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V&E Announces New Leadership Roles in Shareholder Activism Practice, Corporate Department

Published: 02-08-2018

Vinson & Elkins LLP announced today several new leadership appointments, including naming attorneys Lawrence Elbaum, Jeff Floyd, Patrick Gadson and Steve Gill as the senior leadership team of the firm’s Shareholder Activism practice. Elbaum and Floyd will serve as co-leaders of the practice and Gadson as New York Activism Chair.

Elbaum has more than a decade of experience as a litigator and business advisor to counsel senior management and boards of public companies with respect to shareholder activism, corporate governance and strategic investor relations. His notable recent representations in this area include the defenses of proxy fights and other shareholder activism campaigns against Simpson Manufacturing, Fred’s Pharmacy, Fiesta Restaurant Group, magicJack, Sito Mobile, Old Point Financial, Asta Funding and Stratus Properties. 

Floyd, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and a senior partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice, has more than two decades of experience representing clients in proxy contests and corporate control transactions. He recently handled the sale of Omega Protein, an activist defense client of V&E. 

Gadson joined V&E in 2017 from Olshan Frome Wolosky and was previously an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He has played a leading role in many of V&E’s successful defense assignments. Over the past three years, Gadson has been a lead advisor in over 50 activist situations, including the proxy fight defenses and activist campaigns against Ecology and Environment, Inc., Matrix Service Company and Senomyx, Inc.     

Gill has led some of V&E’s most significant corporate control transactions in recent years, including Rice Energy’s sale to EQT, MDA’s acquisition of DigitalGlobe and Memorial Resource’s sale to Range Resources. He is currently serving as lead counsel to SandRidge Energy in its response to Carl Icahn’s position in the company.

“We are extremely proud of what these four attorneys have accomplished on behalf of our clients in the activism and corporate control space,” said V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe. “We look forward to the activism practice at V&E continuing to draw upon a deep bench of experience and our nationally recognized capital markets and corporate governance practices. We are among the leading firms in the country in terms of public company representation in capital markets and related governance work, with more than 120 such clients. Being able to provide excellent advice to our clients who are faced with the challenge of an activist campaign continues to be one of our top priorities as a firm.”

V&E’s Shareholder Activism practice, which includes approximately 30 attorneys, leverages the experience of the firm’s top-tier corporate and litigation practices, representing companies facing the growing tide of shareholder activism. V&E ranked No. 1 for issuer representation in both 2016 and 2017. 

V&E has also announced two additional leadership appointments in its Corporate Department:

  • Doug McWilliams has been named Head of Equity Capital Markets. He will work closely with the leaders of V&E’s nationally recognized capital markets practice, with an emphasis on maintaining the firm’s leading position in the energy industry and broadening the reach of its capital markets practice, including in real estate and technology. One of the leading capital markets lawyers in the country, in 2017 McWilliams advised either the Issuer or the Underwriters in eight initial public offerings with a total transactional value in excess of $3 billion. At present, he also has two IPOs in registration and more than 10 in the confidential submission process.

  • Kaam Sahely has been named Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Energy Transactions/Projects Practice Group, joining Co-Leader John B. Connally. Sahely focuses his practice in the areas of project development and finance, mergers and acquisitions, complex structured transactions and joint ventures. His recent work includes advising Woodside Petroleum in its potential participation as co-sponsor in the $10 billion Port Arthur LNG project and Occidental Chemical Corporation in the $1.5 billion formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Mexichem to build a 1.2-billion-pound per year capacity ethylene cracker at the OxyChem plant in Ingleside, Texas.

Media Contact

Darrin Schlegel Director of Communications

T +1.713.758.2171
dschlegel@velaw.com

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