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Vinson & Elkins Appoints Vanessa Griffith as General Counsel

Vanessa Griffith Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins announced today the appointment of Vanessa Griffith to the position of General Counsel. Griffith will be succeeding John Wander, who has served as the Firm’s General Counsel since 2022 and is joining Talen Energy this month as their General Counsel.

“During Vanessa’s tenure as Deputy General Counsel, she has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the Firm’s legal affairs, governance, and industry landscape. Her collaborative approach, analytical skills, and sound judgment have been instrumental in supporting V&E and advising the Executive Committee and Management Committee on a wide range of issues. Vanessa brings a wealth of legal knowledge and a proven track record of success to this pivotal role,” said Keith Fullenweider, Chair of Vinson & Elkins. “We also want to recognize John for his many years of service and deep respect for his fellow colleagues, dedication, legal acumen, and teamwork, which strengthened our culture and contributed to our success. He has been a mentor to many and an exceptional partner to all, and we wish him our very best in his new role.”

Griffith joined the Firm in 1996 and has been a partner for almost 20 years. She assumed the role of Deputy General Counsel in 2020. She is an expert in legal ethics, risk management, employment, and other workplace issues such as the Firm’s response to Covid-19, “work from home,” and DE&I initiatives. Prior to her role in the General Counsel’s Office, Griffith served as a trusted adviser to clients regarding all aspects of employment law in an array of industries, including construction, energy, finance, healthcare, insurance, and retail. She is a graduate of Rice University with a B.A. in Economics, and The University of Texas School of Law, J.D. (Chancellors; Order of the Coif).

“I am honored to assume the role of General Counsel at Vinson & Elkins and to be of service to the Firm,” said Griffith. “I am grateful for the trust and confidence placed in me by the Executive Committee and the Management Committee, and I look forward to advancing the interests of the Firm as we continue to innovate and grow.”

In addition, the Firm announced that Bob Denby will continue in his role as Deputy General Counsel. Denby joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in 2019, and he has been an invaluable member of the Firm’s legal team. His many years of experience with the Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society (ALAS) give him a unique perspective on the crucial areas of risk management, conflicts analysis, and the impact of technology on the industry.

Wander joined Vinson & Elkins in 1994, and worked on some of the Firm’s most high-profile, high-stakes litigation matters. He also served in numerous leadership positions, including Co-Department Head of Litigation and Regulatory, Co-Practice Group Leader of Complex Commercial Litigation, and a member of the Management Committee. Houston-based Talen is an important client for Vinson & Elkins and one of the largest power generation and infrastructure companies in North America, and is developing a large-scale portfolio of renewable energy, battery storage, and digital infrastructure assets.

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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