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Vinson & Elkins LLP

1001 FANNIN STREET, SUITE 2500, HOUSTON, TX 77002-6760, USA
Tel:
Work +1 713 758 2222
Fax:
Fax +1 713 758 2346
Email:
Web:
www.velaw.com
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Mark Brasher

Email:
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Energy Transactions/Projects

Position

Partner

Career

As a member of Vinson & Elkins' worldwide Energy Transactions and Projects practice group, Mark engages in a domestic and international business transactions and projects practice that is focused on energy and infrastructure. He has represented domestic and international participants in the energy business, including offshore and onshore oil and gas producers, a range of participants in the LNG industry, alternative energy companies, banks, and private equity funds in a wide variety of transactions. Mark also has experience advising developers of major infrastructure projects, including in the transportation and water sectors.


Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a global leader in upstream oil and gas and it has brought this expertise to Latin America, most notably the Brazil and Mexico markets. In Mexico, it has achieved prominence in bidding rounds for exploration and production contracts, and in the development of natural gas pipelines and infrastructure to improve the flow of gas from the United States into the country. Downstream projects in Mexico are another growth area. In Brazil, it continues to be a force in presalt production sharing contracts. Moreover, it is recognised player in renewable energy  -including wind and solar- right across Latin America. Clients include Talos Energy, Riverstone, Key Energy Services, ExxonMobil, Pattern Energy Group and Statoil. The team advised Equinor on its acquisition of a 25% interest in the offshore Roncador field, one of Brazil’s largest producing oil fields, from Petrobras; and Avant Energy, the Riverstone portfolio company, on its proposal to invest $500m into the development of a network of terminals to supply refined petroleum products from the Port of Altamira, Tamaulipas to the Bajio region of North-Central Mexico. Clients praise the firm for 'identifying key country entry risk', its ongoing support in post-closing matters, its 'network of professionals', 'ability to meet almost any timeline, whether that means working overnight, holidays or weekends', its understanding of how fast industries move, the manner in which 'requests or issues are routed to the correct team member' and 'the way the team communicates internally'. Now based in San Francisco, Boyd Carano has a long record in oil-and-gas bids, acquisitions and project development in Mexico and Brazil; he is also an experienced figure in Latin America renewables projects. New York partner Eamon Nolan, a genuine Latin America project development and finance specialist, joined the New York office from Linklaters LLP in February 2019. London partner Alex Msimang and Houston's Mark Brasher are also key names. Also in Houston, senior associate Alan Alexander is noted for his expertise in Mexico's oil-and-gas sector; he is 'a client's dream', 'can handle all aspects of a deal on his own', 'is very efficient and reasonable with his billing, and does a good job of delegating work to members of his team', he 'has always exceeded expectations, is very smart and is able to convey information in a manner that enables commercial decisions to be made based on his legal advice'.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

Vinson & Elkins LLP is highly regarded for its expertise in handling finance mandates relating to energy and infrastructure projects. Kaam Sahely, who jointly heads the energy, transactions and projects department with John Connally, is advising Woodside Petroleum on its potential participation, as co-sponsor with Sempra, in the $10bn Port Arthur LNG project; he is also advising Gulf Coast Ammonia on the $800m development and project financing of a hydrogen-based ammonia production facility in Texas. Maritza Okata and Karen Smith in New York advised Tyr Energy, alongside Trina Chandler and Washington DC-based Katy Gottsponer, on the financing and development of the Hickory Run Energy Center, a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Smith also advised Babson Capital Management on the $34.5m purchase of secured promissory notes issued by nine subsidiaries of Cypress Creek Renewables for the permanent financing of each issuer's utility-scale tilt solar array project in North Carolina. Mark Spradling, Mark Brasher and Keith Fullenweider are also recommended, as are New York-based David Wicklund and John Grand in Dallas. Senior associate Simone King in New York is also a key figure, as is Eamon Nolan who joined in 2019 from Linklaters LLP. Named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise. Former department co-head James Cuclis joined White & Case LLP in 2018.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Within: Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Primarily based in Houston, Vinson & Elkins LLP's 'thorough, responsive, and engaged' practice group is 'able to handle complex transactions in a down-to-earth manner and is really focused on getting deals done'. Jointly headed by John Connally and Kaam Sahely, the team advises developers, pipeline and oil field services companies, commercial banks, export-credit agencies and private equity investors on the purchase, sale, development and financing of oil and gas assets and projects; the firm also has a formidable oil and gas regulatory practice. Douglas Bland and Mark Brasher advised Driftwood LNG and Tellurian on four fixed-price lump-sum turnkey agreements between Tellurian and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, totaling $15.2bn, for the engineering, procurement and construction of Driftwood LNG, a liquefied natural gas export facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana. Also recommended are corporate head Keith Fullenweider, Danielle Patterson, Bryan Loocke, who has 'knowledge of everything in the oil and gas space, from basic concepts to complex mechanics', and Thomas Zentner, who has 'built institutional knowledge that allows him to provide consistently insightful, comprehensive advice'. Houston-based Jay Cuclis left for White & Case LLP and New York-based Mike Rosenwasser joined Baker Botts L.L.P.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)

Within: Construction (including construction litigation)

Vinson & Elkins LLP combines 'high quality work with consistent availability', underpinned by 'a pleasant demeanor'. The team, which is praised by clients for its 'commitment to success', is led by Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, both based in Houston. The team is experienced in complex infrastructure projects and is representing Texas Central Partners as project counsel in the multibillion-dollar development of a high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. Mark Brasher and Sahely led, supported by a team across the firm's Dallas, New York and Houston offices, including 'fantastic' associate Stephanie Coco, who is based in Houston and is 'developing a great practice with respect to complex construction documentation'. Brasher also acted as project counsel to LNG21, which is developing a $2.4bn LNG platform in the Gulf of Mexico; the team advised LNG21 on joint venture agreements and equity negotiations. Alongside the Washington DC-based John Decker, Brasher also advised New Fortress Energy on various LNG projects. Katy Gottsponer, who is based in Washington DC, and senior associate Luke Edney in Houston supported on this matter. Edney, alongside Brasher and Coco, supported Sahely on Gulf Coast Ammonia, a joint venture that is developing and financing a hydrogen-ammonia production facility in Texas. Also active on this matter was Houston-based senior associate Alan Alexander, who is praised by one client as 'one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with' and offers 'partner counsel for an associate rate'. Houston-based James Loftis, who, alongside the London office, handled a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority relating to the ongoing expansion project, is also noted; McNeil supported on this matter.

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