February 23, 2011 — Three prominent lawyers – two in New York and one in London – who practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, energy, finance, and project development are joining Vinson & Elkins as partners effective immediately.
Todd R. Triller and Maritza U.B. Okata, formerly partners at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, are joining V&E as partners in New York. Keith Hughes, formerly a partner with Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, has joined in the firm’s London office.
V&E’s managing partner Joe Dilg said the admission of these three experienced partners is part of the firm’s strategy to continue to expand its global energy practice. “Keith, Todd, and Maritza are all superb lawyers who inspire confidence and trust from their clients,” said Joe. “Their joining our firm will further enhance our ability to provide excellent service to our clients around the world.”
Todd’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and finance. Todd advises investment funds and corporate clients in connection with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and mezzanine and project financings. He has extensive experience with energy and infrastructure matters. Todd is a 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.
“I chose Vinson & Elkins because of its outstanding energy platform and my positive experiences working with V&E’s lawyers. I look forward to working with the V&E team on the continued growth of its private equity and finance practices,” said Todd.
Maritza has a broad-based transactional practice, focusing on finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Maritza regularly represents investment funds and corporate clients that span a diverse range of industries, including energy, infrastructure, and financial services, in connection with financings, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic investments, joint ventures, corporate governance, and restructuring matters. She also has substantial experience in cross-border transactions, with a particular focus on Latin America.
After graduating from Yale Law School in 2000, Maritza served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and to the Honorable Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Maritza lived and worked in Brazil for a number of years. She is fluent in Portuguese and also speaks French and Spanish.
“I am delighted to join Vinson & Elkins. V&E has an outstanding energy practice and a great record representing investors in significant transactions in Latin America. I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the continued growth of V&E’s private equity, finance, and Latin America practices,” noted Maritza.
“V&E continues to see opportunities to expand our private equity and M&A practice in New York,” said Keith Fullenweider, who leads V&E’s global M&A practice. “We have worked opposite Todd and Maritza for several years and were very impressed by them personally and by the caliber of their work. We welcome Maritza’s experience and familiarity with Brazil, an area of focus for V&E and many of our clients.”
Keith Hughes, who has joined V&E’s London office, has more than 30 years of corporate transactional experience, concentrated in large part on the energy industry. His experience includes debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions (including privatizations), and restructurings. Keith has also represented a number of independent energy companies in mergers and acquisitions involving both upstream and downstream operations, as well as in various project and acquisition financings.
Keith's cross-border experience includes transactions in Africa, Latin America, Western Europe, Russia and Asia, in the areas of upstream and downstream oil and gas operations, power generation, mining, agriculture, food processing, breweries, industrial machinery, plastics, wire and cable manufacturing, cement production, and telecommunications.
Most recently, Keith has been involved in financings, joint ventures, and asset acquisitions in the North Sea, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
V&E’s London office managing partner Alex Msimang stated, “As we continue to expand our global energy transactions practice, we always want to have the most talented energy lawyers in the market. Keith is one of the most knowledgeable energy lawyers in London and bringing him on board is consistent with our aim of ensuring we have the number one energy practice wherever we operate.”
Keith stated, “I have known Vinson & Elkins since I first became a lawyer. I have always admired the firm’s energy practice group and have worked with lawyers there throughout my career. As V&E is so highly regarded within the energy industry, to be part of the growing international operations of the firm is an honor and a very exciting opportunity.”
Keith is the third partner to join V&E’s London office in 2011, following on the recent hiring of both an international construction partner in January and another energy transactions partner in early February.
Vinson & Elkins LLP is an international law firm with more than 770 lawyers across 14 offices worldwide. For more information, please contact Carrie Kaufman at +1.713.758.4330.