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The National Black Lawyers Announces Eight Vinson & Elkins Attorneys as Top 40 Under 40 and Top 100 Members

The National Black Lawyers recently named Vinson & Elkins partner Patrick Gadson and counsel Conrad Bolston to its list of Top 100 Black Lawyers in the U.S. Partner Quentin Smith, senior associate KJ Pedersen and associates Markeya Brown, Briana FalconShelby Hart-Armstrong and Paige Wright were named to the organization’s Top 40 Under 40 Black Lawyers list.

Gadson, co-head of the firm’s Shareholder Activism practice, also focuses on private equity and mergers and acquisitions and is a member of Vinson & Elkins’ Diversity Executive Committee in New York.

Bolston focuses his practice on environmental enforcement and litigation, compliance counseling, white collar defense and environmental justice matters. He assists clients with a variety of federal and state enforcement matters, due diligence efforts, regulatory guidance, regulatory and internal investigations and litigation arising under federal and state environmental laws and criminal statutes.

Smith, who is a commercial litigator focused on business, petrochemical and energy disputes, is a member of Vinson & Elkins’ Diversity Executive Committee in Houston and co-lead of the firm’s Black Affinity Network.

Pedersen focuses his practice on corporate and securities transactions, as well as general corporate representation. He primarily works on mergers, acquisitions, private equity investments, strategic investments, joint ventures and securities offerings for private equity funds, their portfolio companies and a variety of other private and public companies.

Brown, a corporate associate focused on mergers and acquisitions and securities law transactions, is also an At-Large Member of the firm’s Black Affinity Network and serves on the firm’s Recruiting Committee and Diversity Council in Houston.

Falcon, who focuses her litigation practice on intellectual property, commercial disputes, and trademark prosecution, counsels a variety of clients across industries on issues surrounding emerging technologies, and is a member of Vinson & Elkins’ Recruiting Committee, Black Affinity Network, and Women of Color Network.

Hart-Armstrong, a commercial litigator in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s Houston office, serves on the firm’s Diversity Council and is a member of the its Black Affinity Network and Women of Color Network.

Wright, who is an intellectual property attorney focused on patent and trade secret disputes, is also a global co-lead of V&E’s Women of Color Network.

The National Black Lawyers is a professional honorary organization established to promote the nation’s top black attorneys and to enhance the professional development of its members. Selection for inclusion in The National Black Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40 is an honor given to a select group of lawyers who have demonstrated superior skills in their fields of law or who have excelled in areas promoting diversity. Membership is by invitation only, based on a multi-phase process, which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. To learn more about The National Black Lawyers, visit

About Vinson & Elkins
For more than a century, Vinson & Elkins has provided outstanding client service across important industries that drive the global economy. Built on a strong culture of collaboration across 11 offices worldwide, V&E lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients decades of legal experience in handling transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Learn more by visiting or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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