Firm Profile > Vinson & Elkins RLLP > London, England

Vinson & Elkins RLLP
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Oil and gas Tier 2

Vinson & Elkins RLLP handles the full range of issues across the entire oil and gas production chain, from upstream transactions and pipeline arrangements to downstream LNG work and day-to-day operational support. Group head Alex Msimang has a strong focus on M&A transactions in the upstream sector, especially in Africa, while global projects finance head Nabil Khodadad is advising SOCAR GPC on its proposed development and financing of a greenfield gas processing plant and polypropylene petrochemicals facility in Azerbaijan. Andrew Nealon is experienced in EPC contracts, offtake and supply arrangements, process licensings and project financing work. Counsel Alistair Wishart and senior associate Nadine Amr are noted for energy infrastructure projects and corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):


‘V&E has been helpful in tackling issues swiftly, especially seen as time constraints are very important in our business. I value the advice provided on a number matters. They are thorough and solid.’

Key clients

Africa Oil Corp.


Delonex Energy Limited

Equinor ASA

J.P. Morgan

MCC EuroChem OJSC/Joint Stock Company EuroChem Northwest

Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq

Nauticol Energy



SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.S.

STAR Rafineri




Construction: contentious Tier 3

Vinson & Elkins RLLP is praised for its 'very business-minded and solution oriented team' led by Nick Henchie, who primarily focuses on international arbitration for construction and engineering clients. His most prominent work has included acting for the Panama Canal Authority in a number of ICC arbitrations, and is described as 'a masterful tactician'. Scott Stiegler is also noted for his expertise in energy and infrastructure disputes, especially in the international arena. An area of growth in his practice is energy from waste disputes.

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Other key lawyers:


‘This is a very business-minded and solution-oriented team; this separates them from other law firms. I have not worked such a law firm that is so good at providing solutions. They’re good team players. They also work very closely with business colleagues – they don’t proceed without input or approval from in-house legal counsel. They take quick actions and respond in time. They have a capable team, experience and expertise. I would highly recommend working with them.’

‘Nick Henchie is a fantastic lawyer and has built a great practice.’

‘Nick Henchie is a masterful tactician and has the rare ability to skilfully handle multi-faceted large scale construction disputes. Nick’s strength lies in his technical ability to dissect complex disputes and to cut through to the true issues that are at play and driving the parties’ positions. Such precision and acumen brings with it decisiveness of action. In short, he is a fearsome opponent – clients want him on their side and despair when he crops up on the other side against them.’

‘Scott Stiegler has been critical to the growth of the team in London and the profile of the practice globally. Scott is highly competent, exceptionally capable and a broad strategic thinker.’

Key clients

Panama Canal Authority

Saipem S.p.A

Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (Limited Publication)

High yield Tier 3

Vinson & Elkins RLLP climbs the ranking this year due to involvement in high yield offerings for energy industry participants, including upstream oil and gas companies, midstream companies, and oilfield service companies. The firm also handles deals in other industries including automotive, consumer products, manufacturing, financial services, food and drink, mining and metals, and retail on behalf of investment banks, issuers and sponsors, but it is best known for its work in the energy sector. Jeffrey Eldredge leads the practice and handles a broad range of work in the energy and telecommunications sectors, in which high yield bond issuance is a key element. Leveraged finance partner Noel Hughes advises issuers, underwriters  and alternative capital investors on high yield debt, liability management and US securities law matters.

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Other key lawyers:

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America, N.A.

Deutsche Bank

First Quantum Minerals Ltd

Petra Diamonds Limited

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios, S.A.

International arbitration Tier 5

Vinson & Elkins RLLP's 'very knowledgeable' London international dispute resolution and arbitration team is well known for its representation of energy and oil and gas clients in complex and significant disputes worldwide. It also acts for clients in the technology, telecoms, insurance, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and engineering sectors. Louise Woods and counsel Alexander Slade lead the international arbitration team in London, where Nick Henchie and Scott Stiegler are also key members.

Practice head(s):


‘Louise Woods is, in a word, brilliant.’

‘The team was very knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the the Arbitration process. They knew how it should be handled when dealing with authorities and Arbitrators for the case.’

‘Louise Woods – Partner, is an excellent lawyer with impressive level of detail and broad knowledge of the oil and gas industry. She is always available, and keen to support client in all legal matters.’

‘Georgina Barlow – Associate, is a rising star in international dispute. We have been working with her for several years, and have seen her gain more experience and are sure she will continue succeeding.’

‘Alexander Slade – process lead, focused to important details, high level professional, confident.’

Key clients

Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq

Panama Canal Authority

Saipem S.p.A .

Exxon Mobil Corp

Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius) Ltd.

UAB E energija

Corporate tax Tier 6

Andrew Callaghan heads up the tax group at Vinson & Elkins RLLP, which is active in international tax planning in relation to the natural resources, energy and telecoms sectors. In addition, it plays a key role in cross-border private equity transactions and restructurings. Jenny Doak left the firm for Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP in November 2019.

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 6

Vinson & Elkins RLLP acts for a broad range of private equity and corporate clients with a particular focus on the infrastructure and energy sectors. Distressed asset acquisitions and investments in Europe continue to be a key area for the practice and these transactions span a variety of sectors, including consumer retail, manufacturing, building services, financial services and assets, care homes/assisted living and shipping. Jeffrey Eldredge co-leads the corporate department, representing private equity sponsors engaged in cross-border infrastructure mergers and acquisitions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Africa Oil Corp.

Apollo Global Management


Crestline Investors


Elevation Capital

Energy Growth Momentum


Goldman Sachs

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert

Helios Investment Partners

Helios Towers

Kingsley Capital Partners LLP


Peninsula Capital Advisors


Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures

Sixth Street Partners

Vinson & Elkins is one of the largest international law firms and has repeatedly been ranked among the world’s leading energy law firms, while offering first-class services across a range of other sectors. Its London office focuses primarily on corporate finance and securities, energy, mergers and acquisitions, tax, construction, project finance and international dispute resolution.

The firm: For over a century since it was founded, V & E’s lawyers have provided innovative business solutions for clients whose needs are as diverse as the entities they represent. The depth and breadth of its lawyers’ experience, combined with the responsiveness and efficiencies of the firm’s global reach, enable V & E to serve clients from start-up to the negotiating table and boardroom, before legislative and regulatory bodies, in the courtroom and beyond.

The London office opened in 1971, making V & E one of the first US-based law firms to establish an office in the UK. It operates a large, successful and expanding international business group, primarily comprised of English solicitors and US lawyers, with several also licensed in other jurisdictions. London serves as a co-ordinating centre for the firm’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and the former Soviet Union, with respect to clients operating out of the US, London and elsewhere.

Types of work undertaken: The London office advises on virtually every aspect of the energy industry, including upstream and downstream oil and gas, power, LNG and pipeline projects, terminal processing arrangements, marketing agreements, power purchase agreements and related concession agreements, energy trading arrangements and other energy-related contracts. Clients include international energy companies, as well as governmental entities.

A wide range of corporate finance and securities matters are handled from London for investment banks, private equity funds and public and private companies, as well as other clients. Services include AIM and other market listings. In addition, the office advises clients on matters relating to compliance with the securities laws of the US.

The London office also has a large and expanding mergers and acquisitions practice, including financing experience. Clients are drawn from a variety of sectors, including hi-tech corporates, private equity houses and multinationals in the oil and gas, petrochemicals and energy industries. Clients include indigenous European corporates and individuals, and US companies investing in Europe and elsewhere.

Project development and finance is also an area of practice, including advising lenders, developers, sponsors, governments and others regarding major international projects, ranging from power and energy to telecommunications and infrastructure in general. The London office regularly advises on a wide variety of other matters, including those governed by laws of England and Wales, the US and other jurisdictions. These include litigation and arbitration, intellectual property, licensing, employment, joint ventures, taxation, construction, regulatory, trusts and estates, and environmental matters.

V & E’s London office will continue to develop as a cornerstone of the firm’s global success, carrying out work of the highest quality for a growing range of clients.

Other offices: Austin, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, New York, Richmond, Riyadh, San Francisco, Tokyo, Washington DC

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman T Mark Kelly
Administrative partner Alexander Msimang
Managing partner Scott Wulfe
Capital markets and securities
Climate change
Corporate governance and compliance
Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employment litigation and labour
Insolvency and reorganisation
Intellectual property
International arbitration and litigation
Mergers and acquisitions
Private equity/venture capital
Project finance and development
Public policy
Real estate
Photo Name Position Profile
 Andrew Callaghan  photo Andrew Callaghan Senior Associate
 Paul Dunbar  photo Paul Dunbar Partner
 Jeffrey Eldredge  photo Jeffrey Eldredge Partner
 Susanna Fidoe  photo Susanna Fidoe Disputes Counsel
 Federico Fruhbeck  photo Federico Fruhbeck Partner
 Nick Henchie  photo Nick Henchie Partner
 Nabil Khodadad  photo Nabil Khodadad Partner
 James Loftis  photo James Loftis Partner
 Alex Msimang  photo Alex Msimang Partner
 Andrew Nealon  photo Andrew Nealon Partner
 Alexander Slade  photo Alexander Slade Senior Associate
 Louise Woods  photo Louise Woods Partner
Number of partners worldwide : 200 approximately
Number of lawyers worldwide : 720 approximately

The Lex 100 Verdict

Recruits at Vinson & Elkins have the benefit of 'working in a small office, but still being part of a big American firm'. By no means just a satellite office, London trainees undertake work which is 'complex and challenging – this firm does not do straightforward transactions'. The V&E training contract is non-rotational, which means that 'often you end up doing work from all over the firm even though you are technically sat in one particular department'. Thanks to the small cohort, trainees benefit from 'more acknowledgement of our work and contact time with all members of the team, from associates to counsel to partners' who 'make time to develop you as a lawyer'. Four Lex 100 Winner awards have been secured by Vinson & Elkins, among which are job satisfaction and international secondments. Elaborating on the latter, respondents particularly enjoyed seats in the Houston and Dubai offices. Training is 'less structured,' meaning that 'you have to be more outgoing, confident and seek out work for yourself'. The upside of this proactive approach is that trainees 'tend to do work more likely to be undertaken by first or second year associates in other firms'. The downside is that 'workloads can be uneven'. Another pitfall is that a 'lack of support staff late at night can leave you doing time-consuming printing jobs or other administrative tasks'. Although there can be long nights at the office, on the whole trainees consider 'the work challenging enough to to justify the hours when it gets tough'. Research Vinson & Elkins if you want to be 'surrounded by lawyers that are excellent at their job but are also fun, interesting people'.