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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

Kaam Sahely

Tel:
Work +1 713 758 4459
Email:
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Energy Transactions

Position

Kaam is a member of V&E's worldwide Energy Transactions and Projects practice group. Kaam’s client base spans the energy industry broadly – including the oil and gas (upstream, midstream and downstream), chemicals, LNG, and mining and metals sectors. Kaam frequently represents clients in the acquisition and development of energy and natural resource projects, including large scale projects developed over many years. Kaam is co-head of the firm’s Mining and Metals practice group.

Member

  • Member: Law Society of England and Wales
  • Member: State Bar of Texas
  • Member: Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • Member: Australian American Chamber of Commerce: Energy Committee

Education

Kaam graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, B.A. in 1999 and LLB with honours in 2002. Admitted in Victoria, Australia (2003), England and Wales (2005) and Texas (2011).


United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

Vinson & Elkins LLP is highly regarded for its expertise in handling finance mandates relating to energy and infrastructure projects. Kaam Sahely, who jointly heads the energy, transactions and projects department with John Connally, is advising Woodside Petroleum on its potential participation, as co-sponsor with Sempra, in the $10bn Port Arthur LNG project; he is also advising Gulf Coast Ammonia on the $800m development and project financing of a hydrogen-based ammonia production facility in Texas. Maritza Okata and Karen Smith in New York advised Tyr Energy, alongside Trina Chandler and Washington DC-based Katy Gottsponer, on the financing and development of the Hickory Run Energy Center, a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Smith also advised Babson Capital Management on the $34.5m purchase of secured promissory notes issued by nine subsidiaries of Cypress Creek Renewables for the permanent financing of each issuer's utility-scale tilt solar array project in North Carolina. Mark Spradling, Mark Brasher and Keith Fullenweider are also recommended, as are New York-based David Wicklund and John Grand in Dallas. Senior associate Simone King in New York is also a key figure, as is Eamon Nolan who joined in 2019 from Linklaters LLP. Named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise. Former department co-head James Cuclis joined White & Case LLP in 2018.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: renewable/alternative power

Within: Energy: renewable/alternative power

The team at Vinson & Elkins LLP is headed by Houston-based John Connally and Kaam Sahely, who have experience of energy and infrastructure project development and industrial investment mandates. Sahely and Dallas-based Peter Marshall advised affiliates of Global Atlantic Financial Group on the $1.2bn acquisition from Southern Power of a 33% minority interest in its solar portfolio. The duo also assisted Goldman Sachs' renewable energy fund with its $350m acquisition of Marina Energy's solar portfolio. Houston-based Jay Cucils left the team for White & Case LLP.

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Energy: transactions: conventional power

Within: Next generation lawyers

Kaam Sahely - Vinson & Elkins LLP

Within: Energy: transactions: conventional power

Vinson & Elkins LLP is instructed by electric generation and transmission companies, distribution utilities, independent power producers, financial institutions, clean energy companies, power traders, and private equity and venture capital investors in M&A, investment transactions and project development and finance matters. According to one client, Houston-based practice head Trina Chandler is 'one of the best M&A lawyers in the industry'. Also recommended is Dallas-based Chris Rowley, who advised Oncor Electric Delivery Company on a $400m transaction with Sharyland Utilities to exchange Sharyland's retail distribution operations for a set of Oncor's transmission lines in West and Central Texas. Other key contacts include Katy Gottsponer in the Washington DC office, Maritza Okata in New York, and Houston-based Kaam Sahely, who is noted for his 'deep industry knowledge and experience'.

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Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Within: Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Primarily based in Houston, Vinson & Elkins LLP's 'thorough, responsive, and engaged' practice group is 'able to handle complex transactions in a down-to-earth manner and is really focused on getting deals done'. Jointly headed by John Connally and Kaam Sahely, the team advises developers, pipeline and oil field services companies, commercial banks, export-credit agencies and private equity investors on the purchase, sale, development and financing of oil and gas assets and projects; the firm also has a formidable oil and gas regulatory practice. Douglas Bland and Mark Brasher advised Driftwood LNG and Tellurian on four fixed-price lump-sum turnkey agreements between Tellurian and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, totaling $15.2bn, for the engineering, procurement and construction of Driftwood LNG, a liquefied natural gas export facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana. Also recommended are Keith Fullenweider, who heads the corporate group, Bryan Loocke, who has 'knowledge of everything in the oil and gas space, from basic concepts to complex mechanics', and Thomas Zentner, who has 'built institutional knowledge that allows him to provide consistently insightful, comprehensive advice'. Houston-based Jay Cuclis left for White & Case LLP and New York-based Mike Rosenwasser joined Baker Botts L.L.P.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)

Within: Construction (including construction litigation)

Vinson & Elkins LLP combines 'high quality work with consistent availability', underpinned by 'a pleasant demeanor'. The team, which is praised by clients for its 'commitment to success', is led by Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, both based in Houston. The team is experienced in complex infrastructure projects and is representing Texas Central Partners as project counsel in the multibillion-dollar development of a high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. Mark Brasher and Sahely led, supported by a team across the firm's Dallas, New York and Houston offices, including 'fantastic' associate Stephanie Coco, who is based in Houston and is 'developing a great practice with respect to complex construction documentation'. Brasher also acted as project counsel to LNG21, which is developing a $2.4bn LNG platform in the Gulf of Mexico; the team advised LNG21 on joint venture agreements and equity negotiations. Alongside the Washington DC-based John Decker, Brasher also advised New Fortress Energy on various LNG projects. Katy Gottsponer, who is based in Washington DC, and senior associate Luke Edney in Houston supported on this matter. Edney, alongside Brasher and Coco, supported Sahely on Gulf Coast Ammonia, a joint venture that is developing and financing a hydrogen-ammonia production facility in Texas. Also active on this matter was Houston-based senior associate Alan Alexander, who is praised by one client as 'one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with' and offers 'partner counsel for an associate rate'. Houston-based James Loftis, who, alongside the London office, handled a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority relating to the ongoing expansion project, is also noted; McNeil supported on this matter.

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