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 December 29, 2015 - 11:03 AM EST
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Vinson & Elkins Names 10 New Partners

HOUSTON, Dec. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Vinson & Elkins announces the promotion of 10 lawyers to its partnership, effective January 1, 2016: Mike Heidler and Stephen Stout in Austin; Shaun Rogers and Danny Tobey in Dallas; Stephen Jacobson, Julian Seiguer, David Wall and Mingda Zhao in Houston; Dan Komarek in New York; and Jessica Mussallem in San Francisco.

"These lawyers have each demonstrated a strong commitment to V&E and our clients and we are excited to welcome them to the partnership," V&E chairman Mark Kelly said. "We are confident they will continue to make significant contributions not only to their individual practice groups, but to the overall strategic objectives of the firm."

The new partners represent eight of the firm's key practice areas: appellate, complex commercial litigation, condemnation, energy transactions and projects, executive compensation and benefits, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions/capital markets and real estate.

"We are pleased to recognize these lawyers for the excellent work they have done guiding our clients through complex transactions and litigation," said V&E managing partner Scott Wulfe. "We look forward to the firm's continued success with talented lawyers like these as part of our partnership."

The following is a list of the firm's new partners by practice:


Mike Heidler's practice focuses on civil appellate law and litigation. He has experience in all stages of litigation, including arguing cases, drafting briefs, providing appellate support at trial and counseling clients on litigation strategy. Heidler has worked on oil and gas, antitrust, securities, condemnation, environmental, construction and class-action disputes. His energy-related experience includes disputes over royalty payments, implied covenants, joint operating agreements, surface use agreements and well permitting. In April 2015, Heidler was part of the team securing a victory on behalf of V&E client Valerus Compression Services LP, when a Texas appeals court ruled that Guggenheim Corporate Funding may not keep an oversized equity stake in Valerus worth as much as $34 million. Heidler serves on the board of ZACH Theatre and is Secretary/Treasurer of the Austin Bar Association's Civil Appellate Section. He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 2007 and his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000.

Complex Commercial Litigation:

Jessica Mussallem has built a national and international practice representing companies and executives in high-stakes matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, antitrust offenses, trade secrets, securities violations and commercial disputes, including IP litigation and securities matters. Mussallem represents corporations, Audit Committees and individuals in criminal and internal investigations involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies. Mussallem is currently working on a number of high-stakes matters, including representing a U.S. company with foreign operations before the Department of Justice and SEC in numerous, parallel FCPA investigations across the globe. Mussallem was an integral member of the V&E team to settle the largest criminal antitrust investigation ever conducted by the Department of Justice on behalf of the leading target of the investigation into the auto parts industry. Mussallem received her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2006 and her bachelor's degree from Barnard College in 1998.

Danny Tobey is a trial and appellate lawyer who has argued successfully before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court and trial courts across Texas. His clients include energy, health care, private equity, software, environmental and airline companies, as well as major religious denominations and prominent law firms. A medical doctor, Tobey has used his experience to represent hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in matters ranging from patent disputes to tort claims. Tobey served as first-chair appellate counsel arguing before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and winning unanimous reversal and remand on a complex tax issue of first impression, winning on remand. He also led the defense of a historic religious denomination sued by a breakaway faction in a church property case in Texas state court, obtaining a multi-million dollar (net) settlement and dismissing all plaintiffs' claims. Tobey received his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2008, his law degree from Yale Law School in 2003 and his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1999.


David Wall's principal area of practice is eminent domain and condemnation litigation. He focuses primarily on the representation of property owners against takings by local and state authorities. Wall has handled cases involving the taking of all types of improved properties, as well as vacant tracts of land. He has represented several property owners in cases against the State of Texas related to the Grand Parkway and U.S. 290 Expansion Projects in the Houston area. Additionally, he has represented numerous property owners in cases related to Harris County road widening projects. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law in 2007 and his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.

Energy Transactions and Projects:

Mingda Zhao's principal areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, energy transactions, cross-border transactions and general corporate representation for both domestic and international clients. In 2015, Zhao worked on some of V&E's most innovative deals, including advising TPG Special Situations Partners (TSSP) in connection with the agreement between the operating subsidiary of Legacy Reserves LP and funds managed by TSSP to jointly fund horizontal drilling of certain Spraberry, Wolfcamp and Bone Spring rights in the Permian Basin. Zhao has played a significant role in some of the firm's largest energy deals, including representing Apollo Global Management and Riverstone Holdings in their $7.15 billion acquisition of El Paso Corp.'s upstream assets, Pioneer Natural Resources in its $1.8 billion joint venture with Sinochem Petroleum and Devon Energy in its $2.3 billion sale of oil and gas properties in 10 states to Linn Energy Holdings. Zhao received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007 and his bachelor's degree from Hampshire College in 2002.

Executive Compensation and Benefits:

Stephen Jacobson's practice focuses on executive compensation and employee benefit matters. He advises public and private companies, boards of directors, private equity funds, management teams and individual executives on navigating the tax, securities law, corporate governance and other regulatory complexities of all types of compensation and benefit arrangements. Jacobson also regularly advises clients on the compensation and benefit aspects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures as well as a variety of private equity and capital markets transactions. For example, Jacobson recently provided compensation and benefits advice to Riverstone Holdings in the $9.5 billion formation of Talen Energy Corporation, TPG Capital in the $1.8 billion acquisition of the Jonah Field operations from Encana Corporation, numerous private equity sponsors and management teams in connection with equity line of capital investments and various issuers in connection with their initial public offerings. Jacobson received his J.D. in 2007 and bachelor's degree in 2004, both from Tulane University.

Intellectual Property:

Stephen Stout focuses on technology-based litigation. He has represented clients across the country in a wide variety of fields, ranging from biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to digital media and e-commerce. His notable experience includes assisting in securing a take-nothing jury verdict in favor of a sports media client and assisting in securing a judgment of invalidity and a non-infringement jury verdict in favor of a biotechnology client. Stout is also an active member of the intellectual property bar. He is a co-author of a leading annual intellectual property treatise, "O'Connor's Federal Intellectual Property Codes Plus," and has co-authored amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association in two significant patent cases. Stout received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. He also has a Ph.D. in plant biology from the University of Texas at Austin (2004), an M.S. in plant health from Louisiana State University (2000) and a B.S. in botany from Texas A&M University (1998).

Mergers and Acquisitions/Capital Markets:

Dan Komarek's principal areas of practice are private equity and mergers and acquisitions. He has counseled private equity funds, their portfolio companies and public companies in connection with a variety of strategic investments, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, as well as on corporate governance and other general corporate matters. Komarek represented Apollo Global Management in the formation of Jupiter Resources and later counseled Jupiter in its C$2 billion acquisition of Encana's Bighorn assets in the Alberta Deep Basin. Also, he advised Riverstone Holdings in a C$300 million equity commitment to Canadian Non-Operated Resources LP, a Calgary-based oil and gas company pursuing partnerships to develop oil and gas assets in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Komarek received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 2007 and his bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley in 2004.

Julian Seiguer 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. He advised Parsley Energy, Inc. in its $1.1 billion initial public offering, Dominion Midstream Partners in its $423 million initial public offering and Westlake Chemical Partners LP in its $311 million initial public offering. Seiguer received his law degree from University of Maryland School of Law in 2007 and his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 2000.

Real Estate:

Shaun Rogers advises clients in commercial real estate and general business transactions. His practice includes the representation of private equity firms, institutional investors, REITs and developers in property acquisitions and dispositions; commercial leasing transactions; joint ventures; development and construction projects; mortgage lending on real estate; and commercial lending, representing both lenders and borrowers. On behalf of private equity firms, Rogers assisted in the $109 million purchase of an office park in Fairfax County, Virginia and the $71.75 million sale of a shopping center in Atlanta. He also assisted AT Industrial Owner Acquisition LLC in numerous leases of industrial space totaling over 10 million square feet. Rogers received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and his bachelor's degree from Duke University in 2002.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is an international law firm with approximately 650 lawyers across 15 offices worldwide. For more information, please contact Courtney Binick at +1.713.758.2333.


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Source: PR Newswire (December 29, 2015 - 11:03 AM EST)

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