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Vinson & Elkins LLP

1001 FANNIN STREET, SUITE 2500, HOUSTON, TX 77002-6760, USA
Work +1 713 758 2222
Fax +1 713 758 2346
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Keith Fullenweider

Work +1 713 758 3838
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts


Keith advises clients in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity buyouts, and general corporate and securities matters. Keith has substantial experience with strategic and financial investors in all aspects of the energy and natural resource industries, including power generation, gas and electric utilities, oil and gas exploration and production, renewables and clean energy, energy services, transportation and midstream, and refining. Keith's industry experience also includes chemicals, engineering and construction, manufacturing, and technology. Keith is a member of V&E's Management Committee and heads the firm's M&A/Private Equity practice group.


  • Advisory Director, Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston
  • Director and Executive Committee Member, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston (Board Chair 2010 - 2011)
  • Former Director, The University of Texas Law School Alumni Association; Kinkaid School Alumni Association, and The Fay School


Keith graduated from Princeton University, A.B. summa cum laude in 1985, and The University of Texas, J.D. with High Honors in 1988 (Fraternities: Chancellors and Order of the Coif). Admitted to Texas Bar in 1988.

United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: oil and gas

Within: Energy transactions: oil and gas

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s largely Houston-based practice is adept at ‘large, complex energy transactions’, particularly in the upstream space. Stephen Gill and Douglas McWilliams advised Memorial Resource Development on its $4.4bn merger with Range Resources, while Keith Fullenweider and Creighton Smith acted for Vantage Energy in its $2.7bn purchase by Rice Energy. As well as M&A, the team handles project finance: Fullenweider and John Connally, who head the group along with James Cuclis, assisted Quantum Energy Partners with a $1bn equity investment in LINN Energy to finance future oil and gas acquisitions and developments.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Within: M&A: large deals ($1bn+)

Vinson & Elkins LLP is praised for its ‘strong understanding of oil and gas’, enabling it to ‘understand how to be commercial and drive a process forward’. Clients are ‘extremely impressed with the team from partners to associates’, including its ‘good response times’ and ‘fully baked answers and advice’. In 2016, the firm saw an uptick in deals, in line with a recovering energy industry. Clients include Devon Energy, Rice Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, Ridgewood Energy, Teva Pharmaceuticals, White Deer Energy and a long list of private equity houses such as Apollo Global Management, Ares Capital, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, Quantum Energy Partners, Riverstone and Warburg Pincus. The firm boosted its technology M&A and private equity credentials in 2016 with the hire of Paul Tobias from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and previous recruits have solidified the firm’s position in real estate and REIT deals. In a recent example, it advised NorthStar Realty Finance on its three-way all-stock merger of equals with NorthStar Asset Manegement and Colony Capital to create Colony NorthStar. In another highlight, the firm advised Memorial Resource Development on its $4.4bn acquisition by Range Resources. Illustrating its standing with major private equity houses, the firm advised TPG Capital portfolio company Nexeo Solutions on its $1.57bn merger with WL Ross Holdings. Head of department Keith Fullenweider remains the firm’s marquee name in M&A and has a number of key relationships, especially with private equity houses such as TPG. Fellow department head Matthew Strock is another prominent name, as are Stephen Gill and New York-based James Fox. All named partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

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Private equity buyouts

Within: Private equity buyouts

Vinson & Elkins LLP has committed a great deal of effort, resources and expertise to the private equity sector and has made impressive progress, especially in its core industry sector of energy. The team is ‘among the best’, providing an ‘outstanding service’ and clients are ‘impressed with its level of industry and market knowledge’. Highlights included advising TPG portfolio company Nexeo Solutions on its $1.57bn merger with WL Ross Holdings and representing long-term client Riverstone in its partnership with Kinder Morgan in the $500m Utopia Pipeline Project. Other clients include Apollo, Blackstone, Crestview Partners, KKR, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, Oaktree Capital Management, Quantum Energy Partners and Warburg Pincus. Keith Fullenweider is a pivotal member of the team and leads the firm’s relationship with a series of bulge-bracket private equity sponsors, including TPG. Matthew Strock, Stephen Gill and New York managing partner James Fox, who is close to Apollo and Riverstone, are also recommended. All named partners are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

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Venture capital and emerging companies

Within: Venture capital and emerging companies

Vinson & Elkins LLP had a number of hires throughout 2016; Eric Klein, Todd Landis, Michael Simons and Fred Williams joined from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Craig Tyler and Paul Tobias joined from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. William Volk heads the practice from the Austin office and other key contacts include Keith Fullenweider and David Palmer Oelman. Recent highlights include advising Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures on its $10m lead investment in NanoMech’s Series C financing, and for the same client it handled its $12m lead investment in Maana’s $26m Series B preferred financing. Tobias advised Cognitive Scale on raising $3.3m through the sale of its Series B preferred stock, while Austin-based Wes Jones advised Spredfast on its $50m Series F financing led by Riverwood Capital.

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