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Vinson & Elkins LLP

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Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

Maritza Okata

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Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity/Finance


Okata is a partner in the firm's M&A/Private Equity and Finance practices. She has a diverse transactional practice representing private equity sponsors, investment funds and their portfolio companies, as well as corporate clients and financial institutions, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, joint ventures, divestitures, financings and corporate matters. Okata also has significant experience involving cross-border transactions, particularly joint ventures, involving energy and natural resource, technology, telecommunications, and other infrastructure-related assets. She has worked extensively on transactions in Latin America, most notably in Brazil, where her language capabilities enable her to negotiate and manage transactions in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Okata also regularly counsels borrowers and issuers, as well as lenders and institutional holders of senior and subordinated debt, in connection with secured syndicated financings, cash flow and asset-based financings, mezzanine financings, acquisition financings, private placements of debt, project financings, and restructurings.


Spanish, Portuguese, French


Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations


*Yale Law School, J.D. (Articles Editor, Yale Law Journal) *Harvard University, A.B. magna cum laude (Harvard National Scholar) *Law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Supreme Court of the United States, 2002 - 2003; law clerk to Judge Guido Calabresi, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2001 - 2002 *Admitted to practice: District of Columbia; New York

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: conventional power

Within: Energy: transactions: conventional power

Vinson & Elkins LLP is instructed by electric generation and transmission companies, distribution utilities, independent power producers, financial institutions, clean energy companies, power traders, and private equity and venture capital investors in M&A, investment transactions and project development and finance matters. According to one client, Houston-based practice head Trina Chandler is 'one of the best M&A lawyers in the industry'. Also recommended is Dallas-based Chris Rowley, who advised Oncor Electric Delivery Company on a $400m transaction with Sharyland Utilities to exchange Sharyland's retail distribution operations for a set of Oncor's transmission lines in West and Central Texas. Other key contacts include Katy Gottsponer in the Washington DC office, Maritza Okata in New York, and Houston-based Kaam Sahely, who is noted for his 'deep industry knowledge and experience'.

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