This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Oil & Gas
Founded in Houston, Texas in 1917 at the time of the oil boom, Vinson & Elkins LLP quickly built up a reputation for its expertise in oil and gas matters. Although the firm has now diversified its practice, as well as expanded globally, it remains one of the world’s most renowned energy law firms and is our leading firm for oil and gas. With over 750 lawyers across offices in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East the firm is well placed to serve clients with a global reach and has represented the likes of AES Gener and Emirates Aluminium Company Limited. Our research identifies 50 lawyers at the firm as leading names in 16 distinct practice areas.
|VINSON & ELKINS LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 50|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Competition||2||Oil & Gas||21|
|Corporate Governance||1||Product Liability||2|
|Labour & Employment||1||Tax||1|
Twenty-one V&E lawyers are selected in the oil and gas chapter demonstrating the firm’s “unparalleled” depth of expertise in this field. The practice covers M&A, joint ventures, project developments and financings, dispute resolution, environmental and regulatory matters, tax, and intellectual property. Recent engagements include advising Santos Limited on its $7.4 billion joint venture with Petronas for the development of an LNG facility in Australia, in addition to advising Hanover Compressor Company on its merger with Universal Compression Holdings, creating Exterran Holdings, a leading company in compression and surface production solutions for the global oil and gas industry.
The Houston office fields the largest contingent, with six lawyers selected for inclusion. Stephen Davis is “highly regarded” by peers and clients alike and is a member of the corporate department, energy transactions/projects and M&A/private equity practice groups. Davis has “extensive experience” in the field representing a range of parties to major transactions relating to oil and gas, LNG and other energy industries. His work has spanned the globe, with transactions covering five continents, and he is a member of the firm’s Brazil and Africa focus groups. Robin Fredrickson specialises in representing private equity firms in the formation of joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures of assets of oil and gas properties. A “leading expert” in the oil and gas field, her expertise covers drafting and negotiating a range of agreements including exploration and development as well as drilling programmes. Fielding Cochran III has a “long-standing” reputation for M&A, project development, financing and commodity trading in the oil and gas industry. Cochran’s recent work includes advising an oil and gas operator in the formation of a drilling fund to explore and develop properties in the Gulf of Mexico and leading financial institutions in the acquisition of a 50 per cent partnership interest in one of the top ten gas marketing companies in North America. In Washington, DC, Michael Doble is “well known” for his work in Asia and the Middle East and has advised in relation to projects and transactions in these regions.
Managing partner of the London office, Alexander Msimang is “highly proficient” in oil and gas transactions and his knowledge covers energy projects in Africa as well as throughout Europe. James Atkin is managing partner of the Tokyo office and he specialises in advising oil and gas clients on transactions spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the CIS. He is described as a “first-rate lawyer” in our research. Representing the Shanghai office, Jay Kolb specialises in the development of LNG projects and advises independent LNG companies on transactions and developments across the US, Europe and the Middle East. In Hong Kong James Cuclis is “greatly respected” for his expertise and serves as the head of the corporate department, international coordinator of the firm’s Asia practice and managing partner of the Hong Kong office. Lewis Jones and Christopher Strong are based in Abu Dhabi and both come “highly recommended” in our research for their expertise and “exceptional client service”.
The firm receives seven listings in the environment chapter, six of which honour lawyers based in Texas. The firm’s environmental lawyers advise on climate change, air and water permitting, enforcement defence, natural resource damages, water rights and environmental crisis management. In Houston, Carol Dinkins is one of the most highly regarded individuals in our research and chairs the firm’s environmental practice group. Dinkins advises on transactions and permit matters as well as handling litigation, mediation and criminal defence, and her clients include energy companies, utilities and municipal and governmental entities. In Austin, Molly Cagle advises on a wide range of environmental matters and regularly represents clients before agencies and in federal and state courts. Her experience includes litigating under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Recovery Act and she is described as a “great asset” to her clients. In DC, Kevin Gaynor focuses on litigation and mediation of environmental matters, his practice encompassing both civil and criminal enforcement actions.
V&E fields three lawyers in the project finance chapter, two of whom also appear in the oil and gas section. Douglas Bland is based in Houston and is considered “excellent” in transactions and project financing and development focusing on energy. Beijing-based Paul Deemer focuses on international M&A and the development and financing of international energy projects, and is recognised in both corresponding chapters in our research. His representative work includes advising EBRD and OPIC on the Chernogorskoye field financing: the first financing of a privately developed oil field in Russia. Deemer currently serves as co-managing partner of the Beijing and Shanghai offices. Mark Spivak resides in the DC office and represents developers, financial institutions, private equity firms, investors and equipment suppliers in energy projects around the globe.
The firm receives further praise for its intellectual property expertise, with two lawyers selected for inclusion in the product liability chapter and one entry for patents. The “brilliant” William LaFuze is recognised for his patents expertise which covers litigation in the electronics, oilfield equipment, internet and computer-related fields. LaFuze is a “first-rate” litigator and has represented major manufacturers in patent infringement suits. Both based in the Houston office, Knox Nunnally and Robert Schick are “greatly respected” litigators with significant expertise in the field of product liability. Schick is co-head of the firm’s litigation and regulatory department.
In addition, William Sims Jr and Harry Reasoner are recognised for their broad commercial litigation practices while James Loftis receives praise for his work within the field of commercial arbitration. Harry Reasoner is also singled out for his competition practice, which earns him recognition in the corresponding chapter.
Overall, V&E demonstrates outstanding expertise and global reach, enabling it to serve some of the world’s leading companies and financial institutions in addition to public sector bodies.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.