Firm Profile > Bracewell LLP > Houston, United States

Bracewell LLP
711 LOUISIANA STREET
STE 2300
HOUSTON, TX 77002
United States

Industry focus > Energy regulation: oil and gas Tier 1

Bracewell LLP handles a mix of transactional and standalone regulatory work in the oil and gas field, covering the full spectrum of upstream, midstream and downstream mandates. The team is at the forefront of pipeline infrastructure work and is experienced in issues involving both oil and gas pipelines. Senior team members frequently represent clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DoE), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other state and federal regulatory agencies. The core team includes Washington DC office managing partner Mark Lewis, Kirk Morgan, David PerlmanMichael Brooks and George Fatula. All are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lewis

Testimonials

The team includes members with varying years of experience allowing for support at the appropriate billing rate. Mid-level and senior team members have deep experience in the subject matter area and represent numerous significant industry players, thus exposing the team to the most current issues.

Each team member is exceptionally responsive and they function well as a team to give prompt, pertinent and cost effective support.

This team has deep knowledge on what makes our company commercially tick and never loses focus on that while rendering legal advice.

Mark Lewis, Kirk Morgan and George Fatula are very pragmatic, responsive and have excellent relations with the regulators.

Kirk Morgan is a stellar attorney, provides sage legal counsel and keenly helps us navigate sometimes troubled areas.

Key clients

Enterprise Products Partners

TC Energy

Phillips 66 Partners

Kinder Morgan

Cheniere Energy

Targa Resources

DTE Midstream

Holly Energy Partners

NEXUS Gas Transmission

Apache Corporation

Delek US

Tenaska

Industry focus > Energy litigation: conventional power Tier 2

Bracewell LLP's connections to the energy sector provide it with the basis for a flourishing conventional power litigation practice. The group represents some of the largest power producers as defendants and plaintiffs in the country and worldwide, regularly handles cases before the federal courts and FERC, and is highly experienced in cross-border disputes. Chair of the firm-wide litigation group Stephen Crain has a major focus on energy disputes, representing developers and producers, commodity traders and suppliers to the energy industry. Bradley Benoit is another energy disputes expert with notable experience in defending shareholder class actions and derivatives cases. Washington DC-based Catherine McCarthy chairs the energy regulatory group and often represents energy clients in contentious matters before FERC and other regulatory bodies. Austin partner Deanna King co-heads the energy litigation practice with Andrew Zeve. Named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Crain; Deanna King; Andrew Zeve

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wight; Christopher Dodson; Bradley Benoit; Catherine McCarthy

Testimonials

Bradley Benoit is a really good lawyer and represents clients really well.

Key clients

Powerex

Central Maine Power Company

Shell Energy North America (US)

Southern Copper

Hydro One

Great Plains Energy

Industry focus > Energy regulation: conventional power Tier 2

Bracewell LLP has extensive experience before FERC, the DoE, the CFTC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and other regional entities. The practice has a notable reputation in the energy field, backed up by key regulatory credentials. It also has a strong record in rate and centralized market issues and is singled out for its hydroelectric capabilities. Catherine McCarthy heads up the firm's energy regulatory department and has experience in obtaining FERC and other state approvals for major projects and transactions. Austin-based partner Deanna King has extensive transmission regulation experience and is active in the California independent system operator market. Paul Wight is noted for design and operations matters, Stephen Hug was promoted to partner in early 2019, and Michael Brooks is praised for his knowledge of wholesale markets. Named partners are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Catherine McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

David Perlman; David Poe; Cheryl Foley; Deanna King; Paul Wight; Stephen Hug; Michael Brooks

Testimonials

Knowledge of the industry, size of the firm, depth of knowledge across partners.

‘Very collaborative, very good negotiating skills and an excellent ability to incorporate the bigger picture into their advice.’

Michael Brooks’ knowledge of the wholesale markets is above other practitioners we have worked with. This base allows him to spend less time getting up to speed and more time providing legal services.

Key clients

AVANGRID

Powerex

Shell Energy North America

Engie

Hydro-Quebec

Vistra

New England Power

Generators Association

Evergy

Industry focus > Energy transactions: oil and gas Tier 2

Led from Houston by Alan Rafte and James McAnellyBracewell LLP is well-versed at handling a wide range of transactional work for a balanced roster of clients throughout the value chain, from upstream exploration and development companies and oilfield service businesses, through to storage and terminals companies. In addition to purely domestic mandates, the team is well-placed to advise on multi-jurisdictional matters, often working alongside lawyers from the firm's dedicated energy offering from London. Upstream and midstream matters are particular areas of strength for the team, both in relation to M&A and financing work.

Practice head(s):

Alan Rafte; James McAnelly

Other key lawyers:

Cleland Dade; Austin Lee; Dale Smith; Carl von Merz; Molly Butkus; Lytch Gutmann

Key clients

Eni Petroleum US

Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, Inc.

Altus Midstream Company and Altus Midstream LP

Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund

Apache Corporation

Harvest Midstream Company (an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy Company)

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

COG Operating LLC (a subsidiary of Concho Resources Inc.)

Halcón Resources Corporation

Global Infrastructure Partners

Pilot Travel Centers

WaterBridge Resources

Par Pacific Holdings, Inc.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company

Drilling Tools International, Inc.

Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corporation

Industry focus > Environment: regulatory Tier 2

Fielding professionals in Texas and Washington DC, the environmental strategies team at Bracewell LLP has extensive experience handling regulatory matters in energy sector, where it represents clients in a full-range of state and federal regulatory proceedings. In particular, the team is well-versed in climate change regulation, renewable fuels standards and energy policies, as well as issues involving the Clean Water Act, NSR reform and the regulation of greenhouse gases. The practice is jointly led from Washington DC by Jason Hutt and Jeffrey Holmstead, who advises on a variety of issues such as the Clean Air Act and climate change law. Also in DC, Kevin Ewing is a contact for environmental and climate change disclosure under SEC laws, as well as energy-related incidents. In Austin, Sara Burgin is a key advisor for enforcement matters pertaining to water issues, while Kevin Collins leads on environmental investigations and safety incidents in the energy and petrochemical sectors. Timothy Wilkins is also recommended in the Austin office.

Practice head(s):

Jason Hutt; Jeffrey Holmstead

Other key lawyers:

Sara Burgin; Kevin Collins; Kevin Ewing; Ann Navaro; Timothy Wilkins; Brittany Pemberton

Testimonials

‘The team is deeply knowledgeable in the oil and gas refining industry and provides stellar legal advice tailored to our needs.’

‘Tim Wilkins, Whit Swift, and Kevin Collins possess a wealth of knowledge in the refining industry and provide salient advice in a manner that addresses all of our regulatory and compliance needs.  They are my ‘go-to’ team whenever we have compliance questions or needs.’

Key clients

Electric Reliability Coordinating Council

Equinor Wind (f/k/a Statoil Wind)

Sinclair Oil Corporation

Gulf Coast Sequestration

The Williams Companies

Honeywell

Airgas/Air Liquide USA

Cheniere Energy

Government > Government relations Tier 3

Bracewell LLP's government relations practice is active in matters relating to national security and environmental law, in addition to its core strengths in energy, oil and gas, renewables and environmental law, all in line with the wider firm's focus areas. Jointly led by Scott Segal and Dee Martin, the team is experienced in acting for clients in crisis situations, congressional investigations, and legislative and regulatory advocacy. Edward Krenik is the name to note for matters relating to industry coalitions and trade associations, and Joshua Zive is a name to note for international trade and economic sanctions. Contacts for energy sector work include Anna BurhopChristine Wyman, and Gene Godley, who also has experience advising clients on international financings and transactional matters. Jeffrey Holmstead oversees the environmental strategies group and is recommended for energy and environmental matters.

Practice head(s):

Scott Segal; Dee Martin

Key clients

Valero Energy Corporation

Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC)

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA)

FBI Agents Association

McKinsey & Company

National Brain Tumor Society

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA)

National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)

Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU)

Denka Performance Elastomer Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA)

The Trevor Project

Equinor ASA

Chicken of the Sea International

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)

Industry focus > Energy litigation: oil and gas Tier 3

Bracewell LLP is a key name in the oil and gas market with substantial litigation credentials. It acts for defendants and plaintiffs ranging from a number of major oil and gas companies to companies emerging in the market. Cases stem from operating agreements, development agreements, royalty disputes, title disputes, surface use agreements and environmental issues, among others. Chair of the litigation group Stephen Crain has a strong focus on the energy industry, including cases involving securities law violations. Sean Gorman and Andrew Zeve are also key names. All named partners are based in Houston; the practice also fields a number of key partners in Austin including Deanna King, who co-chairs the firm's energy litigation practice with Zeve.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Crain; Deanna King; Andrew Zeve

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Dodson; Bryan Dumesnil; Stephen Benesh; Sean Gorman

Key clients

Apache Corporation

Southern Copper

The Bank of New York Mellon

Maxus Energy

Foro Energy

Baker Hughes

Enerflex

Rover Petroleum

Noble Energy

Southwestern Energy

Industry focus > Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 3

With energy forming one of the cornerstones of Bracewell LLP's overarching business strategy, it is perhaps unsurprising that the firm has closely followed the growing prominence of renewables as a power source and has successfully implemented best practices from across the firm's wider energy project finance offering for developers, investors and financiers. Benefiting from transactional lawyers with industry strength across solar, wind and hydropower, as well as being able to call upon environmental, tax and restructuring experts, the firm is able to counsel clients throughout the life cycle of a project - from early stage development, through financing to acquisition and disposition. Other niche areas of expertise include renewables-related commodities transactions, as well as advice on corporate power purchase arrangements. Houston-based partner Alan Rafte heads up the firm's business and regulatory section.

Practice head(s):

Alan Rafte

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Tomlinson; Nicolai Sarad; Hans Dyke; Fernando Rodriguez Marin; Jeris Diana Brunette

Key clients

DIF Infra 5 LLC and Idaho Wind Partners I, LLC

IWP

DIF

Texas Microgrid, LLC

Cooperatieve Rabobank (New York Branch)

Marubeni Power International

South Field Energy

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

TexGen Power LLC

Equinor Wind (f/k/a Statoil Wind)

Societe Generale

Cypress Creek

NRG

Macquarie

Tenaska

Industry focus > Energy transactions: conventional power Tier 3

Led out of Houston by Ryan Holcomb and also able to call upon the transactional expertise of practitioners based out of New York and Washington DC, Bracewell LLP's power group is well-placed to advise utilities, independent power producers, retail and wholesale power companies on corporate and financing transactions throughout the value chain. In addition to the firm's transactional prowess, clients also benefit from a high degree of regulatory expertise, adding value on standalone issues as well as M&A transactions in the regulated utilities sphere. The team also has a niche advising on power trading matters, where it is able to deploy the expertise of numerous practitioners with former in-house experience at commodities trading businesses.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Holcomb

Other key lawyers:

Hans Dyke

Key clients

Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners

Rockland Capital, LLC and its affiliates

Entergy Corporation

Sol Systems

Marubeni Power International

AP Energy Holdings

Industry focus > Environment: litigation Tier 3

Bracewell LLP has a strong profile in the energy sector, acting for clients in a variety of environmental litigation and arbitration. The practice group is jointly led from the DC office by Clean Air Act expert Jeffrey Holmstead and Jason Hutt, who is experienced in the defense of civil and criminal enforcement actions, as well as major industrial incidents. Another key contact is Christopher Dodson in Houston. Dodson handles environmental disputes for clients in regulated areas, such as upstream energy, waste disposal, and telecoms, among others.

Practice head(s):

Jason Hutt; Jeffrey Holmstead

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Dodson; Kevin Ewing; Ann Navaro; Matthew Paulson; David Super; Timothy Wilkins; Brittany Pemberton

Testimonials

‘A talented group with deep knowledge in environmental law.  They offer sound advice with a view towards business reality.’

‘Tim Wilkins, Whit Swift, and Kevin Collins are stellar lawyers who provide exceptional service.  They are responsive, knowledgeable, and their work product is succinct and salient.’

Industry focus > Environment: transactional Tier 3

With specialists in Washington DC and Texas, Bracewell LLP's environmental strategies group has a strong profile in the energy sector, where it provides comprehensive advice on environmental challenges in relation to domestic and cross-border corporate deals, real estate and infrastructure development projects, and financing transactions. Aside from its energy sector work, the team is also active in a number of other highly-regulated industry sectors, such as chemicals, technology and heavy manufacturing. Climate change and Clean Air Act expert Jeffrey Holmstead oversees the team, alongside Jason Hutt; both are based in Washington DC. Timothy Wilkins is a key figure in the Austin office.

Practice head(s):

Jason Hutt; Jeffrey Holmstead

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Given the nature of our industry, our targets all possess, to a greater or lesser extent, environmental concerns that must be addressed.  This team has the deep industry knowledge and transactional expertise to ably guide us in our negotiations with sellers or other counterparties so as to provide us with a clear understanding of the risks inherent in each of our deals, and to craft the deal documents to address those risks.’

‘Tim Wilkins is a superb environmental lawyer who possesses a deep knowledge of the refining industry as well as the environmental laws that govern it.  I trust no one else to work on our deals.’

Key clients

Sol Systems

Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners

Halcón Resources Corporation

Pioneer Natural Resources Company

COG Operating

Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund

Western Gas Partners

Prosperity Bancshares

Dispute resolution > Appellate: courts of appeals / Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) Tier 4

Led out of Houston by Warren Harris, Bracewell LLP’s appellate group has core strength in energy-sector appeals. Additional areas of activity include toxic torts, IP issues, environmental disputes, and insurance litigation. The team members are regularly involved in the appellate stage of a dispute, but are also adept at stepping in to assist clients with their strategy in the trial courts. Yvonne Ho is also a standout appellate attorney in the Houston office.

Practice head(s):

Warren Harris

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The primary strength of the team is the breadth of experience that practice head Warren Harris offers. Warren has significant experience in legal issues at the trial court as well as at the appellate court, which gives him a solid basis for evaluating risk. That is combined with excellent knowledge of the law, both substantive and procedural.

Key clients

KBR

Apache Corporation

Westlake Chemical Corporation

Carlton Energy Group

Prosperity Bancshares

Vopak

Weatherford International

Cheniere Energy

The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company

Direct General Insurance Company

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

The team at Bracewell LLP has a broad white-collar practice, which includes FCPA violations, environmental crime, broker-dealer violations, accounting and financial fraud, as well as FCA matters. In terms of federal representations, the group is often instructed by companies and individuals under investigation by Congress, the DOJ, SEC and other government agencies. The group has developed a particularly active practice in defending employers against whistleblower claims. Washington DC's Stephen Braga, who joined from the University of Virginia's law department in January 2019, took over from New York's Paul Shechtman as chair of the firm's national group. In New York, Barbara Jones has developed a busy practice, and has taken on numerous special master and monitorship court appointments, alongside assisting institutions with governance issues following various crises. In Houston, Jeffery Vaden is the name to note for cross-border investigations. Matthew Nielsen joined the Dallas office from Stanton LLP in March 2019, and focuses on cases including securities law, export controls and sanctions and FCPA.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Braga

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Catholic Archdiocese of New York

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation

Franz H. Muller-Huber

Michael Guyre

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood

Reid Bigland

Finance > Capital markets: debt offerings Tier 4

Acting mainly for issuers, Texas stalwart Bracewell LLP utilizes its first-class energy client base to specialize in advising oil and gas companies on their private and public debt offerings. The group is also a popular choice for MLPs and financial services clients. Largely based in Houston, the group benefits from a significant New York platform, which was bolstered in 2019 with the arrivals of Catherine Hood, Todd Eckland and counsel Anthony Terrell from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP. Houston-based William Anderson co-leads the practice and advises on capital markets, M&A and regulatory issues. Department co-head Charles Still also handles a wide spread of corporate and securities matters, with a focus on the energy industry.

Practice head(s):

William Anderson; Charles Still

Key clients

Apache Corporation

Altus Midstream Company and Altus Midstream LP

Evercore

Three Rivers Natural Resource Holdings IV LLC

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P.

Finance > Commercial lending

Bracewell LLP is best known for its energy-related financing expertise, where it represents a broad spread of borrowers and lenders on high profile upstream, midstream, and downstream transactions. The firm's lawyers are well versed on all stages of the financing journey, including major refinancings and restructurings, as well as structured products and forms of asset finance. The bulk of the team works out of Houston, with key partners such as practice head Dewey Gonsoulin, Heather Brown, and Stephanie Koo Song. The firm also has an expanding New York practice that includes the highly experienced Robin Miles.

Practice head(s):

Dewey Gonsoulin

Key clients

Citibank, NA

MUFG Union Bank, NA

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Société Générale

Targa Resources Partners

Macquarie Bank

Phillips 66 Partners and its Master Limited Partnership

Kinder Morgan

Altus Midstream

Apache Corporation

Finance > Project finance

Bracewell LLP has a highly versatile projects team led by Thomas Tomlinson out of the firm's Houston office. The practice is noted for its strong expertise across a range of areas, including major P3 infrastructure projects, as well as renewables, power, and oil and gas developments. The team regularly acts for sponsors and lenders, and is also noted for its strong track record advising on major developments in Latin America. The group will inevitably miss Jessica Adkins and former co-head Ron Erlichman who respectively joined Sidley Austin LLP's Houston and New York offices. Nevertheless, the firm has several highly experienced partners with strong experience, including Robin Miles and Fernando Rodriguez Marin (who is very active on the P3 infrastructure side) in New York. Alan Rafte in Houston and Hans Dyke in Washington DC are also noted for their strong energy expertise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Tomlinson

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional Tier 4

Since the recent retirement of former practice head Bruce Jocz, the key names for Bracewell LLP’s Houston-based employee benefits and executive compensation team are Scott Sanders and new practice head Matthew Grunert. The team has a focus on the energy and utilities sectors, handling high-value asset acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and M&A deals. Given the significant level of ongoing insolvency in the firm’s sectors of focus, it is highly experienced in Chapter 11 transactions and restructuring mandates.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Grunert

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Apache Corporation

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Calpine Corporation

Pioneer Natural Resources Company

Par Pacific Holdings, Inc.

Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, Inc. / Montage Resources Corporation

Parsley Energy, Inc.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Pier 1 Imports, Inc.

Labor and employment > Immigration Tier 4

Bracewell LLP's immigration team has a 'wealth of knowledge' in the areas of energy, utilities, technology, bio-medical and healthcare, and religious organizations. Practice head Victoria Garcia in San Antonio is the key name in the group; she routinely assists clients with obtaining non-immigrant and immigrant visas for foreign employees, compliance audits, and EB-5 investor programs. Associate Amber Dodds is noted for her work in employee investigations. In 2019 the team lost its key practitioner in Houston. Nelli Nikova, who established the practice group, left the firm to found Nelli Nikova PC.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Garcia

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The immigration team possesses a wealth of knowledge. They have been extremely supportive of our employees as well as our organization. They have been put some of our most difficult cases in front officials to get answers on matters that were crucial to our employees.’

‘Victoria Garcia is the subject expert for our Immigration Issues. She represents our employees as well as the organization. She has the highest level of integrity and it shows in every decision she makes.

Key clients

Valero Energy Corporation

NuStar Services Company

Calpine Corporation

City of San Antonio acting by and through City Public Service Board (CPS Energy)

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Sirius Computer Solutions

Circle K (formerly CST Services and Valero Retail Holdings)

Phalanx International (USA)

Food Safety Net Services

LiquidPower Specialty Products

China Communications Construction (USA)

Media, technology and telecoms > Outsourcing Tier 4

Focusing on the vendor side, Bracewell LLP’s practice has a track record in structuring and negotiating strategic IT outsourcing agreements. It advises clients in an array of industries, namely aviation, energy, financial services,  and consumer products. The firm’s go-to practitioner is Houston-based Jeffrey Andrews, who advises clients on all major business functions and operations.  Associate Lucy Tyson in Houston is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC

American Water Enterprises, Inc.

Noble Energy

Southwest Airlines Co.

Media, technology and telecoms > Technology transactions Tier 4

Primarily based in Texas, the technology transactions team at Bracewell LLP is especially strong in advising a client base of insurers, financial institutions, healthcare entities and retailers on IP-related issues. Houston-based Jeffrey Andrews and Austin-based Thomas Adkins are key contacts. In May 2019 Janice Davis moved to the Dallas office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 5

A major force in the energy sector, Bracewell LLP is based in Texas, but its geographical reach spans the country. The litigation team is also known for strengths in the tech and financial industries. In major work, 'exceptional' practice head Stephen Crain represented Apache Corporation in a $1.1bn case arising from purchase and sale agreements filed in Texas state court; he obtained a dismissal of the entire case on the eve of trial. In another highlight, a team led by Bryan Dumesnil and Bradley Benoit acted for Southern Copper Corporation in a shareholder derivative action filed in Delaware Chancery Court arising out of transactions related to two power plants. Another key litigator is the 'masterful strategistSean Gorman in Houston; he is representing Southwestern Energy as plaintiff against Sapient in Texas state court in a $18m case alleging that Sapient failed to meet expectations that it would implement cutting-edge energy trading and risk management software.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Crain

Other key lawyers:

Sean Gorman; Stephen Benesh; Daniel Connolly; Rachel Goldman; Allan Taffet

Testimonials

The team functions better as a team than just about any other team I have known in my career. It has integrated seamlessly across the client, the experts and the legal staff. The team demonstrates complete commitment, but also if blindingly realistic in its assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. They listen well and are patient explaining what different issues mean.

We are dealing with multiple firms in addition to Bracewell. Bracewell is clearly above the other firms. They have a much firmer and a more granular level of understanding of the facts than the other firms. They are more patient in describing the alternatives and providing an understandable assessment of them. They communicate openly and balance competing interest to our benefit. Stephen Crain is the lead partner. He is exceptional in all aspects. Having worked with many attorneys over my career, I find him the best all-round. He leads his team very well and gives people leeway to act. A true leader. His co-counsel is Brad Benoit, and he and Crain have the perfect balance in their relationship. I was very impressed and continue to be with Dianne Crabtree, an exceptional attorney with the greatest precise understanding of the history of our issues of any of the team. I felt the entire Bracewell Team was “Lake Wobegon”, where everyone was above average.

Bracewell is an effective group of litigators. They are able to focus on the overall outcome of a case while handling important minute details. I was totally confident in their collective advice, as they assessed all aspects of the case and quickly strategized a resolution. Bracewell has the ability to instil total confidence that the client is in capable hands.

Sean Gorman is a brilliant lawyer, masterful strategist and effective negotiator. He is a tireless worker who constantly explores the potential need for mid-course corrections that must be considered during the course of a complex case. Sean never loses sight of the big-picture objective as he manages the various moving parts in a lawsuit to make a comfortable and predictable experience for his client. In my opinion, Sean is an extremely effective lawyer who stands out as one of the very best in Houston.

Key clients

Apache

Artvest Partners

Baker Hughes

Battery Park City Authority

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

ENGIE

Eni

Equinor Wind

HTC

John Brecker

Southern Copper

Southwestern Energy

The City of Houston, Texas

The Medicines Company

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Venoco

Vopak North America

Waste Management

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

Bracewell LLP joins the ranking this year having been active for public and private companies, underwriters and individuals in securities cases filed in federal and state courts throughout the US, as well as before governmental agencies. Its recent work includes matters of accounting fraud, insider trading, disclosure, self-dealing and market manipulation. The firm's Texas-based litigators are focused predominantly on the energy sector. Tony Visage in Houston leads a seven-partner practice, in which the 'creative, thoughtful, practical and very knowledgeable' Stephen Benesh in Austin is a commercial litigator with extensive experience in securities cases, including class actions.

Practice head(s):

Tony Visage

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Steve Benesh is one of the top litigators that I work with. He has an eye for detail while also maintaining a big-picture strategical perspective. He is creative, thoughtful, practical and very knowledgeable about the energy sector.

Key clients

The Bank of New York Mellon and certain of its trusts and trustees

Pier 1 Imports, Inc.

Southern Copper Corporation

Special Committee of the Board of Enbridge Energy Partners

Hydro One Limited

Great Plains Energy, Incorporated (n/k/a Evergy, Inc.)

Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP

Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Western Gas Partners, LP

Investment funds > Alternative/hedge funds Tier 5

Bracewell LLP supports fund sponsors and investors in the formation and management of investment funds of various classes, particularly focused within the energy and infrastructure space. SEC compliance specialist Cheri Hoff is the name to note.

Tax > US taxes: non-contentious Tier 5

Bracewell LLP has considerable strengths in energy-related tax matters and the taxation of MLPs. In addition to this, the tax group is noted for its work on investment funds, corporate and distressed transactions, and tax matters relating to charitable organizations. The practice is led by Elizabeth McGinley, who advises on the tax aspects of energy investments. Managing partner Gregory Bopp in Houston acts for upstream and midstream companies in the US and is noted for his experience of the taxation of MLPs. Also in Houston, Todd Greenwalt specializes in tax matters related to governmental entities and exempt organizations. Michele Alexander is also recommended. All named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise specified.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth McGinley

Key clients

Kinder Morgan

Apache Corporation

Philips 66

Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund

Brookfield Asset Management

Altus Midstream Company and Altus Midstream

AP Energy Holdings and South Field Energy (affiliates of Advanced Power)

COG Operating (a subsidiary of Concho Resources)

Blue Ridge Mountain Resources (post-merger the company was renamed Montage Resources)

Pioneer Natural Resources Company

Halcón Resources Corporation

Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corporation

Pilot Travel Centers

Prosperity Bancshares

Allegiance Bancshares

CHRISTUS Health

Texas Children’s Hospital

Fort Bend Independent School District

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

City of Houston, Texas Airport System

Bexar County Hospital District (d/b/a University Health System)

Alamito Public Facilities Corporation

Finance > Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate Tier 6

Primarily working from the Houston office and in the energy sector, Bracewell LLP's financial restructuring team helps creditors (often ad hoc creditor groups) and debtors in dealing with Chapter 11 matters, distressed M&As, and out of court restructurings. Practice head William Wood is an experienced litigator, and many bankruptcy cases are disputed with the support of the firm's litigation practice. Former chair Kurt Mayr and two additional partners left the firm to join Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Practice head(s):

William Wood

Key clients

Linc Energy

Energy & Exploration Partners

ENI Petroleum

Noble Energy

TMT Procurement Corporation

Avangrid Renewables

Société Générale

Amegy Bank NA

WBH Energy

Trinity River Resources

Venoco

Former equity owner of Toisa

Eastern Outfitters

Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering

Entergy Mississippi

TSI / Platinum

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: large deals ($1bn+) Tier 6

Bracewell LLP is especially active in transactions around the South West, with its Texas offices providing a solid base for M&A and banking transactions in a few core industries. In line with the firm's strength in the energy sector, the team has developed particular expertise in acting for master limited partnerships. A key energy-sector highlight for the team was Western Gas Partners LP's acquisition of 98% of publicly held units in the limited partnership, a deal in which Troy Harder acted for the special committee to the board of Western Gas Partners. William Anderson and Charles Still lead the corporate and securities practice from the Houston office; both are focused on energy and banking-related transactions. Of recent note, Anderson led on the merger of Prosperity Bancshares with LegacyTexas, a major move in the Texas banking market estimated at roughly $2.1bn.

Practice head(s):

William Anderson; Charles Still

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The M&A team is commercially focused and takes on our projects are their own, assuming personal responsibility for our combined success.

Kirk Morgan and Jason Jean are stellar attorneys, and provide sage legal counsel and help us navigate sometimes troubled areas keenly.

Key clients

Prosperity Bancshares

Sinclair Telecable

Global Infrastructure Partners

Evercore

Woodforest National Bank

Affiliates of existing preferred equity investors in CN Jackalope Holdings

Western Gas Partners

Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Enbridge Energy Management

Pioneer Natural Resources

Blue Ridge Mountain Resources

Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech

Greenberg Traurig LLP's blockchain and cryptocurrency group has core strength in financial regulation, and has also shown expertise across a range of transactional and contentious matters in the digital currency space. Carl Fornaris in Miami counts regulatory compliance, licensing and corporate transactions among his areas of expertise and jointly leads the practice alongside Los Angeles-based Barbara Jones, who focuses on corporate and securities regulatory matters. William Mack in New York is another name to note for securities law advice in the cryptocurrency space. Also of note, David Miller recently joined the New York office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Miller specializes in white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, and securities and commodities enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Carl Fornaris; Barbara Jones

Other key lawyers:

Projects and energy > Projects and energy Tier 4

Bracewell LLP has outstanding oil-and-gas credentials. It is noted for upstream and midstream projects and transactions, particularly in Mexico. Recent work saw the team advise Ophir Energy on the sale of its interest in Block 5 in the Salina Basin offshore Mexico, which includes the Cholula discovery. It also assisted Eni on the sale to Qatar Petroleum of a 35% interest in Block 1 in Campeche Bay (Mexico), which includes the Amoca, Miztón and Tecoalli discoveries. Houston partner Manuel Vera is licensed to practice in Mexico and New York's Fernando Marin is noted for renewable energy projects.

Firm overview: Bracewell LLP is a leading law and government relations firm primarily serving the energy, infrastructure, finance and technology sectors throughout the world. Its industry focus results in comprehensive state-of-the-art knowledge of the commercial, legal and governmental challenges faced by clients and enables the firm’s lawyers to provide innovative solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes.

Main areas of practice
Energy: Bracewell is consistently at the forefront of developments across the energy value chain. It is unmatched in its ability to provide a comprehensive offering for market players given the significant number of Bracewell lawyers who are focused in each aspects of this sector.

In the oil and gas sector, the firm represents upstream exploration and development companies; oilfield service businesses; pipeline, storage and terminals companies; refining and chemicals companies; commercial banks, trading houses, investors and private equity investors involved in oil and gas; and investment banks, other intermediaries and strategic advisors to oil and gas companies and investors.

The power team represents utilities, independent power producers, retail electric businesses, commodity trading houses and investors in a wide range of transactions and regulatory and compliance matters relating to conventional and renewable power sources and transmission.

The firm has also developed targeted practices — such as regulatory, environment, tax, intellectual property, and strategic communications — to serve our energy clients. Its industry focus enables it to maintain cutting- edge experience and in-depth knowledge of the commercial, legal and regulatory challenges faced by its clients, so that it can provide the most effective legal solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes.

We Know Energy®.

Infrastructure: Bracewell has one of the largest and most experienced infrastructure teams in the United States. Its lawyers have played leading roles at every stage in the procurement, structuring, development, financing, operations purchase and sale of major infrastructure projects around the country and in significant markets globally, including energy, transportation, social infrastructure, hospitality, arts, sports venues and other projects. Clients rely on Bracewell to help them achieve their most ambitious goals. Many of these projects are unique, innovative or first-of-their-kind.

Finance: Bracewell is well known for advising borrowers and lenders on billions of dollars of financial transactions every year. It assists clients in various forms of secured and unsecured transactions, including project finance, acquisition finance, syndicated lending, structured finance, leveraged finance, reserved-based lending, bridge financings to facilitate capital markets access, equipment finance and leasing. Furthermore, the firm’s finance attorneys assist clients in various stages of a lending transaction, including refinancings and restructurings (including out-of-court restructurings) of existing loans, debtor in possession (DIP) financings, and exit financings for both borrower and lender clients. The firm boasts a large energy finance team with in-depth knowledge across the entire energy finance spectrum, including upstream, midstream, downstream, exploration and production, refining, oil field services, commodities, chemicals, and renewables and conventional power.

Technology: Bracewell’s technology team utilizes a well-rounded approach to facilitate protection of technology assets to align with the long term goals of the client. The firm provides practical coverage in all areas of technology and intellectual property, with established practitioners who file, prosecute and litigate patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and provide advice and support on an array of transactional or adversarial matters. Bracewell lawyers also counsel on outsourcing, licensing, technology transfers and joint venture agreements. The firm is particularly active in core industries around the globe, including energy, technology, finance and retail.

Litigation: For 75 years, Bracewell’s litigators have excelled in courtrooms across the United States and internationally, earning the respect of both judges and adversaries. The team is known for representing industry leaders, across many sectors, in their most high-profile and complex matters. This includes commercial, securities, patent, white-collar, international arbitration, environment and energy litigation, as well as appellate issues that arise from these matters.

Government relations: The firm’s government relations practice is housed within its Policy Resolution Group, which includes lawyers, government relations specialists and strategic communications professionals. It offers a seamless integration of these skill sets and a depth of knowledge unparalleled in Washington, DC, which makes Bracewell’s offering unique among government relations firms. The team has vast and diverse industry experience, with notable influence in energy and environment, namely utilities, oil and gas, and renewables, national security and consumer products.

Department Name Email Telephone
Business & Regulatory Section G. Alan Rafte alan.rafte@bracewell.com 713 221 1411
Litigation Section Stephen B. Crain stephen.crain@bracewell.com 713 221 1305
Technology Section Constance Gall Rhebergen constance.rhebergen@bracewell.com 713 221 3306
Policy Resolution Group E. Dee Martin dee.martin@bracewell.com 202 828 5818
Policy Resolution Group Scott H Segal scott.segal@bracewell.com 202 828 5845
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Jay Aldis  photo Mr Jay Aldis Jay Aldis represents and counsels employers in all types of employment law…
Mr William Anderson  photo Mr William Anderson Will Anderson, co-chair of the firm’s corporate and securities practice, chair of…
Mr Jeffrey Andrews  photo Mr Jeffrey Andrews Jeff Andrews’ broad transactional practice focuses on outsourcing, sourcing and technology transactions.…
Ms Becky Baker  photo Ms Becky Baker Rebecca (Becky) Baker chairs the firm’s labor & employment practice group. She…
Mr Bradley Benoit  photo Mr Bradley Benoit For over 20 years, Brad Benoit has maintained a practice that serves…
Mr Gregory Bopp  photo Mr Gregory Bopp Greg Bopp has served as the managing partner of Bracewell since 2016.…
Mr John Brantley  photo Mr John Brantley John Brantley has experience advising United States and international companies on the…
Ms Heather Brown  photo Ms Heather Brown Heather Brown’s practice focuses on complex financial transactions with emphasis on the…
Ms Molly Butkus  photo Ms Molly Butkus Molly Butkus represents and counsels developers, exploration and production companies, midstream companies,…
Mr Brad Chin  photo Mr Brad Chin Brad Chin, chair of Bracewell’s IP Practice Group, is a registered patent…
 Jason Cohen photo Jason Cohen Over the last 12 years, Jason Cohen has represented corporate debtors and…
Mr Stephen Crain  photo Mr Stephen Crain Stephen Crain has spent his career advocating for clients in high-stake and…
Mr W Cleland Dade  photo Mr W Cleland Dade Cle Dade advises clients on a variety of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions,…
Ms Kate Day  photo Ms Kate Day Kate Day focuses her practice on debt financings in the energy industry.…
Mr Christopher Dodson  photo Mr Christopher Dodson Chris Dodson focuses his trial practice on high-risk and high-value business disputes…
 Bryan Dumesnil photo Bryan Dumesnil Bryan Dumesnil provides Bracewell’s clients with the intense dedication needed when facing…
Ms Cristy Edwards  photo Ms Cristy Edwards Cristy Edwards practices in the area of public finance and tax-exempt finance,…
Mr Mark Evans  photo Mr Mark Evans Mark C. Evans serves as co-chairman of the firm. He served as…
Mr Jonathan Frels  photo Mr Jonathan Frels Jonathan Frels assists governmental bodies, nonprofit corporations and entities that contract with…
Mr Dewey Gonsoulin  photo Mr Dewey Gonsoulin For more than 28 years, Dewey Gonsoulin has effectively and efficiently represented…
Mr Sean Gorman  photo Mr Sean Gorman Sean represents clients in high-risk and high-value disputes across practice areas. His…
 Todd Greenwalt photo Todd Greenwalt Todd Greenwalt works with governmental entities and tax-exempt organizations, advising them with…
Mr Matthew Grunert  photo Mr Matthew Grunert Matt Grunert advises clients on a broad range of compensation and employee…
Mr J Clifford Gunter  photo Mr J Clifford Gunter Cliff Gunter has devoted more than 49 years of practice to providing…
Ms Lytch Gutmann  photo Ms Lytch Gutmann Lytch Gutmann represents public and private companies, master limited partnerships (MLPs) and…
Ms Amy Halevy  photo Ms Amy Halevy Amy Halevy counsels and represents employers in all areas of employment law.…
Mr Jonathon Hance  photo Mr Jonathon Hance Jonathon Hance is both a litigator and an intellectual property lawyer. As…
Mr Troy Harder  photo Mr Troy Harder Troy Harder advises clients in all aspects of corporate and securities law,…
Mr Warren Harris  photo Mr Warren Harris Warren Harris chairs the firm’s appellate practice group. He handles high-stakes appeals…
Mr Ryan Holcomb  photo Mr Ryan Holcomb Ryan Holcomb, chair of the firm’s power practice, represents clients in a…
Mr Jason Jean  photo Mr Jason Jean Jason Jean is experienced in advising public and private businesses, including private…
Mr Albert Kimball  photo Mr Albert Kimball With more than 40 years as an intellectual property lawyer, Albert Kimball…
Mr Austin Lee  photo Mr Austin Lee Austin Lee represents and counsels clients in the acquisition and divestiture of…
Mr Clark Lord  photo Mr Clark Lord Clark Lord has a wide-range of experience in the public sector and…
Mr W James McAnelly  photo Mr W James McAnelly W. James (J. J.) McAnelly serves as co-chair of the firm’s oil…
Mr Gray Muzzy  photo Mr Gray Muzzy Gray Muzzy has represented and counseled oil and gas exploration and production…
Mr Robert Nichols  photo Mr Robert Nichols For more than 29 years, Bob Nichols has represented employers in litigation,…
Mr Gary Orloff  photo Mr Gary Orloff Gary Orloff maintains a diverse business transactions practice with specific emphasis on…
Mr Patrick Oxford  photo Mr Patrick Oxford
Mr G Alan Rafte  photo Mr G Alan Rafte Alan Rafte, chair of the firm’s business and regulatory section, serves clients…
Ms Constance Rhebergen  photo Ms Constance Rhebergen Constance Rhebergen, a member of the firm’s management committee, serves as chair…
Mr Edmund Robb  photo Mr Edmund Robb Edmund Robb focuses his practice on commercial disputes arising out of the…
Mr Aaron Roffwarg  photo Mr Aaron Roffwarg Aaron Roffwarg, chair of the firm’s real estate department, counsels clients on…
Mr Douglas Rommelmann  photo Mr Douglas Rommelmann Doug Rommelmann is a registered patent attorney and counsels companies in all…
Mr Phillip Sampson  photo Mr Phillip Sampson Phillip Sampson has spent decades aggressively pursuing and advocating for his clients’…
Mr Scott Sanders  photo Mr Scott Sanders Scott Sanders provides counsel to publicly traded and privately owned companies in…
 Nicolai Sarad photo Nicolai Sarad Nicolai Sarad advises financial institutions, developers, equity investors and governmental agencies in…
Mr Chris Shield  photo Mr Chris Shield Chris Shield focuses on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation with an…
Ms Stephanie Koo Song  photo Ms Stephanie Koo Song As an award-winning partner in the firm’s premier finance practice, Stephanie Song…
Mr Charles Still, Jr.  photo Mr Charles Still, Jr. Clients praise Charles H. Still for his excellent judgment, responsiveness, creativity and…
 Brian Teaff photo Brian Teaff Brian Teaff has a multifaceted tax practice, advising clients in connection with…
Mr Thomas Tomlinson  photo Mr Thomas Tomlinson Tom Tomlinson has spent his career working on energy transactions with a…
Mr Jeff Vaden  photo Mr Jeff Vaden At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jeff Vaden was responsible for directing criminal…
 Manuel Vera photo Manuel Vera As a lawyer licensed in Mexico, Manuel Vera represents U.S. financial service…
Mr Tony Visage  photo Mr Tony Visage Tony Visage, Chair of the firm’s securities and corporate governance litigation practice…
Mr Barron Wallace  photo Mr Barron Wallace As a result of his experience with virtually all types of governmental…
Ms Jennifer Weston  photo Ms Jennifer Weston Jennifer Weston serves as Bracewell LLP’s general counsel and heads the firm’s…
Mr Richard Whiteley  photo Mr Richard Whiteley Richard Whiteley, co-chair of the firm’s construction litigation practice group, enjoys solving…
Ms Stacianne Wilson  photo Ms Stacianne Wilson Stacianne (Staci) Wilson represents and counsels clients regarding various commercial litigation matters.…
Mr Daniel Witschey  photo Mr Daniel Witschey During his more than 40 year career at Bracewell, Dan Witschey has…
Mr William Wood  photo Mr William Wood William A. (Trey) Wood III, chair of Bracewell’s distinguished financial restructuring department,…
Mr Carl von Merz  photo Mr Carl von Merz Carl von Merz represents public and private companies in their mergers and…
Number of Partners : 167
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Managing Partner : Gregory M Bopp