The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Vinson & Elkins LLP

666 FIFTH AVENUE, 26TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10103-0040, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 237 0000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 237 0100
Email:
Web:
www.velaw.com
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Karen Smith

Tel:
Work +1 212 237 0010
Email:
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Finance

Position

Karen's practice concentrates on acquisition, project, and structured finance transactions. She has represented domestic and international banks and financial institutions, developers, investors and private equity funds in connection with the financing, acquisition, development, construction, operation, and privatization of a wide range of capital-intensive projects in the oil and gas, electric energy, petrochemical, renewables, telecommunications and public infrastructure sectors. Karen has counseled clients in all phases of acquisition and project financings, including initial structuring and contract negotiation, financing and post-financing matters. She has extensive experience in structuring complex multi-tranche financing transactions, including domestic and cross-border commercial bank and institutional loan and security documentation, Term Loan B, ABL and Rule 144A financings, and related intercreditor arrangements.

Member

  • Member: American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association

Education

Karen graduated from Lafayette College, B.A. Economics and B.A. Government in 1984, and Cornell University, J.D. in 1987. Admitted to New Jersey Bar in 1987, New York Bar in 1988, and District of Columbia Bar in 1989.


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.

[back to top]


Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • DO FIDIC RULE APPLY IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS IN UAE?

    Since a very long time, FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) is commonly used a standard for international construction and engineering contracts and is very frequently used in UAE. It mainly governs the construction works within the country and in GCC. 
  • CommuniquĂ© on Equity Crowdfunding Is Officially Published

    By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“ CMB ”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft CommuniquĂ© on Equity Crowdfunding [1] . The CMB has now officially published the CommuniquĂ© on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“ CommuniquĂ© ”), on October 3, 2019. The CommuniquĂ© entered into force as of October 3, 2019.
  • Beneficial Ownership Concept new interpretation from the Russian federal tax service

    The recent interpretative letter issued by the Russian Federal Tax Services (“FTS”) on 08th August 2019, has provided further guidance as to the application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept, further to the letter initially provided on the 12th of April 2018 which adopted a strict approach of the concept. 
  • Cyprus and Netherlands Double Tax Treaty Update

    Cyprus has concluded the negotiations for the avoidance of double taxation with the Netherlands. The double tax treaty was agreed at technocratic level in Hague. It is expected to be signed by the end of 2019 or early in 2020.
  • Vacancy - Senior Corporate Lawyer

    The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.
  • CJEU RULED ON THE APPLICATION OF THE BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP CONCEPT

    The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on February 26, 2019, in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases”, can be perceived as a landmark on the interpretation of the Beneficial Ownership concept under the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD) and the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD).
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.
  • ITALIAN RULES ON JOINT VENTURES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND CONCESSIONS

    Italian rules on jointventures concerning public procurement and concession contracts are set out inlight of the European legal framework provided for in Directive 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European rules aim to ensurethe best use of public money so that EU citizens benefit from strategicinvestments and services at fair prices. In this context, public procurementand concessions represent key instruments that need to be regulated and standardisedin order to ensure free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedomto provide services.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.