Vinson and Elkins hires oil and gas expert

The Houston-based law firm has bolstered its energy transactions team with the addition of Bryan Loocke.

Former Bracewell & Giuliani partner Bryan Loocke has joined Vinson & Elkins (V&E), a US-headquartered law firm known for its energy sector expertise.

Loocke, who joins the company’s energy transactions practice as partner, will advise both corporate and private equity clients and will be based in Houston.

“Many of us here at V&E have had the opportunity to work across the table from Bryan, and we are extremely happy to that he’s now on our team,” John Connally, co-head of the firm’s energy transactions/projects practice, said in a statement. “He has strong ties with a number of private equity firms and will be a great asset in helping us broaden our relationships with these and other corporate clients.”

The $3.75 billion sale of Apache Corporation’s Gulf of Mexico Shelf operations and properties, which closed in October 2013, is one example that saw both law firms working across from each other. Bracewell & Giuliani, whose team included Loocke, served as advisor to Apache on the transaction, while Vinson & Elkins advised the buyer, Fieldwood Energy, a portfolio company of private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.

Loocke, whose practice is focused on unconventional resources including shale oil and gas, advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, sales, operating agreements, gathering and transportation agreements and procurement and construction.

“Bryan is not only a standout corporate lawyer, he’s also a great fit with our firm culturally, putting a high priority on client service and developing strong relationships,” said Mark Kelly, V&E's chairman. “He is exactly the type of lateral hire that we look for, and he will help shape the future of our energy transactions practice.”