HOUSTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vinson & Elkins announces the promotion of seven lawyers to its partnership: Manuel Berrelez, Christopher Dewar, and Christina Tate in Dallas; Ryan Carney and Adam Larson in Houston; Jenny Doak in London; and Katy Gottsponer in Washington, D.C.
"The impressive work these lawyers have done on behalf of our clients has been notable and worthy of promotion to our partnership," V&E Chairman Mark Kelly said. "Each individual in this group has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to contribute substantially to the strategic objectives of their practice groups and the firm."
The new partners span five of the firm's key practice areas: complex commercial litigation, energy transactions/projects, finance,mergers and acquisitions/private equity, and tax. Their promotions take effect January 1, 2014.
"We are proud to welcome this outstanding group of talented and accomplished lawyers to the firm's partnership," V&E Managing Partner Scott Wulfe said. "Their commitment to providing exceptional client service will strengthen our firm, and we look forward to their continued success as partners who will help steer the future of V&E."
The following is a list of the firm's new partners by practice:
Complex Commercial Litigation:
Manuel G. Berrelez is a commercial litigator in V&E's Dallas office with broad experience litigating cases in state and federal courts and in regulatory matters. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving banking and regulatory enforcement actions, business torts, contract and real estate disputes, class actions, and other business litigation. Berrelez recently first-chaired a team that successfully tried an enforcement action brought by the Comptroller of the Currency against a bank CEO alleging violations of federal banking law. The decision of the tribunal, which recommended dismissal of all charges and is on appeal, has potentially significant implications for the banking industry. Berrelez was also part of a trial team that successfully defended a global real estate company in a Texas lawsuit involving an appraisal of a master-planned resort, resulting in a favorable settlement on the eve of trial. Recently selected as a "Texas Rising Star" for 2014, Berrelez received his law degree from Yale Law School in 2005 and a bachelor's degree from Yale College in 2000. He also clerked for Judge Raymond C. Fisher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005-2006.
Katy Gottsponer's practice focuses on energy infrastructure project development and finance transactions. She represents sponsors, developers, private equity firms, institutional investors and financial institutions in developing, financing and restructuring complex domestic and international infrastructure projects. She has advised clients in connection with significant power transmission and power generation projects, including solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric facilities, and midstream natural gas, including gas storage, gathering and transportation, and LNG liquefaction projects. Gottsponer has also advised on several significant cross-border project financings, including representing Alto Maipo SpA in connection with the approximately $1.2 billion project financing of the 531 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in Chile, which involved several multilateral and development finance institutions, in addition to international and local commercial banks. Gottsponer is a 2003 graduate of Tulane University Law School, cum laude, and received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 2000.
Christopher Dewar advises lenders and borrowers in U.S. domestic and international syndicated loan transactions, with a special focus on the energy industry. In particular, he has extensive experience in representing agent banks in connection with reserve-based financings to public and private oil and gas producers in the upstream sector, and with loans to refineries, storage and pipeline companies, and oilfield services companies. Recently, he represented the lead arranger on a $1.5 billion credit facility to a publicly traded master limited partnership (MLP) borrower to finance a $700 million acquisition of oil and gas properties. In addition to his prospering energy lending practice, Dewar represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies in a wide variety of commercial finance transactions, including asset-based lending and mezzanine finance transactions. Dewar is a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School and received his bachelor's degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 2002.
Adam D. Larson handles mergers and acquisitions, private equity and joint venture investments, capital markets transactions, and general corporate matters. He has advised private equity investors, their portfolio companies, and a variety of public and private companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and strategic investments. Larson's recent private equity experience includes representing Warburg Pincus in its $600 million equity line of capital investment in Delonex Energy Ltd., an oil and gas company in East Africa, and its $1.125 billion equity line of capital investment in Venari Resources LLC, an oil and gas company in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. His recent M&A experience includes representing MarkWest Energy Partners in its approximately $2 billion acquisition of a 49% stake in MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC, a Marcellus Shale joint venture, from The Energy & Minerals Group; and representing Pine Brook Road Partners in its sale of Global Oilfield Services, L.P. to Halliburton. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005 and from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2002.
Christina Tate's practice focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, with an emphasis on representing private equity firms and their portfolio companies. She also has significant experience representing public and private companies in securities offerings and a variety of other corporate matters, including securities law disclosures, corporate governance, fiduciary obligations, and compliance matters. Tate represents clients in a variety of industries, including consumer products, downstream and midstream energy sectors, retail, building products, media, advertising, healthcare services, pharmaceuticals and insurance. In the consumer products space, she has worked on more than 15 transactions for numerous clients, including recently advising a private equity firm in its $340 million acquisition of a specialty protein and nutritional ingredients portfolio company. Her energy experience includes recently representing HollyFrontier Corporation in its sale of certain logistics assets to Holly Energy Partners, L.P. in a $315 million MLP "drop down" transaction. Tate graduated from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2005 and received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2002.
Ryan Carney handles the tax aspects of domestic and international business transactions. His experience includes taxation of publicly traded partnerships, MLPs, private equity transactions and structures, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, and capital market transactions. Carney provided tax advice on several of V&E's largest deals this past year, including advising Devon Energy in its $4.9 billion agreement with Crosstex Energy to create a new midstream business; Inergy L.P. and Inergy Midstream in a transaction with Crestwood Midstream Partners and Crestwood Holdings to form a $7 billion midstream partnership; PVR Partners in its $5.6 billion sale to Regency Energy, in which PVR acquired Regency; Spectra Energy Corp. in a transaction with Spectra Energy Partners to drop down Spectra Energy's remaining U.S. midstream assets in excess of $11 billion; and sponsors in connection with initial public offerings of MLPs, including Western Refining, Sprague Resources and Arc Logistics. Carney received his J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2005 and his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 2001.
Jenny Doak is a London-based tax lawyer. She focuses on the tax aspects of international and UK corporate and finance transactions, as well as providing tax structuring and consultancy advice. She advises on public and private mergers and acquisitions, demergers, capital markets transactions, joint ventures, reorganizations, returns of value, restructurings, and distressed debt acquisitions. Doak recently provided tax advice for HRT, a Brazilian independent oil company, on its proposed acquisition from BP of its interest in the Polvo oil field. She also assisted in Oman Oil Company's proposed acquisition of Oxea, the world's largest supplier of Oxo chemical products, from Advent International. Doak obtained her Master of Arts degree in Law from Jesus College, University of Cambridge in 2000.
Vinson & Elkins LLP is an international law firm with more than 675 lawyers across 15 offices worldwide. For more information, please contact Carrie Kaufman at +1.713.758.4330.1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500Houston, TX 77002-6760+1.713.758.2222 www.velaw.com
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