Kaam Sahely > Vinson & Elkins LLP > Houston, United States > Lawyer Profile

Vinson & Elkins LLP
SUITE 2500
HOUSTON, TX 77002-6760
United States
Kaam Sahely photo

Work Department

Energy Transactions & Projects




Kaam represents investors, developers and other participants in complex infrastructure and energy investments and projects.

In particular, Kaam has deep experience in renewable and sustainable energy assets, power generation, traditional hydrocarbons and infrastructure assets. Kaam has a market leading renewables practice representing a number of the key investors in the U.S. and extensive experience developing large scale infrastructure projects. Kaam is co-head of the Energy, Infrastructure and Projects practice group.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Industry focus > Energy transactions: conventional power

(Next Generation Partners)

Kaam SahelyVinson & Elkins LLP

The Texas-based team at Vinson & Elkins LLP harnesses the firm’s longstanding energy industry sector knowledge and is also able to draw from a deep pool of expertise across M&A, project development and finance, regulation, and tax. It provides an integrated and highly effective service to a myriad stakeholders, including utilities, IPPs, and financial sponsors engaged in power transactions. Co-head of the firm’s energy industry group, Houston-based partner Trina Chandler has a core focus on conventional power matters and regularly advises both funds and energy companies on M&A and joint venture transactions in the space, including on the acquisition and sale of conventional and renewable power generation assets. Recent highlights include her work for Riverstone Holdings on the formation of Onyx Strategic Investment Management I BV, a newly formed European IPP, and its subsequent agreement to acquire a fleet of coal- and biomass-fired power stations from affiliates of Engie. Although perhaps best-known for his renewables expertise, Austin-based partner Kaam Sahely also regularly advises funds on their acquisitions and disposals of conventional power portfolios, single assets, and project companies.

United States > Finance > Project finance

Well regarded for its work in the oil and gas sector, Vinson & Elkins LLP has a track record of acting for lenders, sponsors, equity investors and suppliers in innovative projects. LNG projects are a particular strength, with the firm having advised on numerous projects, both in the US and Latin America. In recent years the group has also developed first-rate expertise in ammonia projects; in 2020 the department represented Gulf Coast Ammonia LLC in financing an anhydrous ammonia plant in Texas. Kaam Sahely and John Connally co-lead the team from Austin and Houston, respectively, though the firm also has a solid New-York based team, which includes Karen Smith and Eamon Nolan, the latter of whom advises renewables-focused funds on M&A transactions.

United States > Real estate > Construction (including construction litigation)

The construction practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP has a notable expertise in the energy sector, where it handles transactional matters and disputes relating to major developments in the US and abroad. Jointly led in the US by Houston-based commercial litigator Ferguson McNiel and power and infrastructure specialist Kaam Sahely in Austin, the practice group also has broader strengths in public infrastructure projects, generally. Another contact in the team is Mark Brasher, who led on some of the firm’s most prominent recent matters, including the negotiation of construction and operating agreements for Texas Central’s Dallas to Houston high-speed rail project, and the negotiation of a $15.2bn EPC contract for Tellurian in relation to an LNG terminal. Stephanie Coco is a standout senior associate in the Houston office. Nicholas Henchie leads the wider international construction group from the firm’s London office.

United States > Industry focus > Energy: renewable/alternative power

Combining national M&A, private equity and project finance expertise with a core focus and understanding of the energy sector and the underlying assets involved, Vinson & Elkins LLP is well placed to provide ‘commercially-minded’ advice to a predominantly investor-focused client base on their renewables transactions. The firm remains the principal adviser to Goldman Sachs on investments made through its renewables fund and has also recently advised the Carlyle Group on the first two investments and financing transactions for its renewable and sustainable energy platform. As a corollary of his broader corporate and M&A practice, the ‘proactive and creative‘ Dallasbased partner Peter Marshall is regularly engaged in private equity-related work in the sector and is a key member of the team, as is Spanish speaking New York-based partner Eamon Nolan, who regularly advises lenders and borrowers on debt and equity financing transactions to fund the acquisition, development, and divestment of renewable assets, both domestically and throughout Latin America. In addition to advising on commercial contracts, including PPAs and joint development agreements, Houston-based partner Danielle Patterson is also regularly engaged in M&A in the sector, adding value by dint of her ability to provide detailed asset-level due diligence. Kaam Sahely and John Connally co-head the firm’s overarching energy, infrastructure and projects group from Austin and Houston, respectively. Sahely is particularly instrumental to the firm’s success for private equity sponsors investing in renewables and clean energy projects.

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

Longstanding Houston-based energy sector heavyweight Vinson & Elkins LLP has ‘deep and broad oil and gas industry knowledge‘ and a ‘real sense of what is current and commercial in the market‘. It is consequently well positioned to advise a wide range of stakeholders, including independent oil and gas companies, private equity investors, banks and export credit agencies, engaged in the purchase, sale, development and financing of oil and gas assets and projects. As a result of the firm’s core and focused expertise in the sector, it is able to provide a holistic service to clients on matters throughout the value chain, which require core transactional competence in addition to the requisite regulatory, tax and environmental knowledge. John Connally co-heads the firm’s energy transactions and projects group alongside Kaam Sahely, and has an excellent track record advising buyers and sellers (including financial sponsors) on M&A in the upstream and midstream sectors. Of note, Sahely recently represented exploration and production company Felix Energy on its $2.5bn sale to WPX Energy. Corporate co-head Keith Fullenweider is also a key resource across upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions and generates a considerable amount of work in the space as a result of his strong private equity ties. At the more junior level of the partnership, Danielle Patterson and Bryan Loocke both have flourishing reputations for strategic companies and fund clients across a range of M&A and JV transactions. All named practitioners are based in Houston.