2023 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Level of responsibility and quality of work.”
“The people, hands down.”
“The hours are unpredictable and the flow of work is very unsteady.”
“The amount of availability I am expected to have for work.”
About Vinson & Elkins
Founded in Houston in 1917, this Texas-based institution built its name as one of the most vital energy law firms. Today, Vinson & Elkins is a trusted adviser to clients in the most important industrial and digital industries, such as renewable energy, technology, banking/finance, M&A/private equity, real estate, media, complex litigation, and tax.
A Dynamic Centenarian
V&E is a diverse partnership and team of professionals, solving problems and creating opportunities for clients in their transactions, investments, projects, and disputes in 12 offices across the globe. In 2021, the firm celebrated the 50th anniversary of its London office—making it one of the oldest U.S. law firms with a continuous presence in the city. Its New York City office has also seen a recent growth spurt: A 50% increase since the end of 2018 has brought the firm’s Big Apple headcount to more than 100 lawyers.
In May 2021, V&E announced a new leadership structure, effective January 1, 2022, with the election of its new Executive Committee. Keith Fullenweider (Houston) will serve as the firm’s next Chair along with Jim Fox (New York), Michael Holmes (Dallas), and Hilary Preston (Austin and New York) as Vice Chairs. The transition will close out the impressive ten-year run—the maximum allowed by the firm—for Chairman Mark Kelly and Managing Partner Scott Wulfe.
The Energy Evolution
V&E navigates its clients’ most complex legal matters with expertise across practices including litigation, investigations, real estate, private equity, technology, leveraged finance, and more. Within its capacities as a full-service firm, V&E continues to thrive in its original core areas of energy and infrastructure—its consistent top rankings in Vault’s Energy, Oil, & Gas and Clean Tech/Renewable Energy categories speak for themselves.
During the past 20 years, the firm has built a top-notch Clean Energy & Renewables practice with experience working with hydro, solar, and wind energies; energy storage; fuel cells; smart-grid applications; biomass; waste-to-energy; and more. The team works across practices, bringing in the firm’s experience in environmental law counseling, licensing, M&A, project development, project financing, regulatory counseling, and tax.
V&E’s focus on the energy evolution provides insight and analysis to clients on a broad range of topics looking at how companies and economies are building an energy sustainability and clean technology future, including renewable energy projects, federal and state regulation, climate change adaptation, and international developments.
Plus Pro Bono
V&E isn’t just a big player in the energy, financial, industrial, and digital worlds—it also has a strong commitment to pro bono—V&E lawyers perform an average of 30,000 hours of pro bono work every year. V&E is most known for the legal aid it provides veterans, nonprofits, low-income individuals, asylum seekers, and those seeking medical guardianship. You can read about V&E’s pro bono highlights as well as other stories on V&E’s values and ventures on its companion V&E+ site.
News & Awards
- In 2020, advised on $7 billion worth of renewable energy and clean technology matters, including SPAC IPOs. Clients include Goldman Sachs, Sixth Street Partners, Riverstone, Macquarie, Global Atlantic, and The Carlyle Group.
- Advised Noble Energy in its acquisition by Chevron Corporation, a transaction with an enterprise value of $13 billion. At the time of its announcement in 2020, it was the largest energy deal of the year.
- In 1998, defended CBS’ 60 Minutes in a libel trial over a news report tying a Hispanic family to ownership of a slum colony on the U.S.-Mexico border.
- As early as 1940, Vinson & Elkins lawyers helped to secure a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring more racially diverse representation on grand juries in Texas.
- Mansfield Rule Certified – Diversity Lab, 2020-2022
- Best Law Firm for Women for 10th year, 2022 – Seramount (formerly Working Mother)
- 100% Score for 11 years on Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality – Human Rights Campaign, 2022
- Named to Bloomberg Law’s first DEI Framework for firms that meet or exceed an established threshold of diversity, equity, and inclusion, 2021
- 85% of V&E Partners are recognized for their work in leading legal publications - Chambers, Legal 500, Best Lawyers, 2022
845 Texas Avenue, Suite 4700
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 758-2222
Chair: Keith Fullenweider
Vice Chairs: Jim Fox, Michael Holmes, and Hilary Preston
Lead Partners: David Oelman (Talent); Manuel Berrelez (Recruiting); Lina Dimachkieh (Associate Compensation)
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Base Salary (2022)
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,135/week
Senior Director of Attorney Recruitment
Application information and links for entry-level and lateral positions are available here: https://www.velaw.com/careers/
No. of U.S. Offices: 8
No. of International Offices: 4
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC | Dubai
Complex Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)
Employment, Labor and OSHA
M&A/Private Equity/Venture Capital
Restructuring & Reorganization
Tax/Employment Benefits/Executive Compensation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.