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Office Overview
The Austin office of Vinson & Elkins opened in 1979. The Austin office's primary areas of practice are regulatory and environmental law, appellate, business transactions, intellectual property, litigation, and taxation. V&E places a high priority on finding creative ways to service our clients, so we are continually expanding our areas of practice in new directions.

Appellate
Lawyers in our Appellate practice handle appeals in cases tried by V&E attorneys as well as appeals in cases tried by other law firms. V&E Appellate lawyers are routinely involved in assisting trial counsel at the trial court level, and in doing so, are involved in preparing dispositive motions and objections to the trial court's charge to the jury, and in assisting in error preservation during trial. After a verdict has been returned, lawyers within the Appellate practice prepare post-verdict motions, review the trial record, analyze and research legal issues, prepare appellate briefs, present oral arguments and prepare post-argument motions. V&E's Appellate attorneys are involved in all aspects of state and federal appellate law, including the preparation of amicus briefs and the filing of specialized appellate proceedings such as petitions for writs of mandamus. In addition, lawyers in the group are available to consult with other attorneys concerning subjects that require special appellate experience.

Corporate
V&E's Austin Corporate practice is focused on advising entrepreneurs, venture capital and private equity funds, and growth companies at every stage of development, from start-ups to large public companies. We work with clients across a wide range of industries, including software, hardware, semiconductors, information technology services, social media, biotechnology, manufacturing, retail, consumer products, energy, and real estate. We regularly handle the formation of corporations and other business entities, public and private debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, securities law compliance and reporting, and corporate governance and regulatory counseling. We advise clients in structuring and completing complex business transactions, including joint ventures and strategic alliances, technology development and licensing, and real estate transactions. We also represent public and private endowment and retirement funds investing in private equity, venture capital and hedge funds and other alternative assets.

Executive Compensation and Benefits
Our ERISA practice provides a depth and variety of legal experience in all facets of executive compensation and benefits. Our lawyers are regularly involved in designing, drafting, amending, compliance, and day-to-day administration of all types of employee benefit and executive compensation plans, including, qualified plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs, defined benefit pension plans, and cash balance plans); tax sheltered annuity plans; stock option and other equity and phantom equity plans; nonqualified deferred compensation plans; SERPs; incentive and bonus plans; retention plans; employment and consulting agreements; severance and change of control agreements; and welfare plans (e.g., medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, life insurance, and AD&D plans). 

We have extensive experience in all employee benefit aspects of corporate acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures, including diligence, negotiating employee benefits provisions in sales/purchase/merger agreements, and handling post-closing plan terminations and mergers. V&E lawyers regularly represent clients in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor involving compliance issues under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, our ERISA lawyers have considerable expertise in defending our clients in ERISA litigation involving fiduciary liability issues, prohibited transaction issues, and benefit denial issues. We also regularly advise clients on institutional investing, including, for example, representation of pension funds in the investment of pension assets in venture capital operating companies and real estate operating companies. Moreover, we are highly experienced in all securities laws that affect employee benefits and executives. Our client representation is broad and includes publicly traded and privately held corporations, for-profit and tax-exempt employers, and public and private sector employers.

Environmental and Regulatory Law
V&E environmental and regulatory lawyers counsel and represent corporate, governmental, financial, and individual clients on a broad range of compliance, permitting, litigation, and transactional matters involving regulation by state and federal administrative agencies of businesses, including electric power generation and transmission; renewables; natural gas and oil production, storage, and transmission; the chemical industry; surface mining; and telecommunications. For decades, we have successfully represented our clients before federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as state agencies including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Our environmental lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience on a full range of environmental law issues including climate change, air and water permitting, enforcement defense, natural resource damages, CERCLA/Superfund, water rights, and environmental crisis management. V&E’s regulatory and environmental lawyers have a broad depth of experience on complex matters including compliance counseling, project siting and development, cost of service ratemaking, regulatory investigations, rulemaking proceedings, enforcement actions and contested cases, judicial challenges of administrative decisions, licensing and permitting, and legislative initiatives.

Intellectual Property and Technical Litigation
Our Austin-based IP lawyers have the necessary experience and depth of knowledge to represent our clients in the full spectrum of intellectual property matters and in all scientific and engineering disciplines. Many of our IP lawyers have practical working experience in industry positions, and our ranks include Ph.D.s as well as lawyers named among the Best Lawyers in America in IP. Broadly, our IP practice includes complex patent, trade secret, trademark, and copyright litigations; prosecuting patent and trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office; and counseling clients regarding their intellectual property rights. In particular, our Austin IP group is known for its strength in prosecuting and defending patent litigations in Federal Courts throughout the U.S. and for its business savvy in counseling clients in the building and exploitation of their patent portfolios.

Litigation
Vinson & Elkins has represented plaintiffs and defendants in virtually every type of business dispute in every type of forum, from anti-trust litigation to securities litigation, from  regulatory challenges to class actions, in arbitrations or state and federal courts across the country. Our clients represent a broad spectrum of Fortune 500 companies, master limited partnerships, private equity funds, and other publicly and privately-owned enterprises. Our representation spans a wide range of industries, including software, life sciences, media, energy, water, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing.

Taxation
Our taxation lawyers handle federal income, gift, and estate tax matters. This experience includes planning, controversy, and administrative matters. V&E lawyers regularly handle federal contested proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service, the Tax Court, and the Claims Court.

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2801 Via Fortuna
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746-7568
Tel  +1.512.542.8400
Fax  +1.512.542.8612

Human Resources & Benefits
Fax  +1.512.236.3388
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Office Managing Partner
Milam Foster Newby
mnewby@velaw.com
Tel  +1.512.542.8846