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Vinson & Elkins LLP

666 FIFTH AVENUE, 26TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10103-0040, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 237 0000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 237 0100
Email:
Web:
www.velaw.com
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

United States

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team of ‘thoughtful and hardworking dealmakers’ is led by Paul Martin, whose investment work included advising CBRE Global Investors on the purchase of a Class A office complex in Dallas and acting for Spear Street Capital in its sale of a multi-building office complex in Austin. Martin is also experienced in advising corporates on real estate issues and represented 7-Eleven in the relocation of its corporate headquarters to the new Cypress Waters Development in Irving. In other highlights, the team was busy in the REIT space, where Michael Boulden represented Milestone Apartments in the $1.9bn acquisition of Landmark Apartment Trust, including the acquisition of 15 multifamily apartment projects in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida; and the team also continued to handle the real estate aspects of major energy projects, with Houston-based counsel Scot Dixon advising Riverstone Investment Group on its partnership with Kinder Morgan in relation to the $500m Utopia Pipeline Project. Other recommended attorneys are Randy Jurgensmeyer and Russell Oshman. Named attorneys are based in Dallas except where stated otherwise. The practice is also present in New York.

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

James Reeder in Houston and Craig Seebald head Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team, which is representing Hitachi Automotive Systems in a DOJ investigation into the auto parts industry (this DOJ investigation is also being coordinated with antitrust authorities in Canada, Japan and the EU). The group also assists clients with investigations initiated by the FTC, state attorneys general and foreign antitrust agencies. Huntsman International, Phadia US and TriStar Investors are among the firm’s notable clients in this space.

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Alden Atkins and senior associate Vincent van Panhuys are representing Southwest Airlines and subsidiary AirTran Airways in a ‘first-checked baggage fee’ price-fixing MDL. In another matter, Houston-based Jason Powers and James Reeder and others recently defended Shrimp Improvement Systems against antitrust claims brought by competitor Global Blue Technologies that the client conspired with two foreign entities to attempt to monopolize the shrimp ‘broodstock’ market. Reeder and Craig Seebald jointly head the team, which also counts Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Joseph Giraudo and Phadia US among its clients. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

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Merger control
Merger control - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is ‘excellent on all fronts’ for merger review work. Neil Imus combines ‘deep experience in HSR filings and antitrust concerns’ with ‘a very measured approach to a tough negotiation’. William Vigdor is another highly regarded individual in the team, which is jointly headed by Craig Seebald and James Reeder. Imus assisted LSB Industries with the antitrust aspects of the $364m sale of its climate control business to NIBE Industrier. Vigdor and Seebald are based in Washington DC, and Reeder is based in Houston.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)
Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Marie Yeates in Houston, Thomas Leatherbury in Dallas and John Elwood in Washington DC lead the practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP. The group is renowned for its environmental expertise and advises clients across a range of industries. Jeremy Marwell is representing a coalition of trade associations from Arizona and New Mexico, led by the Arizona Mining Association, against the Environmental Protection Agency’s amendment to the definition of ‘waters of the US’ under the Clean Water Act. Yeates and newly promoted Austin-based Michael Heidler represented Marathon in two appeals pertaining to the accrual of liability by its subsidiary on surface use agreements for transferred oil and gas leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Other highlights included a successful appeal to the Second Circuit for Cortron, reversing a $35m antitrust award made in favor of MacDermid Printing Solutions.

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Excellent firmVinson & Elkins LLPhas an unbeatable combination of knowledge and experience and provides advice tailored to clients’ needs’. Washington DC’s Craig Margolis and New York’s Clifford Thau head the government investigations practice, in which Matthew Jacobs (San Francisco) and William Lawler (Washington DC) also play key roles. FCA work included multiple representations of engineering company KBR and of BAE Systems, as well as of Agility Public Warehousing Company. The firm is acting for various individuals and companies in securities fraud litigation and is representing Hitachi Automotive Systems in connection with a federal criminal investigation into the automotive industry.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has carved out a leading position for energy litigation in Texas and throughout the country. It is also called upon by well-known companies in diverse sectors such as pharmaceuticals, TMT and automotive, where its trial experience is a strong draw. Highlights in 2016 included its work as lead trial counsel for Energy Transfer Equity in litigation in Delaware Chancery Court with The Williams Companies concerning a merger agreement; Michael Holmes, John Wander and George Gerachis led the team.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP works across the energy, infrastructure development and construction industries, handling international commercial arbitrations and investor-state disputes. Houston-based department head James Loftis, who is ‘capable, practical and well connected’, represented Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius), working with colleagues in London, in a licensing dispute heard under the Mauritius-India BIT. He is also acting for the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq in a dispute concerning the operation of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP).

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a major player in energy sector M&A and litigation. Dallas-based partners John Wander and Michael Holmes served as lead trial counsel to Energy Transfer Equity in expedited litigation in Delaware in which proposed merger partner The Williams Companies alleged breaches of the parties’ merger agreement. Holmes and newly promoted Craig Zieminski advised C&J Energy Services and its board on litigation arising from its stock-for-stock merger with Nabors. The case was dismissed by a Delaware judge who awarded C&J over $500,000 in damages.

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team, led out of Dallas by John Wander and Michael Holmes, is ‘constructive, responsive and pleasant to work with’. Holmes, New York-based Clifford Thau and Austin-based Jennifer Poppe were among the partners who represented consumer finance company EZCorp in a 10b-5 case alleging the company made false and misleading statements. Also recommended is Michael Charlson in San Francisco, who led the defense of Vivus in a stock-drop case arising from the FDA’s failure to approve obesity drug candidate Qsymia. Steven Paradise joined Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP.

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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

Vinson & Elkins LLP is hailed for its ‘responsive and practical approach’ and ‘coordinated Houston and UK offices, which are a great asset in cross-border transactions’. An undoubted leader in the energy arena, where it is widely regarded as ‘a top choice for issuers’ counsel’ but also acts for underwriters, the group’s robust experience in transport, financial services, real estate and telecoms matters also deserves mention. Practice co-head David Oelman is a sought-after name, who recently acted with Alan Beck and firm chair Mark Kelly in advising Anadarko on its $3bn offering of senior notes. Oelman and Beck teamed up again to assist Plains All American Pipeline with its $1bn investment grade offering of senior notes. Michael Harrington has ‘deep expertise in debt deals’ and acted alongside Kelly to advise LyondellBasell Industries on its €750m offering of senior notes. Matthew Strock jointly leads the Houston-headquartered team together with Oelman.

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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 underwriters - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Responsive’, ‘efficient’ and ‘practical’, Vinson & Elkins LLPstaffs matters appropriately and works closely with internal counsel to produce a quality work product’. The capital markets group was significantly bolstered in 2016 through a string of new hires. Among the new arrivals were four partners from Hunton & Williams LLP, with Christopher Green and Gregory Cope joining in Washington DC, and David Freed and Daniel LeBey joining in New York and Richmond respectively. In addition, Paul Tobias joined the Austin office from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. From Houston, David Oelman and Matthew Strock co-lead a team that excels in energy matters but also regularly handles deals in the life sciences, healthcare and financial services spaces. Recent work saw Houston-based Gillian Hobson advising Columbia Pipeline Group on its $1.4bn public offering. Other clients include Anadarko Petroleum, Core Laboratories and MarkWest Energy Partners.

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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 dominant energy practice means it is a top choice for high-yield issuers in that space, but it also continues to increase its market share of high-level bank-side work. Recent examples of its energy prowess include Michael Harrington advising key client Anadarko on its $3bn offering of senior notes; he also acted for Targa Resources Partners in its $1bn notes offering. David Stone advised Extraction Oil & Gas on its $550m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of senior notes. In a high-value manager-side matter, Harrington assisted the underwriters with Weatherford International’s $1.5bn public offering of high-yield senior notes. David Oelman and Matthew Strock jointly lead the capital markets group from Houston.

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Project finance
Project finance: advice to lender - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Project finance: advice to sponsor - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s ‘very responsive, professional and experienced’ practice assists clients with a range of project types, including conventional power, renewable and alternative energy, and oil and gas. ‘Very involved’ practice heads John Connally and James Cuclis, who are based in Houston, are supported by ‘confident, capable associates’. On the sponsor side, the Washington DC-based Katy Gottsponer advised Gas Natural Atlantico on the $535m financing of its Colón LNG-to-power project in Panama, which involved a loan from a syndicate including Bancolombia and International Finance Corporation. The pair also acted for Brookfield Renewable Energy on its $500m bond offering to refinance its 610MW Bear Swamp hydroelectric facility in Massachusetts. The Washington DC-based John Decker assisted a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable Energy with financing its acquisition of two Pennsylvania hydroelectric power projects. On the lender side, New York-based partners Karen Smith and Todd Triller advised Ares Capital Corporation on a mezzanine loan to Panda Power Fund to finance a $100m Virginia power facility. Other key figures in Houston include Kaam Sahely and senior associate Alan Alexander. Mark Spivak left to join Baker Botts L.L.P..

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

The ‘proactive, thoughtful and practical’ team at Vinson & Elkins LLP continues to pick up notable energy-related mandates in both New York and Texas, such as representing Goodrich Petroleum and Energy XXI in their respective Chapter 11 cases. It has also been representing RAAM Global Energy, an upstream oil and gas E&P company, and Sundevil Power Holdings in their Chapter 11 proceedings, and in the latter case it also advised on the proposed sale of a power generation asset portfolio. On the creditor side, the firm has been acting for various banks and investors in energy-related bankruptcy matters, and advised certain equity investors in connection with a plan to allow Energy Future Holdings and its subsidiaries to emerge from Chapter 11. It also represented JPMorgan Chase as administrative agent and senior lender under a credit facility to Chaparral Energy in connection with Chaparral’s Chapter 11. In an engagement outside of the energy sector, the firm has been representing Hardeman County Hospital District in a rare Chapter 9 debt adjustment - the only case of its kind to have been filed in Texas since 2013. William Wallander heads the department and splits his time between New York and Houston. Other key names include David Meyer in New York and Harry Perrin in Houston.

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Led by David Johnson and Daniel Graham, the team at Vinson & Elkins LLP has a ‘deep bench of excellent lawyers’ that includes the ‘smart, experienced, knowledgeable and pragmaticMichael Charness. The group won a series of bid protests for BAE Systems concerning the Department of the Army’s automated installation entry system contract, enabling the client to retain its incumbent contract for another 2.5 years. A recent FCA example saw the team representing KBR in various cases brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or by whistleblower relators concerning the logistical support of military forces during the war in Iraq. On the transactional side, the team advised longstanding client Johnson Controls on the merger with Tyco.

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United States: Industry focus

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has considerable clout in jury and bench trials before federal and state courts with a particular strength in Texas. Houston-based James Thompson, who co-heads the commercial litigation practice with Dallas office managing partner John Wander, represented Marathon Oil in several royalty and breach of contract lawsuits in southern Texas. Guy Stanford Lipe acted as lead counsel to Linn Operating in a royalty class action before the Oklahoma Western District Court. The plaintiffs alleged that Linn and its predecessors improperly calculated and paid royalties on production from approximately 1,700 wells to thousands of royalty owners. Other clients include Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Plains All American Pipeline and Gastar Exploration.

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

Washington DC-based David Andril and Dallas-based Matthew Henry jointly head Vinson & Elkins LLP’s ‘very good’ energy regulatory group, which focuses on handling FERC approvals, transmission line cases and administrative litigation. Henry advised Texas’ largest transmission and distribution utility Oncor Electric Delivery on regulatory matters relating to the Chapter 11 of Energy Future Holdings, which is Oncor’s 80%-owned parent company. Myles Reynolds represented Cross Texas Transmission in its certificate of convenience and necessity application for the development of a high-voltage transmission line in the Houston area. Other clients include Sundevil Power and Arroyo Energy Investment Partners.

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has carved out a strong practice representing companies in the natural gas industry but also handles regulatory oil work. The ‘very well informed’ team, co-headed by ‘very good’ Washington DC partner David Andril and Dallas-based Matthew Henry, is experienced in tariff, certificate, abandonment and presidential permit applications, rate cases, gas quality proceedings and compliance issues. James Olson represented the independent exploration and production company Antero Resources in a FERC rate case, opposing ANR Pipeline’s filing to double its service rates. Olson also acted for Sunoco - a large gasoline distributor - in a proceeding initiated by Colonial Pipeline to modify its FERC tariff. John Decker advised Fortress Investment on the development of multiple small-scale LNG export projects, which necessitated DOE export authorization, EPC contract negotiations, and purchase and sale agreements for natural gas and LNG. James Seegers is an established name in the market.

Leading lawyers

James Seegers - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is commended for its ‘seamless, efficient coordination’, ‘highly involved partners’ and ‘confident, capable associates’. ‘Business-focused, effective negotiatorTrina Chandler in Houston ‘understands the details of every transaction’ and heads the practice, which is particularly strong in M&A. Chandler advised Riverstone Holdings on its acquisition of Talen Energy for $5.2bn, including debt. The team also handles project finance; Oncor Electric Delivery and Goldman Sachs are representative clients. The ‘exceedingly smart, knowledgeable, calm and articulateMaritza Okata in New York is noted for her Latin America experience.

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’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.

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’s department is led by John Connally and James Cuclis in Houston. Project finance is the team’s key strength. Katy Gottsponer (Washington DC) and Brett Santoli (New York) advised Brookfield Renewable Energy on a $500m bond offering to refinance its 610MW Bear Swamp hydroelectric facility in Massachusetts. Investor clients include Goldman Sachs. In February 2017, Mark Spivak joinedBaker Botts L.L.P..

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Environment: litigation
Environment: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has a strong reputation for defending and obtaining major development project permits, and for securing multi-state project approvals involving pipelines, transmission lines and natural resources issues. The firm also has a notable contamination and accident response practice, and handles complex matters involving multiple stakeholders. Practice head Larry Nettles and counsel Taylor Pullins recently defended Mitsui in a cost recovery suit concerning a Superfund site in Pasadena, Texas, where cleanup costs were estimated at $30m. In other recent work, Jim Thompson was part of a team that acted for Plains All-American Pipeline in a federal class action lawsuit regarding a crude oil spill from a pump station in Missouri. Other key practitioners include Washington DC-based Kevin Gaynor, who has ‘broad and deep experience in environmental litigation’ and ‘is invaluable in helping the client strategically manage its environmental liabilities’, and Lewis Sutherland, who is ‘careful, meticulous, and has an impressive grasp of technical and legal issues’. Named lawyers are based in Houston, unless otherwise stated.

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Environment: regulatory
Environment: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and ‘always takes the time to understand the client’s business, values and priorities’. The firm has a strong reputation for securing and defending permits for development projects, and also assists clients with matters involving state and federal governments, investigative boards and non-governmental organizations, advising on business strategy and the mitigation of environmental risks. In Houston, practice head Larry Nettles and counsel Taylor Pullins advised Mitsui & Co on a cost recovery matter related to a Pasadena Superfund site, where cleanup costs were estimated at $30m. Andrew Stewart is also a key individual.

Next generation lawyers

Andrew Stewart - Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Environment: transactional
Environment: transactional - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

At Vinson & Elkins LLP, Larry Nettles’ ‘highly experienced’ group provides ‘invaluable environmental insight’ and advises on both large transactions and day-to-day operations. In a recent highlight, the Houston-based group advised Bernardo Investment and Town & Country Partnership on a $200m real estate acquisition and redevelopment project, a matter involving groundwater contamination and hazardous substance issues. Other highlights included acting for Enviro Water Minerals in an agreement with El Paso for the development of a water desalination plant, and handling various transactional matters for Phelps Dodge Refining. Susan Snyder is the key contact in Austin and is noted for her expertise in water-related issues.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions)
Employee benefits and executive compensation (transactions) - ranked: tier 3

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP represents clients in a vast range of compensation matters. The firm was engaged by Avenue Capital and other equity investors to advise on their plan to assume control of Oncor, a transmission and distribution utility, before the plan was aborted. Practice head David D’Alessandro advised on the $16bn three-way merger between two NorthStar entities and Colony; and assisted portfolio company Nexeo in its merger with WL Ross. George Gerachis in Houston, who leads the practice alongside Dallas-based D’Alessandro, provides tax-related advice and is also a key contact. Stephen Jacobson was recently promoted to partner.

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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

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
Private equity buyouts - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

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
Venture capital and emerging companies - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

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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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 some of the largest energy projects in the market. The practice is headed by London-based Nicholas Henchie and Houston partners Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, who specialize in commercial litigation and energy transactions respectively. Senior associate Mark Brasher is also a key name in the group and works primarily on the front end of contracts. Major energy and infrastructure clients in 2016 included Saddlehorn Pipeline Company, Texas Central Partners and Woodside Petroleum. A standout matter for the group, led by Sahely, was acting for Woodside Petroleum in the $10bn construction of the Port Arthur LNG project. The firm also has an international presence and worked on construction contracts in Oman and Israel in 2016.

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

Vinson & Elkins LLP

In 2016, Vinson & Elkins LLP hired five lawyers from Hunton & Williams LLP, thus establishing its own competitive REIT practice (led by Daniel LeBey in Richmond and operating as part of the M&A/capital markets group). The lawyers advise clients on public and private securities offerings, restructurings, M&A transactions as well as partnership structures. LeBey, Houston-based Stephen Gill, New York lawyer David Freed, and Christopher Mangin in Richmond advised NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation on a $16bn merger with NorthStar Asset Management Group and Colony Capital, forming the company Colony NorthStar. Gregory Cope represented the underwriters to Healthcare Trust of America’s $173m public offering of common stock, while Christopher Green assisted New York Mortgage Trust with its acquisition of all outstanding equity interests in RiverBanc. Both attorneys are based in Washington DC.

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United States: Tax

International tax
International tax - ranked: tier 4

Vinson & Elkins LLP

In Vinson & Elkins LLP’s international tax practice, Jason McIntosh in Houston was promoted to partner, while Christopher Mangin joined the Richmond office from Hunton & Williams LLP and Natan Leyva joined in Washington DC from EY. The practice has special expertise in the formation of master limited partnerships and taxation in the energy sector, but also handles equity and debt capital raising transactions, M&A, business reorganizations and joint ventures. David Peck (Dallas) and Boyd Carano (Houston) advised Talos Energy on its participation in round one of bidding for exploration and production contracts for projects in shallow waters off Mexico’s shore. Other clients include Big Star Oil & Gas, Core Laboratories Holding, Enviva Partners and International Paper Company.

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US taxes: contentious
US taxes: contentious - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s tax controversy practice is led by Houston-based George Gerachis and the team has a firm footing advising energy sector clients, as well as clients involved in technology, transport, financial services and other areas. Its expertise spans matters including international tax, state and local tax, the Internal Revenue Code, tax treaties, accounting methods, partnerships, tax credits and valuation issues. In recent work, the firm advised Energy Transfer Partners in a case in Delaware Chancery Court over its merger agreement with the Williams Companies.

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US taxes: non-contentious
US taxes: non-contentious - ranked: tier 5

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston-based tax group handles complex transactions for local and international clients, including handling SALT tax planning and employee benefits. In keeping with the firm’s energy-sector expertise, highlights included advising Devon Energy on the tax aspects of its $1.9bn acquisition of land in the Anadarko Basin area from Felix Energy, as well as the acquisition of 253,000 net acres in the Powder River Basin for $600m. In a related transaction, it advised the same client on the tax implications of EnLink Midstream’s $1.55bn acquisition of Tall Oak Midstream. Other clients include Antero Midstream, Apollo Global, Big Star Oil & Gas and Occidental Petroleum Company. George Gerachis and John Lynch lead the practice.

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