Mr Sean Wheeler > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Houston, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
609 Main Street
Houston, Tx 77002
United States
Sean Wheeler photo

Position

Partner focusing on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and corporate governance matters, with a focus on the energy sector. Sean regularly represents public and private companies in connection with strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and complex joint ventures. He has represented both issuers and underwriters in over 50 initial public offerings and in over 150 other offerings involving debt and equity securities.

Education

J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1995; B.S., summa cum laude, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1992.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Industry focus > Energy transactions: oil and gas

(Leading lawyers)

Sean WheelerKirkland & Ellis LLP

Led from Houston by Anthony Speier and Andrew Calder, and also benefiting from a significant number of oil and gas focused transactional lawyers operating out of the firm’s nascent Dallas office, the ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP continues its upward trajectory in the sector, with clients benefiting not only from the firm’s longstanding M&A and finance expertise but also considerable sector knowledge. Although it is active across the value chain, the team is perhaps best-known for its upstream offering and has been involved in a significant amount of the recent  consolidation in the space, including its recent work for petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company Newfield Exploration on its $7.7bn merger with Encana Corporation. The firm is also able to leverage its longstanding private equity ties with heavy-hitters including KKR and the Carlyle Group which have seized on the relatively recent downturn in the sector to purchase assets at a discount with a view to realizing significant value through divestments in the years to come. ‘Knowledgeable, responsive and business-oriented’ partner David Castro has a flourishing reputation for M&A and capital works in the sector on behalf of public companies and private equity firms and is a key member of the team that also includes Sean WheelerWilliam Benitez and ‘seasoned professional Lindsey Jaquillard. All practitioners named are based out of Houston.

United States > M&A/corporate and commercial > Shareholder activism

Spread across the firm’s New York, San Francisco, and Houston offices, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is experienced at aiding boards in defending against shareholder activism, particularly activism related to M&A transactions. A key part of the firm’s comprehensive corporate offering, the lawyers focusing on activism defense have broad expertise in all things corporate law, including transactional M&A and private equity deals, and strategic governance and advisory work. In a high-profile case in 2019, the firm advised Bristol-Myers Squibb on activism related to its proposed acquisition of Celgene Corporation, in which opposition to the deal came both from Starboard Value and institutional investor Wellington Management. Key contacts in the New York office include Sarkis Jebejian, Eric Schiele, and Shaun Mathew, David Fox, and Daniel Wolf. The Houston team in particular is a go-to advisor for energy companies facing threats of activist actions; the contact here is Sean Wheeler.