Given our U.S. heritage, we aim to treat our trainees as simply the most junior members of client and deal teams, giving them direct experience of international quality work while providing a safe environment in which to learn.
– Alex Msimang, Managing Partner, London
FOCUSED ENERGY DEEP EXPERIENCE
Vinson & Elkins’ London office has a strong focus in the energy industry, having been originally established in 1971 in conjunction with clients participating in the North Sea oil boom. Since then, we have expanded to focus on key industry sectors and client types. Lawyers in Vinson & Elkins’ London office advise on some of the most complex transactions, projects and disputes in the construction, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and telecoms sectors. In addition to this industry specific experience, Vinson & Elkins has lawyers who understand and address the needs of specific client types. For example, we have teams who have extensive experience in advising private equity, venture capital and hedge fund clients investing in a range of industry sectors and in advising state-owned companies in connection with infrastructure and energy investments and disputes. We believe that focusing on key industry sectors and client types enables us to provide a tailored service to our clients and have a deeper understanding of the commercial aims they are seeking to acheive. Our sector specific experience has taken our lawyers all over the globe and enabled us to advise clients on matters involving almost every country in the world. We use our London office as a hub to advise clients in the jurisdictions in which they do business and we often work with preferred local advisors in each of these jurisdictions. Our London-based lawyers are most commonly advising on matters based in continental Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. In each of the sectors and geographies in which we act, our work includes M&A transactions, capital markets, private equity, funds and special situations investments, joint ventures, project development, finance, restructuring, tax, dispute resolution and employment.
Our London trainee solicitor programme offers you a chance to be part of Vinson & Elkins’ dynamic and international team.
GLOBAL For over a century, Vinson & Elkins, a leading U.S.-headquartered global law firm with approximately 650 lawyers located in 13 offices across the globe, has provided innovative business solutions for our 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 law firm’s time-tested role as trusted adviser has become even more critical. The depth and breadth of Vinson & Elkins’ 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. Vinson & Elkins has amassed a wealth of experience working on projects for clients in almost every country on the map. We are accustomed to working not only in well-defined markets, but also in less familiar and more challenging environments, under developing local regimes or those with evolving communications and infrastructure. We know how to adapt to local customs, cultures and laws, enabling us to handle matters quickly and effectively. We work in tandem with our clients, travelling wherever and whenever we are needed. This knowledge enables us to offer creative solutions for our clients engaged in leading-edge projects around the world.
OVERVIEW Over four decades ago, Vinson & Elkins became one of the first U.S. law firms to establish a practice in London. Since then, we have built a dynamic office, undertaking work that has gained the respect of clients and competitors around the world. The London office has approximately 60 fee earners. Our clients are predominantly in the international energy, private equity, finance and infrastructure sectors, focusing on:
• Capital Markets and Finance
• Construction (contentious and non-contentious)
• Energy, Transactions & Projects
• International Dispute Resolution and Arbitration
• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Private Equity, Funds and Special Situations Investments
• Telecoms Infrastructure
INTERNATIONAL • EXCEPTIONAL TRAINING • EARLY RESPONSIBILITY
Vinson & Elkins’ London office offers approximately five training contracts starting in September each year. Trainees become part of our team from day one. We staff transactions and disputes leanly, as we believe it gives our clients a focused team who understands all aspects of their transaction or dispute. This means that each trainee is an integral part of the service provided to our clients. It is not uncommon for trainees to be attending client meetings, engaging with the clients by telephone or email or attending hearings in their first weeks and months at the firm. The firm is dedicated to offering extensive ‘on-the-job’ training and many of our lawyers trained at Vinson & Elkins. Our culture focuses on passing on senior lawyers’ knowledge and experience. The graduate recruitment team focus on ensuring that trainees are involved in a variety of transactions and disputes and work with a broad range of clients. This ensures that the training is balanced and enables our trainees to make an informed decision on where they want to qualify at the end of their training contract. Since its inception in 2003, our London training programme has earned Vinson & Elkins numerous awards, including the “Best Training Principal – U.S. Firm in the City” award in 2018, the “Best Recruiter – U.S. Firm in the City” award in 2017, the “Best Trainer – U.S. Firm in the City” award in 2010, and the “Best Trainer – Medium City Firm” award in 2006, all from LawCareers.Net. From 2007- 2009, LawCareers.Net shortlisted the firm for the “Best Trainer – U.S. Firm in the City” award. From 2012 - 2014, we were further shortlisted for the “Best Recruiter – U.S. Firm in the City” award. Vinson & Elkins is proud to continue to win such recognition – particularly where it is based on independent interviews with people who are going through or have been through our training programme.
While being based in London, trainees often take secondments in our overseas offices, including in the Middle East and our head office in Houston, Texas. Secondments give trainees the chance to experience different legal cultures and to have increased client contact. Whether or not secondments are offered, trainees should expect to travel internationally during the course of their two years. Trainees may also expect to work with lawyers from across the firm’s various offices on a daily basis.
VACATION PLACEMENT & TRAINING CONTRACT
When we are considering offers for training contracts, we give preference to those students who have previously completed a summer vacation placement with us. Accordingly, undergoing a vacation placement with us is strongly recommended. Approximately 30 one-week summer vacation placements in our London office are available per year between June and September. Our vacation placements are designed to give you a real sense of what you would encounter as a trainee in the first six months of your training contract, and have a deliberate emphasis on letting you interview us as much as letting us get to know you.
If you are in the first year of a law degree or the penultimate year of a non-law degree, and would like to learn more about the firm, you may be interested in applying to attend our Open Day on 18 March 2020. The Open Day is dedicated to candidates at this earlier stage. Applications can be made up until 7 February 2020 by emailing us at email@example.com. Please include your name, contact details, university, and your current stage of education. Please also confirm that you have achieved our minimum academic requirements of at least AAB at A-Level or equivalent.
We are looking to recruit ambitious individuals with exceptional academic results (2:1 degree minimum and at least AAB at A-Level or equivalent), sound commercial awareness, and rounded personalities. The ability to think laterally and creatively is essential, as is a need for common sense and a willingness to take the initiative. Foreign language skills are an asset, but by no means a requirement. Additionally, diversity and inclusion are two of the core values which guide all that we do at Vinson & Elkins. Since our success ultimately depends on developing exceptional legal talent, Vinson & Elkins is committed to attracting and retaining the finest lawyers from all backgrounds and perspectives. In terms of compensation, currently, the firm funds both the GDL and LPC. A maintenance grant of £8,000 will also be provided for both the LPC and GDL year. Trainees start at a salary of £50,000, which increases to £55,000 for the second year. Newly qualified salaries in London are currently £147,700. Benefits include private health insurance, firm pension, season ticket loan for transportation, discounted gym membership, travel insurance and dental cover.
RELATIONSHIPS Vinson & Elkins is committed to encouraging lawyers and other firm personnel to be involved volunteers in their communities. Through their personal efforts, firm employees strengthen the ties that bind our local and national communities and promote the development of individuals who make up those communities. Our lawyers are guided by the principle that pro bono clients — like all of our clients — should be fully and effectively represented. As a result, we devote significant time and financial resources to the legal needs of persons who cannot afford to pay for representation, as well as to local civic projects. Vinson & Elkins’ international pro bono initiatives provide lawyers an opportunity to connect with the human side of the practice of law. From senior partners to trainees, Vinson & Elkins’ lawyers apply their skills to personal passions and make lasting impacts in the communities in which they live and work. Whether we are helping to reunite parents with their children, assisting Holocaust survivors in the U.S. with obtaining restitution from the German government, or assisting the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire through work at voluntary law centres across London, our long tradition of pro bono service has grown to become a broad and diverse practice area.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR A SUMMER VACATION PLACEMENT OR A TRAINING CONTRACT, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT DATES:
Vacation placement application window: 1 November 2019 to 31 January 2020
Training contract application window: 1 November 2019 to 31 July 2020
Open Day for first year law students or penultimate year non-law students: 18 March 2020
Vacation placements: June 2020 to August 2020 (one-week placement)
You begin your training contract: September 2022
Applications should be made by way of our online application form, available from our website at: www.velaw.com/careers/LondonRecruitment.aspx In applying for vacation placements, please be aware that we give preference to those candidates who will be ready to start a training contract two years after that placement.
INSIGHTS DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT THOUGH…
Grace Oyegbile – Vacation Placement Student 2018, Future Trainee 2020
I completed my vacation scheme at Vinson & Elkins (V&E) in the summer of 2018. Before starting, I was a bit anxious and unsure about what to expect; however, I was immediately put at ease by the members of the firm who were friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know me.
The programme at V&E is truly a unique experience as they ensure that you gain a real insight into the workings of the firm right from the start. I was able to carry out useful research and drafting for clients and considerable effort was made to get me involved. The highlight of my week was sitting in on a client phone call with a partner, who took time to explain to me the background of the case before the call began. This allowed me to gain an awareness of the kind of issues faced by clients and the role I would play as a trainee in supporting my team. Finally, the people who work at V&E are what distinguish the firm from others. Not only are they experts at what they do; they are welcoming and always willing to help. During the week, I was also invited to various lunches and drinks and enjoyed socialising with different teams from around the firm. Before the end of the week, I could really see myself working at the firm and didn’t hesitate to accept my Training Contract offer.
Freddie Wright – Vacation Placement Student 2016, Trainee 2018 – 2020
I attended the vacation scheme with the firm in the summer of 2016. The scheme was unique in providing an accurate representation of what life as a V&E trainee would be like. Being one of only a few attendees increased my exposure to the firm’s work; I sought and completed work from several departments, not just the one in which I sat. I had previously read that the firm has a really welcoming and supportive culture, and the vacation scheme only confirmed this. Being welcomed by lunch with our trainee mentors sets up a fantastic support base for the rest of the week.
I am currently sitting in the second seat of my training contract, in the Complex Commercial
A typical day, although hard to define due to the variety of work, consists of reviewing documents received from the other party, proofing and amending documents produced by our team, and researching points of law to support a response to the other party. Particular highlights from my training contract so far include attending M&A negotiations in person, and assisting in the closing of a refinancing for a private equity client acting as lender. As the firm has a tailored intake, typically there will only be one trainee staffed per deal or case. This allows for greater exposure and responsibility from day one, but supported by associates and partners that care about your career development.
“The Open Day was extremely enjoyable. It succeeded in providing me with a true picture of what it would be like to work in Vinson & Elkins’ London office. …”
— Anonymous, Open Day Attendee
Nadine Amr – Vacation Placement Student 2010, Trainee 2012 – 2014, Associate in Energy, Transactions and Projects Team to Date
I chose to train at Vinson & Elkins because of the firm’s reputation as market leader in the energy sector and the opportunities it offered to work as part of a small team of some of the leading specialists on complex international transactions and projects for the firm’s clients. This quickly came through during my Vacation Placement where I was thrown into several days’ worth of negotiations on an international energy financing and was quickly made to feel like a team member through the level of responsibility and exposure that I received. As well as the highly professional attitude of the lawyers and the quality of work that I experienced, I was drawn to the friendly and approachable attitude of the staff and lawyers.
Trainees at Vinson & Elkins will gain experience in a broad range of practice areas and industries, and will regularly work on cross-office and multi-jurisdictional matters. During my training contract I worked on matters ranging from an M&A transaction in the telecoms sector, a deal for a Middle Eastern consumer retail business active across the GCC, the project financing of an oil refinery in Central Asia, and an international arbitration for a pharmaceutical client, and throughout I was encouraged to play a meaningful role, be it in assisting with drafting documents, conducting research, attending meetings and interacting with other lawyers and clients. The size of the London office means that trainees are given a lot of freedom to shape their own training contracts and pursue work that fits in with their particular interests and skill sets, alongside working for a specific department during each seat. Trainees who are interested in spending time abroad are almost always able to do so, and I was given the opportunity to spend one of my six-month seats in the firm’s Houston office, which enabled me to get a feel for the firm’s head office and its friendly Texan culture. Any prospective trainee that is keen to take on responsibility from day one and delve into the fast-paced and international nature of the firm’s transactions and cases will thrive here. I have since qualified into the Energy, Transactions and Projects team of the London office and my experiences training here, including the level of responsibility I was given at an early stage, the steep learning curve and the opportunities to work closely with and learn from some of the most talented associates and partners across different departments, has given me an excellent foundation to develop my legal career.
Christopher Hesford, Associate in Finance Team 2019 to date
I am an associate in the Finance team and have a mix of European and U.S. experience, working on both loan finance and high yield transactions. I was eager to join V&E, because the firm has a number of characteristics which place it in a unique position in a busy, crowded legal world. From day one you will experience the global outlook of the London office, through both the diversity of the people you work with as well as the international nature of the work. V&E is a top-tier law firm that punches far above the weight of its relatively small London office in terms of its client base and quality of work. The London office is the base from which the firm
operates its growing European, Middle East and African practices, meaning the deals are exciting, interesting and challenging. Cross-border and cross-practice deals provide trainees and associates alike with a perfect foundation for developing into excellent, well-rounded lawyers. As a Houston-headquartered firm, our offices across the U.S. allow plenty of opportunities to work with colleagues across the world, with a distinctly Texan feel. It is rare to find a deal which does not have an international element to it. V&E really does the perfect job of providing high-quality, interesting and innovative work in a warm, approachable and down-to-earth environment. I’m really excited about continuing my career here and I hope you will be too.
VINSON & ELKINS’ LONDON OFFICE HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST EXCITING WORK OF THE LAST FEW YEARS, INCLUDING REPRESENTING:
signed US$1.4 billion acquisition of a 50% ownership interest in Petrobras Oil and Gas B.V., which owns oil and gas assets offshore Nigeria.
• Vitol Group and Helios Investment Partners in Vivo Energy’s initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (the largest London IPO of 2018 at the time and the largest Africa-focused IPO in a decade, with a valuation of close to £2 billion) • Equinor (formerly Statoil) in its successfully signed US$2.9 billion acquisition from Petrobras of a 25 per cent interest in the Roncador field, located in the Campos Basin in Brazil. The purchase price consists of an initial payment of US$2.35 billion, plus additional contingent payments of up to US$550 million • STAR Rafineri A.S., a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (“SOCAR”), and its sponsors on the financing and development of a US$5.65 billion greenfield oil refinery in Turkey on the Aegean Sea. This is the largest project financing in Turkey and involved 7 ECAs and about 15 banks and won 10 awards, including Infrastructure Journal’s “European Oil and Gas Deal of the Year 2014”
• The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil in connection with the c.£10.8 billion Basrah Gas Project to capture the large volume of natural gas currently being flared in oil fields in the southern region of Iraq, including a 25-year development joint venture agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Mitsubishi • The Panama Canal Authority in relation to the construction and engineering aspects of the £3.4 billion Panama Canal Expansion Program in Panama and a number of technical and high-value disputes in DAB proceedings and ICC arbitration proceedings • An international real estate fund on its acquisition, and the financing of such acquisition, of an interest in a portfolio of real estate assets located in Spain with a net book value of nearly €7 billion • A joint venture among Korean Gas Corp (“KOGAS”), LOTTE Chemical, STX Energy, and Uzbekneftegaz, on the development of the approximately US$4 billion Surgil upstream gas and petrochemicals project and the Asian Development Bank, KEXIM, and KSure-led financing thereof • A large U.S. private equity company bringing claims against the Republic of Ecuador under its bilateral investment treaty with the United States, arising out of the indirect expropriation of power generation
• HTA Group Ltd on its US$600 million issuance of senior high yield notes, in connection with its pan-African portfolio of telecoms assets
• Maersk Oil on successful tax litigation against HMRC in the First-tier Tribunal in Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited and Maersk Oil UK Limited v The Commissioners for HMRC
• A consortium consisting of Africa Oil Corporation, Delonex, and Vitol Group in relation to the successfully
IMPACT “Powerhouse oil and gas practice with the ability to handle a range of complex corporate, regulatory and financing matters. Assists an enviable roster of major international energy companies as well as governments and banks.” — Chambers UK , Energy and Natural Resources, 2019 Recognised in Energy & Natural Resources, Construction, International Arbitration and Projects — Chambers UK , 2019 Ranked in M&A: Upper Mid-Market and Premium Deals, Corporate Tax, International Arbitration, Oil & Gas and Construction — Legal 500 UK , 2018 “Demonstrates strong credentials in oil, gas and petrochemical projects, as well as transport and water developments. Able to advise on projects in often challenging international jurisdictions.” — Chambers UK , Projects, 2019 “What I was looking for was a team with strong leadership that was creative, imaginative and could look for legal arguments that maybe other firms couldn’t quite see clearly. They’ve done that and they’ve built a very good case.” — Chambers UK , International Arbitration: Commercial Arbitration, 2018 “Powerhouse oil and gas practice with the ability to handle a range of complex corporate, regulatory and contentious matters.” — Chambers UK , Energy & Natural Resources: Oil & Gas, 2018 “Other firms can be cold and impersonal, but here the culture percolates through Texas. People like each other and they don’t take themselves too seriously.” — Chambers Student Guide , 2018
“A very, very good team in oil and gas,” adding that “the team are one of the best to work with.” — Chambers Global , Projects & Energy, 2017 “Particularly known for its energy industry [experience]. Acts on proceedings governed by leading arbitral institutions and rules, including the ICC, AAA and LCIA. Also experienced in handling disputes arising in the construction and engineering, insurance, banking, technology, intellectual property and pharmaceuticals sectors.” — Chambers UK , International Arbitration, 2017 “Vinson & Elkins RLLP ‘provides sound practical advice in a timely fashion’ on matters ranging from high-profile M&A transactions, financings and disputes.” — Legal 500 UK , 2016
Listed on the Honor Roll of Most Feared Law Firms — BTI Litigation Outlook , 2018
“Exceptional — everyone I met, spoke to or had any dealings with, from partners to reception staff, was professional. Quality of advice was 100%, as was their knowledge.” — Chambers UK , 2014
“A lot more client contact than expected.” — Chambers Student Guide , 2014
“There’s a sense of Southern hospitality at the firm ... V&E lawyers know how to enjoy a good Texan party.” — Chambers Student Guide , 2014 “Recognised for impressive regional experience and notable strengths in the private equity, telecoms and oil and gas sectors.” — Chambers Global , 2013
“A client describes this as ‘a very seasoned team with [experience] in telecoms infrastructure.’” — Chambers UK , Telecommunications, 2018
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
RECRUITING THE ASSOCIATES OF TOMORROW Vinson & Elkins recruits trainees with a view to developing our next generation of associate solicitors (and partners). Our retention record reflects that. Since the inception of our training programme in 2003, we have made associate offers to at least 82% of our qualifying trainees — and are delighted that many of our former trainees have continued their careers as lawyers at the firm. QUESTIONS If you have any questions relating to the summer vacation scheme or our training contracts, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our London trainee recruitment team or the graduate recruitment mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ANDREW NEALON Training Principal Partner Energy Transactions and Projects +44.20.7065.6025 email@example.com
PAUL SIMCOCK Partner Finance +44.20.7065.6092 firstname.lastname@example.org
NIKKI FLACK Graduate Recruitment Co-Ordinator +44.207.7065.6069 email@example.com
EMILIE STEWART Senior Associate Finance +44.20.7065.6079 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vinson & Elkins RLLP 20 Fenchurch Street 24th Floor London EC3M 3BY +44.20.7065.6000
email@example.com @vinsonandelkins www.velaw.com/careers/LondonRecruitment.aspx
Vinson & Elkins RLLP Attorneys at Law Austin Beijing Dallas Dubai Hong Kong Houston London New York Richmond Riyadh San Francisco Tokyo Washington
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