Best Law FirmBest Law Firm 2016

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 time-tested role as trusted advisor has become even more critical. The depth and breadth of our lawyers' experience, combined with the responsiveness and efficiencies of the firm's global reach, enable Vinson & Elkins to serve clients from start-up, to the negotiating table and boardroom, before legislative and regulatory bodies in the courtroom, and beyond.


V&E was established in 1917 by William A. Vinson and Judge James A. Elkins with the goal of becoming trusted advisors to Houston’s business and energy community. In our nearly 100-year history, the firm has grown to approximately 700 lawyers located in energy hubs, financial centers and political capitals around the world. Our lawyers provide legal services to some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated business enterprises addressing a multitude of challenging litigation, transactional and regulatory matters.

Global Footprint

As a limited liability partnership, V&E currently serves clients from 15 global offices — Abu Dhabi, Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Palo Alto, Riyadh, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. Our network of offices allows us to leverage experience from many markets, cultures, and perspectives and to bring our clients the most comprehensive solutions to all legal challenges.

Breadth of Service

Creativity in developing practical business solutions is one of the many reasons our clients turn to us for their legal matters. Our ability, experience, and resources allow V&E to provide comprehensive and innovative strategies to our clients across a multitude of legal disciplines.

Commitment to Excellence and Cost Efficient Service

We emphasize teaming or partnering with you and your other advisors or representatives. Our ultimate objective is to assemble the right team within V&E to handle any client matter — “right” in the type of knowledge required by the matter, and “right” in the balance of staffing that controls your costs. We solicit your advice in identifying the lawyer or lawyers within the firm who can best achieve your goals and form a seamless team to deliver the best, most cost effective result. Of course, this means working in close coordination with you on every matter.

Main Location

1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-758-2222
16 offices in 8 countries

Firm Attorneys

View by Practice Area
Michael J. Tomsu Michael J. Tomsu Vinson & Elkins LLP
Practicing in: Administrative / Regulatory Law
Practicing in: Administrative / Regulatory Law
Richard L. Adams Richard L. Adams Vinson & Elkins LLP
Practicing in: Energy Law, Administrative / Regulatory Law
Practicing in: Energy Law, Administrative / Regulatory Law

    We make every effort to keep these databases accurately updated, but please read the terms and conditions under which the information is provided by The fact that a lawyer has been voted by his or her peers into Best Lawyers in a legal practice area does not signify that the lawyer has been certified by a state board of legal specialization in that practice area or specialty. A listing in Best Lawyers does not guarantee a desired legal result.

    The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has a board certification process that determines whether a lawyer may hold himself or herself out as a specialist in a field of law. The lawyers listed in Best Lawyers are voted into practice areas entirely as a result of the votes they receive from their peers and have no say in deciding which practice areas they are included in. Clients are urged to check a lawyer's firm web page to determine whether he or she is board certified in a specialty or subspecialty.


    "Top-Listed" State Awards
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in International Trade and Finance Law with 3 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Mergers and Acquisitions Law with 15 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Corporate Law with 22 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Venture Capital Law with 3 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in International Arbitration - Commercial with 4 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" Metro Awards
    "Top-Listed" in Houston, Texas in International Arbitration - Commercial with 4 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Austin, Texas in Venture Capital Law with 2 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Houston, Texas in Energy Law with 7 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Houston, Texas in International Trade and Finance Law with 3 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Houston, Texas in Mergers and Acquisitions Law with 10 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Houston, Texas in Corporate Law with 16 lawyers.

    "Top-Listed" State Awards
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in International Trade and Finance Law with 3 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Mergers and Acquisitions Law with 15 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Corporate Law with 22 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in Venture Capital Law with 3 lawyers.
    "Top-Listed" in Texas in International Arbitration - Commercial with 4 lawyers.

    Client Comments

    "Billy Coe Dyer is a great communicator and his responses timely. He is a man of integrity."
    "Cliff is one of the best lawyers with whom I have worked. He is intelligent and diligent, and he is as good an advocate as you could ask for."
    "Cliff is a great lawyer. He is very smart and experienced in commercial litigation. He always makes himself available and is easy to communicate with. Cliff is also very respectful of the client's business relationships, and is all about finding legal solutions that best benefit the client."
    "Craig Margolis is a good lawyer and very easy to work with on matters. He communicates well."
    "I have known Mr. Hamel for over 30 years and I've seen him work in many different and difficult situations during that period. I would recommend him to anyone who elects to have the best professional represent their company."
    "Although the project on which Doug represented us did not proceed, he was very professional, responsive, and a pleasure to deal with."
    - Joel Kanvik
    Enbridge Energy
    "Douglas Bland is a very talented lawyer. He is sharp and articulate. He is very good at thinking through issues from a broad perspective. He has a good business sense in addition to legal knowledge."
    "Eric has set the bar for national PSD activity with our project. He leads the field."
    - Frank Rotondi
    White Stallion Energy Center, LLC
    "Mr. Cochran is a terrific lawyer, with great judgment, knowledge, and experience. He can always be counted on to achieve the optimal results."
    "George Gerachis has vast knowledge and experience. He is always responsive to our questions and concerns about issues. George also always brings a high quality team to the table to provide solutions. He communicates in a way that makes it easy to understand the issues as well as the steps needed to resolve them. It has always been my observation that George is highly thought of within the tax and legal community. "
    - Janet Wilson
    Halliburton Company
    "George Gerachis is professional, personable, realistic, practical, and a great negotiator. George is an amazing service professional. He provides the highest quality of service with the appropriate level of advice. We trust George and know that he is always looking out for our best interests."
    "In working with Mr. George Gerachis on an IRS controversy case, I found him to be extremely knowledgeable and effective. His experience working on IRS controversies shows through his ability to quickly and competently resolve disputes. He communicated difficult issues well with my professional team in addition to the IRS representatives. He took the time to properly educate all involved and worked diligently on the case at hand. He is a very personable attorney while maintaining the highest level of professionalism."
    "Guy Lipe is an excellent attorney and very knowledgeable."
    "Jim Thompson is an excellent attorney and is very knowledgeable."
    "James TIpton is an excellent lawyer with sound fundamentals and a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of his practice areas. He provides consistent advise with strong analytic and issue spotting skills which enable successful negotiations and deal completion. As a resource to in-house counsel -- you could not ask for better representation."
    - Mark Greenberg
    Mecuria Energy Group, Ltd.
    "Jim Lee is a masterful courtroom attorney whose performance reflects an intense knowledge and understanding of the company and the various facets of its operations. He has been sensitive to the owners and the emotional traumas they are experiencing throughout this process. Outside of the courtroom, he remains a trusted advisor."
    - Melvin Lack
    Lack's Furniture Stores
    "Jim Lee has a high degree of expertise in the bankruptcy litigation arena. I have noted that many bankruptcy counsels and many litigation counsels believe that they can effectively handle bankruptcy litigation. This is untrue. It is clear, when you have a real expert in the area, the way that the unique litigation environment can be best managed for an effective result. Jim has a calm and easy demeanor that helps in-house counsel to effectively use Jim to explain to concerned internal clients the issues that will be faced and the likely results. I would highly recommend Jim Lee for any company facing litigation or desiring to pursue litigation in the bankruptcy arena."
    - Curt Warnock
    Integrated Electrical Services, Inc.
    "Jim quickly dissects a situation and gets to the real issues; he is able to persuasively make his points and build consensus."
    - Adam Dunayer
    Houlihan Lokey
    "Jim is an incredibly bright, articulate, and effective attorney who can deliver excellent results for his clients. He is easy to work with and is capable of quickly understanding even the most complex of situations and navigating through complex waters to achieve his client's objectives. Jim makes himself extremely available and accessible to his clients. He is a skilled and experienced professional who is well-respected by all those with whom he works for and against, as well as by the bench."
    - Michael Hoffman
    VarTec Telecom, Inc.
    "Our Board of Directors initially retained Jim to work on a very complex case that involved a number of vested interests. Jim came highly recommended by a number of references. Jim's practical and methodical approach to the case resulted in a very favorable outcome for our company. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Jim (in my capacity as General Counsel) on a number of other matters. Jim continues to exceed our expectations and has successfully represented the company with respect to each endeavor. He consistently remains focused on the best interests of the client and is responsive and highly effective. In addition, he is an affable individual. "
    - Tania King
    Advantage Sales & Marketing
    "Jim is that rare combination of being both a very good bankruptcy lawyer and a very good trial lawyer. Jim is smartly aggressive. He understands how to be an advocate in the context of commercial objectives."
    "Jim Lee is the best bankruptcy litigator I have ever seen in a courtroom."
    "Mr. Lee is our go-to guy for all bet-the-company litigation. We have found him to be very practical and he delivers results. He is not a process guy; he thinks creatively and has a good head for business, much better than the typical big firm guy we have employed. I would recommend him for any important litigation, particularly in Texas federal court where he is well respected and incredibly well regarded and well received by the bench. We spent several million dollars around here in 2006 on litigation and he was far and away the best of our outside litigation counsel. "
    "In my prior position with VarTec Telecom/Excel Telecommunications, I had the pleasure of working with Jim Lee on a variety of mission critical disputes, both in the context of the company's bankruptcy and thereafter with the entity that acquired the company's assets. Jim has an uncanny ability to anticipate the next steps our opposition was likely to take and to structure a competitive game plan accordingly in order to maximize results. He's unflappable in high-pressure situations and takes the high road when the opposition gets dirty. For this reason, Jim has an immense amount of credibility with judges, clients, and opposing counsel alike. This level of credibility has made the difference in the rulings we obtained from the bench and in negotiations with opposing counsel during pivotal settlement talks. Jim's someone you want in your corner!"
    "James Meyer is a great client service person."
    "Jim has been a great resource for the dealings we have had with V&E and is always available for counsel on the deal at hand. He is always willing to listen to whatever crazy idea I may throw at him and not jump to conclusions prematurely."
    "Jeff is as high quality as they come. He is extremely bright and talented. We look to his judgment every time on complex or sensitive matters."
    - Troy Keller
    Huntsman Corporation
    "Jo Ann Biggs is an outstanding regulatory lawyer. JoAnn understands the Texas electric energy market and all of the nuances associated with the market, as well as or better than any lawyer in the state."
    - Rob Trimble
    Oncor Electric Delivery Company
    "Mr. Connally is a rising star in the energy transactional arena. He has exceptional skills and exemplary diplomacy with both counterparties and his own clients. Mr. Connally should be on the short list of anyone needing significant energy representation for significant transactions."
    - Paul Owen
    Statoil USA E&P Inc.
    "John Wander is truly a gifted trial attorney, who is a skilled strategist. He is a trusted counsel and is able to achieve amazing results and is truly client-centered."
    "Keith Fullenweider can pull the entire firm's resources together to complete complex transactions. He is a good negotiator that can help get complex deals to the finish line."
    "Mark Spivak is very responsive and very experienced in project finance transactions -- both on domestic and international projects. He has a very practical approach to addressing and resolving challenges. He has a great understanding of market practice."
    "Michael McKay gives solid advice, great responsiveness and is thoughtful in his preparation and delivery of advice."
    - Jason Dubchak
    Niska Gas Storage 
    "Michael McKay has great technical ability and is an excellent draftsman. He is very cost effective."
    "Michael McKay is a very strong finance lawyer who is effective in getting deals done."
    "Paul Martin is a wonderful attorney who I enjoy working with. He is able to navigate difficult negotiations and contain the emotions of a transaction. He is very swift in his drafting and has a very high degree of integrity. I highly recommend Paul and his practice group."
    "Phillip Dye is extremely well-versed in his subject matter, but nevertheless is a down-to-earth practitioner who does not bill every minute of a discussion with the client. I would recommend Phillip to any client looking for an honest, realistic assessment of his case and a worthy advocate in court who reflects the values/ethics of the client. His track record is unblemished."
    "Richard Adams has an incredible combination of knowledge and experience in regulatory law and financial concepts."
    - John Casey
    Oncor Electric Delivery Company
    "Robert is the most knowledgeable outside securities/M&A lawyer I have used on a transaction. He is great at spotting issues, problem solving, and building relationships of trust with other parties to the transaction. He gives good, practical business advice."
    "Sandy has always worked diligently on behalf of our company, understanding our needs to help us achieve the maximum results, often within an expeditious time frame."
    - Darryl Burman
    Group One Automotive
    "Steve Tarry is an excellent lawyer. His work product is excellent, and he is extremely responsive to client requests. He also has a very effective negotiating style, which has worked to our benefit during several extremely tough negotiations."
    "Tom Leatherbury is an excellent First Amendment lawyer and a terrific litigator. He assembles first rate teams on his cases and is very responsive to clients. He is a pleasure to work with and is very good at getting along with even the most difficult clients."
    "Tom is an excellent lawyer who provides informed and practical advice."
    "Tom brings a great combination of legal and people skills to his clients. We found him to be an expert at synthesizing many different viewpoints and contributions on how our appeal should be handled, briefed, and argued. Tom's advocacy skills are also first rate."
    "Vanessa Griffith is extremely competent. She is always thoroughly prepared."
    "Mr. Sims is the best litigator and trial strategist that we have ever used, and we have used several. "
    "I have worked with Bill Volk since 2003. He has been a great partner, and a terrific mentor. In 2005 I had the opportunity to work with him on a huge transaction and I learned so much. He is experienced and thoughtful. I highly recommend him. "
    - Ana Ward
    Asuragen, Inc.
    "Billy Coe Dyer is a great communicator and his responses timely. He is a man of integrity."
    "Cliff is one of the best lawyers with whom I have worked. He is intelligent and diligent, and he is as good an advocate as you could ask for."
    "Cliff is a great lawyer. He is very smart and experienced in commercial litigation. He always makes himself available and is easy to communicate with. Cliff is also very respectful of the client's business relationships, and is all about finding legal solutions that best benefit the client."
    "Craig Margolis is a good lawyer and very easy to work with on matters. He communicates well."

    Vinson & Elkins LLP

    Main Location

    1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2500
    Houston, TX 77002
    Phone: 713-758-2222
    16 offices in 8 countries


    Managing Partner


    Accounting Firm Representation
    Admiralty and Maritime
    Arbitration and ADR
    Asia Pacific
    Aviation and Airlines
    Capital Markets and Securities
    Catastrophic Event Litigation/Crisis Management
    Class Actions and Multi-District Litigation
    Clean Energy
    Climate Change
    Commercial and Business Litigation
    Condemnation and Land Use
    Construction and Engineering
    Corporate Governance and Compliance
    Director and Officer Liability
    Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
    Employment, Labor and OSHA
    Energy and Natural Resources
    Energy Regulation
    Energy/Oil and Gas Litigation
    Environmental Litigation and Regulation
    Environmental/Toxic Tort
    ERISA Class Actions/Litigation
    Export Controls and Economic Sanctions
    Fair Labor Standards Act Counseling and Litigation
    False Claims/Qui Tam Litigation
    Federal Income Tax
    Federal Public Policy
    Financial Institutions Litigation
    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    Government Contracts Litigation
    Government Contracts Regulation
    Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense
    Insurance Coverage Litigation
    Intellectual Property Counseling
    Intellectual Property Licensing
    Intellectual Property Litigation
    Intellectual Property Prosecution
    International Dispute Resolution
    International Employment and Labor Issues
    Islamic Finance and Investment
    Labor and Employment Issues in Transactions
    Labor Union Matters, Collective Bargaining, and Arbitrations
    Latin America
    Legal Malpractice
    Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)
    Media Litigation
    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Middle East and North Africa
    Mining and Minerals
    National Security Review (CFIUS)
    North Sea
    Private Equity
    Products Liability
    Project Finance and Development
    Real Estate Transactions
    Restrictive Covenant Litigation
    Restructuring and Reorganization
    Securities Litigation and Enforcement
    Sexual Harassment
    State and Local Tax
    Structured Finance
    Syndicated Finance
    Tax Litigation
    Texas Regulatory


    Partners: 220
    Of Counsel: 33
    Associates: 345
    Other Lawyers: 3
    Paralegals: 38
    Non-Legal Employees: 639
    International Partners: 33
    International Associates: 61
    International Paralegals: 8
    International Non-Legal Employees: 81

    Practice Areas

    Administrative / Regulatory Law
    Antitrust Law
    Appellate Practice
    Banking and Finance Law
    Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    Bet-the-Company Litigation
    Biotechnology Law
    Commercial Litigation
    Construction Law
    Corporate Compliance Law
    Corporate Governance Law
    Corporate Law
    Criminal Defense: White-Collar
    Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
    Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
    Employment Law - Management
    Energy & Natural Resources Law
    Energy Law
    Environmental Law
    Finance Law
    Government Relations Practice
    International Arbitration - Commercial
    International Arbitration - Governmental
    International Trade and Finance Law
    Labor Law - Management
    Land Use and Zoning Law
    Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
    Litigation - Antitrust
    Litigation - Bankruptcy
    Litigation - Construction
    Litigation - Environmental
    Litigation - ERISA
    Litigation - First Amendment
    Litigation - Intellectual Property
    Litigation - Labor and Employment
    Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions
    Litigation - Patent
    Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
    Litigation - Securities
    Litigation and Controversy - Tax
    Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
    Mergers and Acquisitions Law
    Natural Resources Law
    Oil & Gas Law
    Oil and Gas Law
    Patent Law
    Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
    Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
    Project Finance and Development Practice
    Project Finance Law
    Real Estate Law
    Securities / Capital Markets Law
    Securitization and Structured Finance Law
    Tax Law
    Venture Capital Law
    Water Law