Vinson & Elkins: Top Energy Litigation Practice Group In Texas Lawyer's Litigation Departments of the Year Competition

Published: 08-19-2013

Texas Lawyer selected Vinson & Elkins’ Energy Litigation Practice as the top energy-litigation practice group in the publication’s Litigation Departments of the Year competition, running a profile on the firm’s work today.

“In determining the winners, we asked law firms to share with us any big victories and important cases that demonstrate why clients choose them when litigation is on the table,” Texas Lawyer Editor Heather D. Nevitt wrote. “The work submitted was done in Texas and throughout the rest of the country and abroad. The key, though, was that it was led by Texas lawyers, showcasing the talented litigators in the Lone Star State. We had difficult decisions to make in each category as we chose our winners, as it was a truly competitive field.” 

V&E’s early roots in oil and gas allow the firm to offer its clients’ advice based on an understanding of the energy industry’s business, its technology and its complex nature given lawyers at the firm speak the industry’s language. A number of the firm’s lawyers are former petroleum engineers and land men. 

V&E has been front and center and stood shoulder-to-shoulder representing those involved in and with interests in every facet of the energy industry from upstream to downstream. With more than 200 trial lawyers, whether a matter involves the boardroom, the well head, the research lab or a venture in a remote part of the world, V&E’s in-depth knowledge and the skill demonstrated by the firm’s track record in front of juries, judges, arbitrators and enforcement agencies enables its lawyers to put in place effective strategies to achieve clients’ objectives. 

“We appreciate this recognition and are honored by Texas Lawyer’s selection. It speaks to the good work our team does on a daily basis on behalf of our energy clients across the globe,” said  Jim Thompson, a petroleum engineer, who has practiced law for 28 years and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice group and also chairs the firm's Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force. “Our lawyers are deeply steeped in the energy industry and bring decades of experience handling lawsuits, arbitrations, regulatory and environmental matters on behalf of energy clients. Our deep bench allows us to offer a multi-disciplinary approach and innovative strategies in handling the complex disputes that those in the energy industry frequently face.” 

A small sampling of the work V&E’s Texas litigators have done includes defending energy companies in lawsuits involving shale and hydraulic fracturing, handling royalty disputes in states from Oklahoma to Wyoming, a lawsuit in federal court involving a power marketing venture and litigation and arbitration disputes involving oil and gas ventures in Tartarstan, Iraq and Ecuador. Handling challenges to pipeline projects, bio-fuels plants and energy company mergers and acquisitions are commonplace for V&E’s team. The firm also has unique and extensive experience litigating governance and voting rights issues in the context of master limited partnerships. 

When it comes to a case that moves from the trial court to appeal, V&E offers an appellate team that works hand-in-glove with its litigators, offering a seamless transition – something that cannot be underscored in importance. 

“Our clients entrust us to protect their interests – not only in traditional oil and gas litigation, but whenever and wherever they face enterprise-level risks,” said  Marie Yeates, the head of V&E’s appellate practice and managing partner of the Houston office. “Given the complexity of the industries that call on us, it is important that we collaborate on everything from putting a transaction together to stepping in to litigate should something go awry. We are there when our clients need us and this selection is further evidence that the knowledge we bring is relied upon by our energy clients when it comes to litigation, appellate and regulatory work. We’re quite grateful.” 

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