another mandate saw the group representing Occidental in an arbitration against Texas Brine arising from an expansive sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana; Christopher Popov, Walter Stuart and Marie Yeates are leading the case.

Leading lawyers

James Thompson - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Energy regulatory: conventional power
Energy regulatory: conventional power - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is recommended for representing its clients before state and federal authorities, including FERC, DOE, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). The group, jointly led by David Andril and Matthew Henry, specializes in rate cases, compliance matters, enforcement proceedings as well as the purchase and sale of power generation facilities and transmission assets. John Decker advised Sundevil Power on the sale of two 550 MW power blocks under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, while Richard Adams and Henry continue to represent Energy Future in various regulatory matters, including proceedings related to the disposal, export and importation of low-level radioactive waste as well as surface coal mine permit and reclamation bond proceedings.

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Energy regulatory: oil and gas
Energy regulatory: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has one of the most specialized practices in the natural gas and LNG industry sectors and handles tariff, certificate, abandonment and presidential permit applications, rate cases, gas quality proceedings, audits, compliance issues as well as petitions for declaratory orders. Anita Wilson is advising Jordan Cove on all regulatory issues related to the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and together with James Seegers is also assisting TC PipeLines with the purchase of 49.3 percent interest in Iroquois Gas Transmission System and the remaining 11.8 percent interest in Portland Natural Gas Transmission System from TransCanada for $765m. John Decker continues to handle all regulatory aspects of the development of various small-scale LNG export projects for New Fortress Energy. Another area of expertise is crude oil; the team frequently assists multiple clients with regulatory and transactional matters such as drafting joint venture arrangements with midstream companies.

Leading lawyers

Anita Wilson - Vinson & Elkins LLP

James Seegers - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Energy transactions: conventional power
Energy: transactions: conventional power - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

At Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston-based practice head Trina Chandler was highly active on a range of M&A mandates; as well as finalising Riverstone Holdings’ $5.2bn take-private of Talen Energy, Chandler also led a team that advised Tyr Energy on its acquisition of Hickory Run Energy. The practice is also present in New York, where Maritza Okata has expertise in M&A, private equity, and finance transactions.

Leading lawyers

Trina Chandler - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Energy transactions: oil and gas
Energy transactions: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is noted for its ‘deep bench’ and its impressive private equity following, that includes the likes of Apollo Global Management; corporate head Keith Fullenweider and Bryan Loocke (who is ‘extremely knowledgeable on production sharing agreements’) advised Blackstone Energy on its $2bn acquisition of EagleClaw Midstream Ventures. The broad client base also includes independent oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies and master limited partnerships; Fullenweider and Creighton Smith acted for Vantage Energy on its $2.7bn sale to Rice Energy, and practice co-head John Connally and Mark Brazzil assisted Antero Midstream with a joint venture to develop processing and fractionation assets in Appalachia. While the practice is primarily located in Houston, where all lawyers named thus far are based, it also has outlets in New York and Dallas. Houston-based James Cuclis co-heads the team.

Leading lawyers

John Connally - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Energy: renewable/alternative
Energy: renewable/alternative - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP leverages its strong private equity client base to advise on M&A and tax equity investments; Washingto DC-based Katy Gottsponer and Houston-based Kaam Sahely were particularly active in this regard. Sahely was also busy in the finance space where he acted for Goldman Sachs and various lenders on the refinancing of Altus Power America. Houston-based John Connally and James Cuclis head the practice.

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP defends key permits for development projects, and water supply and waste-water discharge permits. The practice also assists with contentious contamination cases and litigates EPA regulations. The team acted for a commercial real estate developer in an environmental remediation cost recovery claim and causes of action in tort against former tenants, which resulted from chlorinated solvent contamination in soil and groundwater. Larry Nettles is the practice group leader. Other key practitioners include James Thompson III, Lewis Sutherland, Kevin Gaynor in Washington DC, and counsel Taylor Pullins. The named advisers are in Houston, unless otherwise stated.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP secures and defends contested air, water and wetlands permits for power plants and other industrial establishments, as well as water supply and waste-water discharge permits. The practice also secures approvals for multi-state projects, involving pipelines and power transmission lines, natural resource matters, and endangered species. The team advised Veresen on the permitting for the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Houston’s Larry Nettles is practice head and Taylor Pullins is a key counsel. Austin counsel Carrick Brooke-Davidson was hired from Guida, Slavich & Flores, PC, while Andrew Stewart joined Sidley Austin LLP and Susan Snyder left for Enviro Water Minerals Company.

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP stands out for assisting clients with complex matters that involve multiple stakeholders, including federal and state governments, Congressional committees, investigative boards, NGOs, and private parties. The team advised Sunoco on the sale of more than 1,100 of its convenience stores to 7-Eleven, which involved potential environmental liability arising from the outlets’ past operation. Larry Nettles in Houston is the firm’s environmental and natural resources practice group leader. In Austin, Carrick Brooke-Davidson joined as counsel from Guida, Slavich & Flores, PC, while Susan Snyder left for Enviro Water Minerals Company.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional
Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s service ‘is always top-notch’ and its executive compensation lawyers are ‘consistently responsive with thoughtful advice and a deep understanding of the issues at hand’. Shane Tucker (who advised Milestone on its sale to Starwood Capital and is assisting a technology company with its anticipated IPO) and Vanessa Griffithare particularly great at what they do’. David D’Alessandro leads the team and is currently overseeing Rice Energy’s merger with EQT Corporation, while Brian Bloom is guiding AltaGas through its merger agreement with WGL Holdings. Above-named attorneys are based in Dallas, while Stephen Jacobson is a name to note in Houston.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)
M&A: large deals ($1bn+) - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

For large-cap energy sector deals, Vinson & Elkins LLP virtually stands alone. It has the client base and extensive senior resources to handle multiple deals at any one time. Primarily split between Houston and New York, the team is praised for its ‘commercial approach’ and ‘ability to drive a process forward’. It is ‘always incredibly responsive and flexible to meet the client’s needs’, ‘shows dedication to getting things over the finish line’ and ‘has a pool of top-quality lawyers to draw from, including at the associate level’. It has particular expertise in the exploration and production space, and has made an additional impression in representing special purpose acquisition companies. Clients include AltaGas, Chisholm Energy, Devon Energy, Huntsman, Jonah Energy, MORSCO, Rice Energy, Southwest Airlines and a number of big-name private equity houses. It advised Sunoco Logistics Partners on its $20bn merger with Transfer Partners, creating one of the largest MLPs in the world. It also advised Rice Energy on its $8.2bn merger with EQT Corporation, creating the largest domestic natural gas producer in the US. Key partners in the team include senior name Keith Fullenweider, Matthew Strock and New York-based James Fox. Stephen Gill and Lande Spottswood are up-and-coming names. Jeffrey Floyd provides ‘sage guidance’ and ‘focuses on the issues that really matter’. Attorneys are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

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Private equity buyouts
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a market leader in energy sector private equity. The firm’s ‘deep expertise within the energy sector’ has enabled it to attract engagements from the likes of Apollo, Blackstone, Crestview Partners, KKR, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Oaktree Capital Management, Quantum Energy Partners, Riverstone, TPG and Warburg Pincus. It advised Apollo portfolio company Double Eagle Energy Permian on its $2.8bn sale of undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in the core of the Midland Basin to Parsley Energy. It also advised Blackstone Energy Partners on its $2bn acquisition of EagleClaw Midstream Ventures from EnCap Flatrock Midstream. Houston-based head of the corporate group Keith Fullenweiderhas an exceptional sense of business judgment for an attorney’ and is ‘consistently able to deliver the full firm’ for clients’ broader needs. Houston partner Matthew Strock and New York managing partner James Fox are also key partners.

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Venture capital and emerging companies
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s practice is primarily located in Austin, where Paul Tobias, William Volk, Wes Jones and Milam Newby are prominent names in the start-up and emerging company community. The firm recently advised Plant Automation Services on its $40m growth investment from Tinicum Partners. It also advised Cognitive Scale on its Series B-1 preferred stock financing led by Norwest Venture Partners, The Westly Group and USAA. Dallas partner Mark Early is also a key member of the team.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP assists technology and licensing clients with M&A deals, public offerings, private equity and venture capital financings, and the licensing and distribution of technology, pharmaceutical and other life sciences products and devices. The team acted for SailPoint Technologies Holdings, a provider of enterprise identity governance solutions, in its $240m IPO; and advised MoneyGram International on its $1.2bn sale to an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Ant Financial. Paul Tobias, Wesley Watts and Milam Newby are highly regarded practitioners; and Andy Smetana joined as counsel from a technology start-up. All named attorneys are based in the Austin office.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)
Construction (including construction litigation) - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Houston-headquartered Vinson & Elkins LLP acts on complex energy and infrastructure projects as well as public and private building contracts, with a client list that includes Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Investec. The international practice is led by London-based Nick Henchie and Houston partners Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, who specialize in commercial litigation and energy transactions respectively. Mark Brasher and Doug Bland acted for subsidiaries of Tellurian in connection with the project development arrangements for a LNG export project worth approximately $15bn, including the construction of a multi-train LNG liquefaction and export terminal and EPC arrangements for a long-haul natural gas pipeline. Brasher and Sahely also advised Gulf Coast Ammonia (a joint venture between Agrifos and Borealis) on the development, construction, operation, maintenance and project financing of a hydrogen-based ammonia production facility in Texas worth around $800m. Attorneys are based in Houston, save where otherwise mentioned.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP continues to raise its profile in the REIT area and acted on a significant volume of debt and equity offerings, M&A transactions and restructurings over the past year. Richmond office managing partner Daniel LeBey is a key name and advised NorthStar Realty Finance on a three-way merger with NorthStar Asset Management Group and Colony Capital. In New York, David Freed assisted TPG RE Finance Trust with its $233m IPO. The national practice also benefits from the expertise of Washington DC-based partners Gregory Cope and Christopher Green.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team specializes on taxation within the energy sector, advising upstream, midstream and downstream companies as well as energy-focused private equity funds. M&A, business reorganizations and joint ventures are particular areas of strength. Houston’s John Lynch assisted Canada-based diversified energy infrastructure business AltaGas with tax aspects of its agreement and merger plan to acquire public utility holding company WGL in a $6.4bn all-cash transaction. Dallas’ David Peck advised Saudi Arabia-based petroleum and gas company Aramco as one of ten member companies providing a $1bn pioneering investment in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative to address climate change. Houston-based George Gerachis is another key contact.

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP provides ‘excellent coverage and consistent delivery of high-quality commercial tax advice’. Areas of expertise include the Internal Revenue Code, state and local tax laws, international tax and tax treaties, financial products, accounting methods, partnerships, and tax credits. The ‘technically skillful and robustGeorge Gerachis and David Cole, who are based in Houston, successfully represented Energy Transfer Equity in a dispute in which the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the Delaware Chancery Court’s post-trial opinion confirming the client’s right to terminate a proposed $38bn merger with the lawsuit’s initiator, The Williams Companies, due to the failure of a precedent condition. SoCal SportsNet, Anadarko Petroleum and Core Laboratories are other notable clients.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP handles capital markets and M&A taxation, as well as MLP and fund formation matters, especially in the energy, transport and real estate industries. Washington DC-based Gary Huffman represented Sunoco Logistics Partners in its merger with Energy Transfer Partners, whereby the former acquired the latter in a $20bn unit-for-unit transaction. Other highlights included John Lynch’s work on client AltaGas’s $6.4bn cash acquisition of WGL Holdings. David Peck in Dallas assisted Saudi Aramco with its investment in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative. The current client roster further includes Royal Dutch Shell, Blackstone Energy Partners, Concho Resources and Hess Midstream Partners. George Gerachis leads the practice from the Houston office.

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Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is an oil and gas giant with an impressive record in Latin America. The firm is a leader in midstream and upstream M&A transactions in Mexico and is increasingly active on behalf of private equity funds such as Riverstone. The firm recently advised Key Energy Services on the disposition of its Mexico business unit to Química Apollo. It also represented Riverstone on its initial equity investment in Avant Energy, a Mexican company focused on the development, construction and operation of infrastructure for Mexico's oil, natural gas, refined products and electricity sectors. Houston partner Boyd Carano has an excellent reputation, as does James Fox in New York.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLPprovides a high-quality service, demonstrating high skill in presenting complex legal and technical issues before arbitral tribunals’. The ‘greatly knowledgeable and experiencedJames Loftis leads the practice from Houston, with ‘outstanding international dispute resolution lawyer’ Nick Henchie the key contact in London. Drawing on ‘deep knowledge of international construction law’, the group is leading the representation of the Panama Canal Authority in its series of disputes, valued at over $5bn, with Grupo Unidos por el Canal, the consortium hired to design and build the third set of locks as part of the canal’s expansion project. Energy is another sector strength, and recent highlights include acting for El Paso Energy International Company in the US company’s defence of Argentina’s application to annul an ICSID award. XTO Energy and ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina are other clients.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

A ‘first rate’ and ‘top notch firm’, Vinson & Elkins LLP has ‘deep knowledge of all energy related matters’ and is a global giant in the oil and gas industry whose clients recommend the firm for midstream and upstream activities in Latin America. The practice group’s lawyers are ‘highly experienced’, ‘focused on the clients’ needs’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’; and the partners ‘aggregate value by applying their global experience to solve complex issues that clients may find in a specific jurisdiction’; indeed, the firm’s ‘concept of teamwork overcomes cultural differences and contributes to building a harmonious and positive multijurisdictional working environment’. The firm has a significant market share of Brazilian upstream M&A deals and is now transferring that experience to Mexico, where it is also extremely active in the midstream segment and is experiencing an uptick in engagements from energy-focused private equity groups. Clients include Talos Energy, Riverstone, Key Energy Services and Gas Natural Atlantico. Recent mandates include advising Talos Energy on its participation in Mexico’s round one bidding process for exploration and production contracts for offshore shallow waters. Houston partner Boyd Carano is a ‘very experienced energy and M&A lawyer’ who has ‘great personal skills’ and a ‘very practical approach’. He and John Connally are praised for their ‘loyalty, deep knowledge of the industry, excellent negotiation skills, responsiveness, and open minded views’. Mark Spivak has joined Baker Botts L.L.P..

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Further information on Vinson & Elkins LLP

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