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Vinson & Elkins Partnership Update

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As 2019 draws to a close, Vinson & Elkins is pleased to highlight the most recent additions to the firm’s partnership.

“These exceptional attorneys have proven their commitment not only to their practices, but to providing the highest level of service to their clients and colleagues,” V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe said. “As we embark on a new year, we look forward to the contributions they will make to the continued success of the firm.”

This list comprises nine lateral partners who joined the firm in 2019 and eight lawyers promoted to the partnership, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Alan J. Alexander, Houston
Energy Transactions and Projects

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Alexander focuses on project development, project financings and joint ventures. He has experience working with petrochemical companies, midstream developers, exploration and production companies and financial investors on complex projects and transactions in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, as well as on matters and projects in Mexico’s energy sector. Alexander’s experience highlights include advising Gulf Coast Ammonia as project counsel in the development and financing of a world-scale ammonia project in Texas and OCI N.V. in its joint venture with Dakota Gasification Company for the marketing of fertilizer products in the United States.

Camilo Cardozo, New York Complex
Commercial Litigation

Cardozo joined V&E in July 2019 from Paul Hastings LLP, bringing to the firm two decades of experience handling complex international disputes, including disputes involving the oil and gas industry and large infrastructure and construction projects around the world. Particularly regarded for his keen understanding of disputes related to Latin America, Cardozo has advised clients in disputes across the region, including one of the largest Mexican business conglomerates in a shareholders dispute subject to arbitration in New York, a U.S. defense contractor in a US $400 million ad hoc arbitration against a Latin American country in connection with a construction dispute and a Latin American oil company in relation to an arbitration concerning the construction of a $5 billion refinery in South America.

Damara Chambers, Washington
Complex Commercial Litigation

Chambers joined V&E in July 2019 from Covington & Burling LLP. Named co-lead of V&E’s National Security and International Trade practice, she advises clients on cross-border investment and national security matters, including national security reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and on the application of international trade controls, including export controls and economic sanctions. Among her notable representations, Chambers represented Midea Group on CFIUS and related U.S. national security approvals in its $5 billion public offer takeover of KUKA AG and Takata before CFIUS and the State Department in the $1.6 billion acquisition of its assets out of bankruptcy by Ningbo Joyson Key Safety Systems.

Joseph Chedrawe, Dubai
Complex Commercial Litigation

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Chedrawe is an experienced disputes practitioner who has acted as counsel in more than 35 international construction, engineering and commercial arbitrations under all the major arbitral institutions and in ad hoc proceedings, as well as in cross-border litigation. He has represented multinational corporations, governments and private clients across multiple sectors, with experience in more than 30 countries across four continents. He was also ranked globally by Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.) as an Arbitration Future Leader in 2019 and 2020. Chedrawe appears regularly as an advocate in litigation and arbitration proceedings. He is an advocate of the Dubai International Financial Centre courts and has sat as arbitrator under the ICC, DIFC-LCIA and DIAC Rules.

Suzanne Clevenger, Houston
Energy Regulatory

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Clevenger counsels clients with respect to regulated and unregulated midstream assets. Specifically, she focuses on FERC regulatory requirements and compliance with FERC regulations, including creation of regulatory compliance and internal audit programs, rate regulation of natural gas pipelines and storage companies and regulatory requirements at FERC for developing liquids and natural gas pipelines. Clevenger also works with clients on the negotiation of midstream agreements, including for service on interstate gas and liquids pipelines, gathering pipelines, processing facilities and agreements for the purchase and sale of commodities.

Matt Dobbins, Houston
Environmental and Natural Resources

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Dobbins focuses on complex regulatory counseling, remedial issues, environmental litigation and climate change. He routinely advises private equity groups and financial institutions on mitigating environmental risks arising from transactions. He also frequently directs compliance audits and advises clients on compliance with federal and state air, water, waste, remediation and pipeline safety requirements. His notable experience includes advising a former paper mill operator on the management of potential CERCLA and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act liability and a produced water treatment facility on compliance with requirements under RCRA, the RCRA exemption for exploration and production wastes and state beneficial reuse regulations.

Adam Endick, New York
Real Estate

Endick joined V&E in April 2019 from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. Prior to Kasowitz, Endick was a partner in the real estate department at Skadden Arps. He has significant experience in a wide range of real estate matters, with a particular focus on commercial leasing. Endick represents various institutional and non-institutional clients in the leasing and subleasing and acquisition and disposition of real property throughout the United States, such as Boston Properties, Oxford Property Group and WeWork Companies Inc. in various leases (including the acquisition and leasing by WeWork of the Lord & Taylor Building in Manhattan) and Deerfield Management Company in connection with the acquisition and lease-up of 345 Park Avenue South in Manhattan.

Palmina Fava, New York
Complex Commercial Litigation

Fava joined V&E in September 2019 from Paul Hastings LLP, where she previously served as co-chair of the firm’s Global Compliance and Disputes Department. She brings to V&E more than two decades of experience handling a wide range of internal and government investigations and compliance matters, with a principal focus on matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and anti-bribery laws, accounting irregularities, bid rigging and unfair trade practices, off-label pharmaceutical marketing, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud, cybersecurity and data privacy. Fava’s experience includes representing a state-owned energy company in South America in an internal and government investigation of a multi-hundred million dollar alternative energy project.

Patrick Gadson, New York
Mergers and Acquisitions and Capital Markets

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Gadson is the New York Chair of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Practice. He leverages his deep experience in capital markets, M&A, corporate governance and private equity to counsel senior management and boards of public companies across a wide array of industries with respect to proxy contests and other shareholder activism campaigns, such as merger contests, precatory proposals, consent solicitations, withhold the vote/vote “no” campaigns and short attacks.  Since 2015, Gadson has been a lead advisor in over 100 activist situations, including the proxy fight defenses and activist campaigns against Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Nutrisystem, Amber Road and Arlo Technologies.

James Longhofer, Houston

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Longhofer focuses on syndicated, acquisition and structured/mezzanine financings and debt restructurings, including debtor-in-possession facilities and complex intercreditor arrangements and preferred equity investments, primarily in the energy space. His industry experience includes oil and gas exploration and production; midstream; oilfield services; refining, distribution, storage and transportation; and retail. Longhofer’s work highlights include advising HPS Investments, LLC in connection with numerous mezzanine loans, secured term loans and other structured investments, including a $250 million secured holdco delayed draw term loan to a Permian-focused upstream E&P company and The Carlyle Group in a $175 million debt and preferred equity investment in a joint venture developing Permian E&P assets.

Eamon Nolan, New York
Energy Transactions and Projects

Nolan joined V&E in February 2019 from Linklaters, bolstering the firm’s capabilities in project finance and cross-border transactions, including in Latin America and Spain. He regularly represents private equity sponsors, developers, lenders and export credit agencies in complex project, project finance and acquisition finance transactions. Among his notable work highlights, Nolan advised the lenders on the $1.7 billion project financing of Altan Redes, the Mexican concessionaire for the development of Mexico’s Red Compartida project, the project sponsors in connection with the bridge and subsequent long-term financing of the Pirapora solar complex and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets in its acquisition, financing and development of a number of renewable assets.

Julia Sanabria, New York
Real Estate

Sanabria joined V&E in April 2019 from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. Her practice focuses on advising institutional and non-institutional clients in the leasing and subleasing of office and retail space throughout the United States, including ERY Developer and Oxford Properties in the leasing of the 750,000-square-foot multi-level shopping center built at Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center, and Steel Equities in the lease to Netflix for its new studio and office space in Brooklyn.

Wallace Schwartz, New York
Real Estate

Schwartz joined V&E in April 2019 from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, where he served as head of the firm’s Real Estate Transactions Group. His practice includes real estate development, acquisitions, leasing, partnerships and joint ventures, capital markets and financings, gaming and lodging, workouts and restructurings and real estate funds. Among his notable representations, Schwartz advised Rockpoint Group in the $465 million acquisition of 1700 Broadway and the $565 million acquisition of One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in Manhattan and The Related Companies in the sale of Snowmass development properties, including the Viceroy Hotel and condominium project in Snowmass Village, Colorado.

Nick Shum, Houston
Complex Commercial Litigation

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Shum is an experienced trial lawyer who represents and advises clients in complex commercial litigation and arbitration. His practice focuses on handling disputes in the energy industry, including disputes related to joint operating agreements or joint ventures, purchase and sale or merger transactions, leasing, hydraulic fracturing operations, royalties and a variety of other contractual arrangements in the upstream and midstream sectors. Among his recent notable representations, Shum obtained unanimous jury verdicts of approximately $96 million (net) and $60 million (net) for Antero Resources Corporation in two different breach of contract cases, and successfully defended an international energy company in arbitration by obtaining a take-nothing judgment.

Patrick Traylor, Washington
Environmental and Natural Resources

Traylor, the former Deputy Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, joined V&E in October 2019. His practice focuses on civil environmental litigation and compliance investigations under all the major federal environmental programs, particularly under the Clean Air Act. Traylor also assists clients with securing project-critical state and federal permits for the construction and expansion of complex facilities. While at EPA, Traylor was the principal negotiator in the recently finalized Fiat Chrysler diesel engine emissions case that resulted in a settlement worth approximately $800 million in addition to being substantively involved in every significant non-CERCLA civil and criminal environmental enforcement matter. Traylor will also spend significant time working from V&E’s Houston office.

Wes Watts, Austin
Mergers and Acquisitions and Capital Markets

Promoted to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, Watts represents entrepreneurial enterprises and venture capital investors in the creation, financing and operation of technology and growth companies. He also advises emerging companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, in addition to general corporate and governance matters. Among his notable representations, Watts advised ForeFlight, a leading provider of innovative mobile and web-based aviation applications, in its acquisition by Boeing; DISCO, a leading provider of ediscovery solutions for lawyers, in an $83 million financing led by Georgian Partners; and MoneyGram International, Inc. in its strategic agreement with Ripple, a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for global payments.

Ephraim “Fry” Wernick, Washington
Complex Commercial Litigation

Wernick, the former Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit and a veteran federal prosecutor, joined V&E in June 2019. His practice includes internal investigations and defense of companies and individuals against government investigations into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, anti-money laundering statutes, the Bank Secrecy Act, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, sanctions, campaign finance laws and other financial and corruption-related offenses. During his tenure with the DOJ, Wernick led and oversaw four of the six largest-ever corporate FCPA resolutions in addition to dozens of individual prosecutions, including the landmark $880 million corruption case between DOJ, Brazil and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office with Rolls-Royce plc for paying over $80 million in bribes in multiple countries and a $965 million coordinated global resolution between DOJ, the SEC, the Netherlands and Sweden with Telia Company AB, a Swedish telecom company that admitted to paying over $330 million in bribes in Uzbekistan.

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