Vinson & Elkins

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Vinson & Elkins LLP
Vinson & Elkins LLP logo.svg
HeadquartersTexas Tower, Downtown Houston, Texas
Major practice areasTransactions, Mergers & Acquisitions, Litigation, Regulatory, Tax, Oil & Gas Law, Intellectual Property, Restructuring & Bankruptcy
Key peopleChair, Keith Fullenweider; Vice Chairs Jim Fox, Michael Holmes and Hilary Preston
Date founded1917
FounderJames A. Elkins and William A. Vinson
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Vinson & Elkins LLP (or V&E) is an international law firm with approximately 700 lawyers worldwide[1] headquartered in Downtown Houston, Texas.[2][3]

The firm has offices in major energy, financial, and political centers worldwide, including Austin, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Richmond, Riyadh, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.



The firm was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1917 by Judge James A. Elkins and William A. Vinson.[4][5][6]


In May 2021, it was announced that the firm elected current partners Keith Fullenweider as chair and Jim Fox, Michael Holmes and Hilary Preston as vice chairs. The change took effect on January 1, 2022. The firm's former chairman is Mark Kelly and its managing partner was Scott Wulfe.[7]

Practice areas[edit]

The firm practices in numerous legal fields, particularly those that pertain to the energy industry,[8] with more than 400 lawyers involved in energy-related legal work. The firm was rated the most prestigious firm in Texas for the fifth year in a row, as well as for having the nation’s strongest practice for Energy, Oil, & Gas for the eighth consecutive year.[9][10] The firm is highly ranked within Chamber and Partners legal rankings as a leading firm in Corporate and Tax areas, collectively achieving 10 Band 1 practice rankings in the 2021 guide.[11] The firm is recognized as "The World's Leading Energy Law Firm" by Euromoney Magazine 2010 - 2011. In 2011, Chambers & Partners recognized V&E globally, as the leader in Projects & Energy: Oil & Gas.[12]


On January 12, 2022, Vinson & Elkins became the founding sponsor of The University of Texas School of Law's new Pipeline Program. The firm made a $1 million commitment to support the program.[13][14] In 2021, Vinson & Elkins was named as a leader in diversity equity and inclusion by Bloomberg as part of Bloomberg Law's DEI Framework study.[15] In 2009, the firm was again named a Community of Respect by the Anti-Defamation League, a designation V&E has maintained since the program's inception in 2006, and is also the two-time recipient of the Thomas L. Sager Award for the South/Southwest Region by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for the firm's sustained commitment to diversity.[16]

In 2001, V&E received negative attention for its role as legal advisor to Enron, the failed Houston-based energy company. During the years following Enron's collapse, Vinson & Elkins was the subject of a number of claims, and its representation of Enron endured scrutiny by news organizations, the U.S. Congress, and federal agencies. Vinson & Elkins was voluntarily dismissed without payment in January 2007 from the last significant litigation involving the Enron collapse. The law firm agreed to pay $30 million to the failed energy company's bankruptcy estate to avoid a lawsuit claiming it aided in the company's downfall.[17]


V&E has been active and has had an office in London for more than 50 years.[18][19] V&E has an active practice in China advising Chinese companies on energy-related mergers and acquisitions. The firm has represented clients throughout Asia for more than 30 years. V&E's office in Tokyo services local commercial hubs, as well as the broader Asia Pacific region. The practice also has a significant presence beyond office locations, with lawyers frequently advising on matters in Australia, India, Korea, and Southeast Asia.[20]

Managing partners[edit]

  • Keith Fullenweider (2021–present)
  • Mark Kelly and Scott Wulfe (2012–2020)
  • Joseph C. Dilg (2002–2011)
  • Harry M. Reasoner (1992–2001)
  • J. Evans Attwell (1981–91)
  • A. Frank Smith Jr. (1971–81)
  • Lewis White (1962–71)
  • Raybourne Thompson Sr. (1959–62)
  • Robert A. Shepherd Sr. (1952–59)
  • Warren Dale (office manager 1947-52)
  • James A. Elkins (1929–47)

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Texas-Sized Centennial for Vinson & Elkins". Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  2. ^ "Houston." Vinson & Elkins. Retrieved on May 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Selden, Jonathan. "Law firms in Austin help Houston offices." Austin Business Journal. Thursday September 22, 2005. Retrieved on May 5, 2010. "At Vinson & Elkins LLP, the Austin office is accommodating evacuated attorneys from the Houston headquarters as well as some clients, says Don Wood, administrative partner."
  4. ^ Craftsmanship and Character: A History of the Vinson & Elkins Law Firm of Houston, 1917-1997
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Handbook of Texas Online"
  7. ^ Spiezio, Caroline; Spiezio, Caroline (4 May 2021). "Vinson & Elkins elects new leaders as firm eyes tech-fueled Texas growth | Reuters". Reuters.
  8. ^ "Vinson & Elkins' Texan heritage explains its reputation today as a global leader in energy law," Chambers Student Guide
  9. ^ "Vault Law Releases 2022 Rankings For Its Top 100 Law Firms, Best Law Firms By Region, And Best Law Firms By Practice Area".
  10. ^ "Vinson & Elkins | Company Profile".
  11. ^ "Vinson & Elkins LLP, Global | Chambers Profiles".
  12. ^ "Projects & Energy Lawyers & Law Firms – Global". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  13. ^ "Pipeline Program".
  14. ^ "Vinson & Elkins Gives University $1 Million for Texas Diversity".
  15. ^ "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework for Law Firms | Bloomberg Law".
  16. ^ "Past Honorees - 2009". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Exclusive: Texas law firm Vinson & Elkins on half a century in London". 20 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Vinson & Elkins Celebrates 50 Years in London".
  20. ^ "Search | Best Lawyers".
  21. ^ "Lizzie Pannill Fletcher for Congress".

External links[edit]