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Vinson & Elkins, LLP

Vinson & Elkins, LLP

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Main Office:
1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500 | Houston | TX | 77002
Phone: 713-758-2222  | Fax: 713-758-2346 

Year of establishment 1917 Number of Partners 252
Number of offices 16 Partner:associate ratio 0.60
Larget office Houston percent women attorneys 33.30
Number of attorneys 698 percent minority attorneys 16.30
Number of associates 397 percent gay attorneys 2.20
Vinson & Elkins, LLP


For almost a century, Vinson & Elkins lawyers have provided innovative business solutions for clients whose needs are as diverse as the entities they represent. In today's challenging environment of global markets, volatile economies, and complex human and environmental issues, our law firm’s time-tested role as trusted advisor has become even more critical. The depth and breadth of V&E lawyers' experience, combined with the responsiveness and efficiencies of the firm's global reach, enables Vinson & Elkins to serve clients from start-up, to the negotiating table and boardroom, before legislative and regulatory bodies, in the courtroom, and beyond. Vinson & Elkins LLP began in Houston, Texas, as a two man partnership in 1917, when James A. Elkins and William A. Vinson joined professional forces with a studied eye to the future. Both men were ambitious to establish a law firm that would endure, and offer other lawyers the opportunity to prosper and achieve their goals. Vinson recalled the founding partners' fateful decision to merge in this way: "We chatted awhile, and a sudden thought struck me-Here is your man!" Vinson asked, "How would you like to come to Houston?" Elkins replied: "That is the ambition of my life, make me a proposition." The proposition was a partnership, and Elkins' response was unhesitating: "I accept." This was the beginning of Vinson & Elkins LLP In those days, the oil boom was already transforming Texas and the world, and Houston was home to much of the energy industry's activity. V&E "cut its teeth" on oil and gas matters, and remains one of the world's leading energy law firms. Today, the firm has expanded its practices to include Mergers and Acquisitions, Aviation, Environmental, Finance, and more. And as the marketplace has become global, Vinson & Elkins continues to expand globally, serving clients worldwide.

Notable cases

  • The firm has advised numerous corporate and private enterprises for varied legal assistance. A few notables and recent cases among the many are mentioned below:
  • Vinson & Elkins advised Pioneer Natural Resources Company in the sale of all of its South African assets to PetroSA, the national oil company of South Africa. The assets in question include two producing properties offshore South Africa - the Sable oil field and the South Coast gas project, which began production in 2003 and 2008 respectively.
  • The firm advised Vedanta Resources firm, Cairn India Group on its acquisition of a 60-percent interest in Block 1 in the Orange Basin offshore the west coast of South Africa and along the northwestern maritime border of South Africa and Namibia.
  • Vinson & Elkins' client the Port of Houston Authority registered a victory in the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston in a long-running contractual dispute with Zachry Construction Corporation. A Harris County District Court entered a judgment awarding Zachry $23.4 million, but the Fourteenth Court of Appeals reversed that judgment.
  • V&E advised Uz-Kor Gas Chemical LLC on the development, financing, and construction of its USD 3.9 billion integrated upstream gas and petrochemical complex in the Ustyurt region of Uzbekistan, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2016. On May 19, 2012, Uz-Kor and its lenders signed key finance documents for the USD 2.54 billion project debt financing of the project.
  • V&E served as counsel to long-time client BMC Software, Inc., in its $300 million acquisition of Numara Software, a leading global provider of integrated IT management solutions for the mid-market.
  • Also, in a noteworthy apparent exception to this success saga of V&E, the firm represented Enron. After collecting $162 million from the infamously scandal-ridden company between 1998 and 2001, V&E ended up paying Enron's bankruptcy estate $30 million to avoid going to trial over accusations that it had turned a blind eye to rampant accounting malfeasance. The firm admitted no wrongdoing under the terms of the 2006 settlement.

Awards and recognitions

Vinson & Elkins has been recognized by many energy sector publications for its contribution in the energy law. Also, the firm has received several awards for its performance in the law field.

It has been recognised as


V&E's commitment to promoting and encouraging diversity is illustrated by its policies, initiatives, and programs established within the firm, such as firm-supported organic Affinity Groups. The firm believes that it has both an extraordinary opportunity and a special responsibility to maintain a culture that nurtures diverse interests, backgrounds, and perspectives - inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender/gender-identity, age, sexual orientation, religion, or physical handicap.

Summer associate program

Vinson & Elkins has summer programs in each of its domestic offices. The program ranges from six to 10 weeks. The work is assigned by an attorney coordinator, and the assignments range from

Working for the Vinson & Elkins, LLP

At V&E, associates receive work through a department-specific work assignment system. First- through third-year associates are evaluated twice a year, and more senior associates are evaluated annually. As associates become more senior, mentors provide career direction and focus on helping associates develop the skills and expertise necessary to advance their careers.

Third-year associates, and those more senior, can take part in the eight-part Associate Practice Business Development course taught by V&E partners.

Some of the positives about the firm is that it offers interesting and challenging work, low-key, friendly work environment and responsibility early in career to the associates.

V&E has a one-tier partnership, and attorneys are generally eligible for consideration after eight years.


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