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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

John B Connally

Work +1 713 758 3316
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Energy Transactions


John B.'s practice involves the representation of clients in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, project development and finance transactions, private equity investments, joint ventures, and a variety of energy matters. He has worked on transactions in more than 20 states in the United States and more than 25 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa.


  • Board of Directors, Texas Law Review Association
  • Board of Advisors, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law
  • Board of Directors, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
  • Member, Advance Team, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Advisory Board, Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law, The University of Texas School of Law


John B. graduated from Vanderbilt University, B.A. in 1994, and The University of Texas, J.D. with High Honors in 1997 (Fraternities: Chancellors, Order of the Coif, and Phi Beta Kappa). Admitted to Texas Bar in 1997 and New York Bar in 2008.

Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

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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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

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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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: oil and gas

Within: Leading lawyers

John Connally - Vinson & Elkins LLP

Within: Energy transactions: oil and gas

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.

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Energy: renewable/alternative

Within: Energy: renewable/alternative

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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