"Our new partners are outstanding attorneys who have shown tremendous dedication to the firm and its clients," said V&E Chairman Mark Kelly. "From the courtroom to the boardroom, each of these exceptional lawyers has demonstrated a high level of skill in their respective practice area. We are thrilled to call them partners."
The new partners span six of the firm's key practice areas, including complex commercial litigation, energy transactions and projects, finance, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets, restructuring and reorganization and tax.
"We are proud to welcome these talented and accomplished lawyers to the firm's partnership," said V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe. "We are grateful for the contributions these deserving attorneys have made to V&E and we look forward to their continued success."
The following is a list of V&E's new partners by practice:
Complex Commercial Litigation:
Craig Zieminski, Dallas. Zieminski's practice focuses on representing companies and their directors in lawsuits brought by Delaware stockholders, master limited partnership (MLP) unitholders and deal partners. Zieminski has helped secure key victories for major energy clients. He played a significant role on the V&E team that represented Energy Transfer Equity in its successful defense of litigation concerning a $37.7 billion merger with The Williams Companies. Zieminski also helped win dismissal of a stockholder suit challenging C&J Energy's $2.9 billion merger with a unit of Nabors Industries. He has also helped companies defeat expedited lawsuits seeking to enjoin major transactions, such as a lawsuit that sought to enjoin Targa Resources' $6.7 billion merger with an affiliated entity and a lawsuit that attempted to enjoin Inergy's $2 billion merger with an affiliated partnership. Zieminski received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 2008 and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2005 with degrees in economics and accounting.
Energy Transactions and Projects:
Mark Brasher, Houston. Brasher's practice focuses on project development and related business transactions concerning domestic and international energy and infrastructure projects. His clients include a wide range of participants in the oil and gas industry, renewable energy companies, power producers, infrastructure developers, banks and private equity funds. Brasher is the lead attorney advising Noble Energy on the project development aspects of its 20Tcf Leviathan natural gas project, offshore Israel. He counsels a number of Occidental Petroleum's business units in relation to projects in the United States and the Middle East. He is also an integral member of the V&E team representing Texas Central Partners in connection with the Dallas to Houston high-speed rail project. Recently, Brasher played a key role advising Riverstone in its acquisition from Kinder Morgan of a 50 percent interest in the Utopia Pipeline Project, a common carrier pipeline that will connect ethane gas sources from Ohio to Sarnia, Canada. Brasher received his LL.M. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and his LL.B. from Monash University in Australia in 2006.
Bailey Pham, Dallas. Pham's practice focuses on representing financial institutions, corporate lenders and businesses in all types of financing arrangements, including acquisition loans, asset-based loans and energy loans. She assists in the representation of both agent banks, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and borrowers in domestic and international syndicated loan transactions, particularly in secured, leveraged credits covering various markets and industries, including retail, manufacturing and oilfield services. Pham has also advised on a number of high-stakes deals, including Holly Corporation's $7 billion merger with Frontier Oil Corporation, which created one of the largest independent refiners in the United States. Pham received her law degree from Southern Methodist University in 2008 and her bachelor's and master's degrees in accountancy from Wake Forest University in 2002.
Mergers and Acquisitions/Capital Markets:
Simon Rootsey, London. Rootsey's practice focuses on cross-border M&A and private equity, advising on all aspects of private cross-border M&A, private equity transactions, joint ventures and public takeovers. His experience includes advising the Vitol Group on its recent sale of a 50% stake in the VTTI Group to Buckeye Partners for US$1.15 billion, and advising the Vitol Group and Helios Investment Partners in their US$1 billion acquisition of an 80 percent stake in the African downstream oil operations of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and acquisition of a 60 percent stake in the Nigerian downstream oil operations of Oando plc. On the private equity side, he advises leading private equity houses based in Europe and the United States investing in the U.K., Europe and Africa. Rootsey is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, where he received both his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and his Bachelor of Commerce.
Lande Spottswood, Houston. Spottswood advises public and private companies, including MLPs, private equity investors and their portfolio companies, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, restructurings, spinoffs, joint ventures and other strategic transactions. She also advises on public company change-of-control transactions. Her experience also includes advising issuers in initial public offerings, as well as public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, and on general corporate matters. She has teamed on some of V&E's largest recent deals, including representing Sunoco Logistics in its pending $22 billion acquisition of Energy Transfer; Plains GP Holdings in its simplification transaction with Plains All American Pipeline for $7.2 billion; Nexeo Solution's $1.575 billion merger with WL Ross Holding Corp.; and Western Refining's $2.4 billion merger agreement with Northern Tier Energy LP. Spottswood received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2008 and her bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 2005.
Thomas Zentner, Houston. Zentner's practice focuses on corporate finance and securities law, including securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate representation. His capital markets experience includes representation of both issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings, as well as public and private offerings of equity and debt securities. He also works with public and private companies, including private equity funds and their portfolio companies, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and strategic investments. Zentner advised Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in its $2.1 billion public offering of common stock and in its $3 billion offering of senior notes. He also advised Targa Resources Corp. in its $360 million initial public offering and in its $6.7 billion acquisition of Targa Resources Partners in an all stock-for-unit transaction. Zentner received his law degree in 2008 and bachelor's degree in 2005, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Restructuring and Reorganization:
Becky Petereit, Dallas. Petereit's practice focuses on all aspects of restructuring and reorganization work, including the representation of debtors, lenders, creditors, landlords and trustees. She represents clients in lawsuits, contested matters, adversary proceedings and other actions before federal district courts, state courts and bankruptcy courts with respect to all types of litigation arising from financially distressed situations. She has represented debtors in complex cross-border insolvency proceedings; tried several fraudulent transfer actions (both jury and bench trials); represented the administrative agent for syndicated secured lenders who were owed approximately $7 billion in a Chapter 11 case of one of the largest publishers of yellow pages directories in the United States; and represented the liquidating trustee of a bankrupt financial services firm in litigation against its former officers and directors. Petereit received her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2005 and her bachelor's degree from University of Delaware in 2002.
Jason McIntosh, Houston. McIntosh focuses on tax planning with respect to complex international and domestic transactions. His experience spans a broad range of industries, including energy, banking and finance, power generation, petrochemicals, shipping and transport, aircraft leasing and sales, manufacturing and distribution of consumer products and real estate. Among his notable representations, McIntosh was part of the V&E team advising Riverstone Holdings in the formation and $525 million (aggregate) initial capitalization of Sierra Oil & Gas, Mexico's first independent exploration and production company. He recently represented Buckeye Partners in structuring its $1.15 billion acquisition of a 50% interest in VTTI BV, which operates one of the world's largest global energy terminal businesses. McIntosh received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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