V&E logo
Home > News, Publications, Events > Publications


2014  |  2013  |  2012

Licensee Estoppel: Practical Considerations
First published by Law360, April 11, 2014
Are contractual agreements by patent licensees not to challenge the validity of a licensed patent enforceable?

Defences to Enforcement of an Arbitral Award in the USA Under the New York Convention
First published in Lexis Nexis’ Lexis PSLArbitration , March 2014
Practice Note: Enforcing a New York Convention award in the USA, discussed enforcement of an arbitral award in the US including considering the requirements of the Federal Arbitration Act and the United Nations Conference on the International Commercial Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards signed 10 June 1958.

Enforcing a New York Convention Award in the USA
First published in Lexis Nexis’ Lexis PSLArbitration , March 2014
In general, there is a clear policy preference for the enforcement of arbitral awards in the United States and this pro-enforcement preference extends to awards made under the United Nations Conference on the International Commercial Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Another Texas Case Affirms TCEQ’s Authority to Deny Hearing Requests
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, April 11, 2014
Amplifying the effect of the Texas Supreme Court’s recent decisions in City of Waco and Bosque, the Third Court of Appeals’ April 4 opinion in Sierra Club v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Waste Control Specialists may further enhance a TCEQ permit applicant’s prospects for avoiding the costs and delays associated with contested case hearings. 

Plans for the Purple Line are Rolling Forward: Federal Approval Moves Maryland’s Light Rail One Step Closer to Reality
V&E Condemnation and Land Use Update E-Communication, April 11, 2014 
Maryland’s Purple Line light rail is one step closer to becoming reality after a recent approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

“Breaking up is Hard To Do”: DOJ Advisory Opinion 14-01 Highlights the Challenges of Effectively Mitigating Risks while Removing Foreign Officials from an Investment
V&E Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update E-communication, April 1, 2014
The Department of Justice’s first advisory opinion of 2014, released on March 17, makes clear that more than a simple buy-out may be required of companies attempting to ensure compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended (FCPA), on learning that a business partner or shareholder has been appointed to foreign office.

Fifth Circuit Finds Employer Confidentiality Rule Could Chill Employee’s Exercise of Their Section 7 Rights
V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, April 1, 2014
Our clients are often surprised when we tell them that policies that explicitly prohibit employees from discussing their salaries are in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

Keep Calm and Carry On: IRS “Pauses” for Internal Study of MLP Qualifying Income
V&E MLP Tax Update E-communication, April 1, 2014
Consistent with communications weeks ago to taxpayers with pending ruling requests, an IRS representative acknowledged publicly on Friday, March 28th, that the IRS is taking a “pause” from considering current and new requests for private letter rulings (PLRs) regarding MLP qualifying income while the IRS regroups to study the scope of qualifying income.

Proposed EPA, Corps Rule Would Expand Federal Jurisdiction Over Waters, Wetlands
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, March 31, 2014
On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released a proposed rule that, if implemented, would dramatically expand the scope of waters subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Standing for False Advertising Claims
V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 27, 2014
On Tuesday, March 25, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., No. 12–873 (March 25, 2014), clarifying the standard for standing to sue for false advertising under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).

New Russia Sanctions May Have Significant Impact on U.S. Companies
V&E Export Controls and Economic Sanctions E-Communication, March 21, 2014
This week, President Obama issued two follow-on Executive Orders to his original March 6, 2014 Executive Order (Exec. Order No. 13660) blocking property of individuals related to the situation in Ukraine.

Scope of TCEQ Actions Subject to Judicial Review Clarified by Third Court of Appeals
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, March 20, 2014
Only persons affected by a “ruling, order, decision or other [TCEQ] act” can seek judicial review. But how broad is this grant of judicial review?

UK Budget Briefing
V&E Tax Update E-communication, March 20, 2014
This update summarises tax announcements made in the UK Budget on Wednesday, 19 March 2014, which are likely to be most relevant to our clients.

Due Diligence after Sun Capital
V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, March 19, 2014
On March 3, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, the First Circuit decision holding that under certain circumstances a private equity fund could be found to engage in a “trade or business” under Section 4001(b)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C § 1301(b)(1), which is one element in determining whether the equity fund could be responsible for withdrawal liability assessed against one of its portfolio companies.

How PE Firms Can Mitigate Secondary Liability Risks
First published by Law360, March 5, 2014
Investment firms continue to face an expanding series of legal risks associated with their portfolio company investments — including through theories of secondary liability. 

Upstream IPOs: Market Update and Recent Developments
V&E Energy Finance Update E-communication, March 17, 2014
On February 25, 2014, Vinson & Elkins partners Doug McWilliams, Matt Pacey, John Lynch, and Sarah Morgan presented a CLE program on market updates and recent developments in upstream initial public offerings.

Federal Circuit Rejects a “Bright Line” Approach to Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction, Applying a Flexible Test to Find Jurisdiction
V&E IP Insights E-communication, March 12, 2014
On March 11, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Danisco US Inc. v. Novozymes A/S (No. 2013-1214), clarifying the relevant standard for declaratory judgment jurisdiction.

Identifying Appropriate Due Diligence Scope For M&A Bids
First published by Law360, March 10, 2014
Private equity buyers are hungry for deals and are under pressure to put their equity capital to work, but they are facing a competitive market where many interesting deals are being auctioned at high multiples potentially beyond their comfort levels. 

FERC Order Requires Development of Physical Security Standards in Ninety Days
V&E Energy Updates E-communication, March 11, 2014
On March 7, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order directing the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to submit for approval one or more proposed Reliability Standards within 90 days that would require owners and operators of the Bulk-Power System (BPS) to take steps, or demonstrate they have taken steps, to address physical security risks and vulnerabilities related to the reliable operation of the BPS.

International Labor and Employment Law Update: Spring 2014
V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, March 11, 2014
In this edition of our international employment update, we focus on choice of law and forum selection provisions in employment agreements.

Legal vs. Business Advice: Knowing When Your Advice Is Privileged
First published by Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas Newsletter, Winter 2014
In Texas, a client’s communications with its in-house counsel are shielded from discovery by the same attorney-client and work-product privileges that apply to communications between a client and its outside counsel.

What General Counsel and Other Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About OSHA and MSHA Compliance in 2014
First published by Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas Newsletter, Winter 2014
In many companies, health and safety matters have been traditionally treated as the exclusive province of health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) managers.

BOEM Raises Oil Pollution Act Damages Liability Cap for Offshore Facilities
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, March 6, 2014
On February 24, 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, which, if adopted, will raise the limited circumstances damage liability cap set forth in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended (OPA).

Supreme Court Says Don’t Cry to Me, Argentina
V&E Litigation Update E-communication, March 6, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court held this week that the requirement for an investor to go to Argentine courts before international arbitration in a bilateral investment treaty (between Argentina and the United Kingdom) was a procedural precondition to arbitration, not an issue of consent to arbitrate.

The Latest on Fee-Shifting in Patent Cases
First published by Law360, February 19, 2014
As Congress and the judiciary consider strategies for curbing perceived abuses of the patent system, the practice of fee-shifting — requiring the losing party to pay the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees — in patent litigation has recently received renewed attention.

SEC Announces Initiative Directed at Never-Before Examined Registered Investment Advisers
V&E Private Equity Update E-communication, February 26, 2014
The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday, February 20, 2014, that it is launching an initiative to engage with registered investment advisers that have never been examined, focusing on those advisers that have been SEC-registered for three or more years.

New UK Oil and Gas Regulator to be Created
V&E Energy and North Sea Updates E-communication, February 25, 2014
On 24 February 2014, Sir Ian Wood published the final report of the Wood Review entitled “UKCS Maximising Recovery Review” (the Report), the key recommendation from which is that a new regulator with responsibility for operational regulation of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) should be established. 

En Banc Federal Circuit Confirms That Claim Construction Rulings are Reviewed Without Deference
V&E IP Insights E-communication, February 24, 2014
On February 21, 2014, the Federal Circuit sitting en banc issued a decision upholding de novo review of district court claim construction rulings in Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 2012-1014.

The SEC’s 2014 Agenda and Investment Adviser Examination Priorities
V&E Securities Litigation and Enforcement Update E-communication, February 20, 2014 
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began 2014 by laying out an ambitious agenda and providing important guidance to market participants, including private investment funds. 

EPA Releases Final Guidance for the Use of Diesel Fuel in Hydraulic Fracturing
V&E Shale Insights — Tracking Fracking E-communication, February 19, 2014
On February 11, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels: Underground Injection Control Program Guidance #84 (Guidance). EPA also released an interpretive memorandum on February 5, 2014, to clarify the existing legal requirements of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II permit program.

SEC Issues No-Action Relief for “M&A Brokers” Facilitating the Purchase or Sale of a Privately-Held Company Without Registering as a Broker-Dealer
V&E Private Equity Update E-communication, February 19, 2014
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) issued a no-action letter on January 31, 2014, stating that the Division of Trading and Markets, under certain specified conditions, would not recommend an enforcement action to the SEC under Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act) if an “M&A Broker” (defined below) facilitated “securities transactions in connection with the transfer of ownership of a privately-held company…without registering as a broker-dealer pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act.” 

The Federal Trade Commission Issues 2014 Annual Updates to the United States Premerger Notification and Interlocking Directorates Thresholds
V&E's Antitrust Update E-communication, February 19, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised the thresholds that govern pre-merger notification requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act), as well as the thresholds for interlocking directorates under Section 8 of the Clayton Act.

Don’t Waive Your Restrictive Covenants Goodbye: A Texas Appeals Court Reminds Employers That Non-Compete and Non-Solicit Agreements Should Be Enforced Consistently
V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, February 5, 2014
In Ally Financial, Inc. v. Sandra Gutierrez and Homeward Residential, No. 02-13-00108-CV, 2014 WL 261038 (Tex. App. — Fort Worth Jan. 23, 2014, no pet. h.) (mem. op.), the Court of Appeals was faced with an instance in which an ex-employer barked, but did not bite, after its former employee violated the terms of a non-solicit agreement. 

Mexico Moves Toward Historic Energy Reforms
First published by The Texas Lawbook, January 23, 2014
On December 12, 2013, the Mexican Congress approved an energy reform bill (Energy Reform Bill) that would end the State’s 75-year monopoly on the oil and gas industry and open Mexico’s energy sector to private investment and participation.

Employers Must Post OSHA Form 300A by February 1 or Risk Penalties
V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, January 30, 2014
OSHA requires employers with more than 10 employees to post Form 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” in every branch location from February 1 to April 30 every year. 

Court Rejects Challenges to Corps of Engineers’ Use of Nationwide Permits in Southern Leg of the Keystone Pipeline
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, January 27, 2014
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers relies heavily on its nationwide permitting program and defends its integrity at every opportunity.

Supreme Court: Burden of Persuasion Remains on Patentee in Declaratory Judgment Cases
V&E IP Insights E-communication, January 24, 2014
On January 22, 2014, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit in a unanimous decision, holding that in a declaratory judgment suit brought by a licensee (Medtronic) to establish a lack of infringement, the burden of proving infringement remains with the patentee (Mirowski Family Ventures or MFV).

Congress May Beef Up Customer Suit Doctrine
First published by Law360, January 16, 2014
Whenever a company is sued for patent infringement based on a product that it uses or sells, but did not manufacture, the so-called “customer suit” doctrine should be considered as a possible way to keep down the cost of litigation. 

EPA Finalizes RCRA Subtitle C Exclusion for Carbon Capture and Storage
V&E Environmental Law Update E-communication, January 16, 2014 
On January 3, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule establishing a conditional exclusion from the definition of hazardous waste under Subtitle C of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for carbon dioxide (CO2) streams that are injected in geologic sequestration activities.

Supreme Court to Review Indefiniteness Doctrine
V&E IP Insights E-communication, January 14, 2014
On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Case No. 13-369 to review the Federal Circuit’s decision in Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc., 715 F.3d 891 (Fed. Cir. 2013). 

V&E Climate Change Report - Special Issue: EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas NSPS
January 2014 - Issue 21
On September 20, 2013, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a proposal to establish new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants.

Spotlight on Shareholder Activism in the Energy Industry
First published by Law360, January 10, 2014
The North American energy sector experienced a dramatic surge in shareholder activism during 2012 and 2013 as energy companies became a primary target for dissident activity.

Supreme Court to Review Scope of Induced Infringement
V&E IP Insights E-communication, January 13, 2014
On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Case No. 12-786 to review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Akamai Techs., Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., 692 F.3d 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (en banc).

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Strikes Important Provisions in Act 13
V&E Shale Insights — Tracking Fracking E-communication, January 9, 2014
A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a sweeping opinion invalidating important portions of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 (the Act), which was enacted to establish a state-wide approach to regulating increased oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing activity.

GAO Bid Protest Activity of Federal Procurements Remains Constant
V&E Government Contracts Update E-communication, January 7, 2014
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its annual report covering statistics on bid protest activity for fiscal year 2013 to Congress on January 2, 2014.

Supreme Court Upholds Contractual Limitations Period as Part of ERISA Employee Benefits Plan 
V&E Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits and Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, January 7, 2014
In a unanimous decision issued in December, the Supreme Court held that an ERISA plan’s contractual limitations period, governing claims for the denial of benefits, that commences before the cause of action accrues is enforceable as long as the limitations period is reasonable and there is no controlling statute to the contrary.

Summary of CIP Version 5 Standards
In Version 5 of the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards (CIP Version 5 Standards), the existing versions of CIP-002 through CIP-009 have been significantly revised, and two new standards, CIP-010 and CIP-011, have been added.

Summary of FERC Order No. 791 
On November 22, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 791 adopting a rule that approved Version 5 of the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards (CIP Version 5 Standards) as proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and directing NERC to develop modifications to those Standards to address FERC’s concerns. 

Water Security: A Question of Reliability
First published by Oil & Gas Financial Journal, December 2013
Water supplies across the globe are being stressed by growing populations and extreme drought conditions.


<< Back to Top

Site Map    Contact Us    Extranet    Disclaimer & Legal Notice     ©1999- Vinson & Elkins LLP
Print Page

Publications Search
Lawyer Name