Vinson & Elkins Strengthens PE Practice with Two Hires, One Promotion

Oct 3 2016 | 8:37pm ET

Law firm Vinson & Elkins has hired M&A and PE specialist Shaun Lascelles as a partner, enhancing the firm’s growing private equity practice group in London.

Lascelles comes to V&E from Ashurst, according to a statement. Prior to August 2015, he was a partner and co-head of the Global Private Equity Group at Skadden, Arps. Joining Lascelles in V&E’s London office is Simon Rootsey, an M&A and private equity counsel from Skadden. In addition, the firm has promoted London-based private equity attorney Dan Graham to counsel.

“These moves demonstrate our commitment to the continued growth of the firm’s private equity and M&A practice in London, which is a key global financial and legal market,” said V&E Chairman Mark Kelly in the statement. “In addition to the ever-increasing needs of our clients investing domestically in the U.K. and across Europe, there is substantial demand for legal services from London-based firms investing in emerging markets outside of Europe.”

Lascelles advises a wide range of private equity firms, hedge funds and state-owned and other investment firms. His high-profile matters include representing Vitol Group in the acquisition of Shell’s shareholding of its Australian downstream business and advising one of the world’s largest asset management firms on a deal that was shortlisted for the Private Equity Team of the Year in 2014 by Legal Business. 

“Shaun has earned an excellent reputation in London and beyond as a leading private equity advisor, and his practice perfectly complements our existing client base,” said Jeff Eldredge, V&E’s Corporate Department Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We are focused on strategically growing our group with lawyers just like Shaun, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that helps us expand our ability to service clients across the world.”

Rootsey’s practice focuses on cross-border M&A and private equity, advising on all aspects of private cross-border M&A, private equity transactions, joint ventures and public takeovers. His experience includes advising Vitol Group and Helios Investment Partners LLP in their $460 million acquisition of a 60 percent stake in the Nigerian downstream oil operations of Oando plc, as well as in their US$1 billion acquisition of an 80 percent stake in the African downstream oil operations of Royal Dutch Shell.

Graham’s practice is focused on international private equity, M&A, venture capital and general corporate law. He has experience leading a number of U.S. and European deals as well as emerging markets transactions, having worked on matters throughout CEE, CIS, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Graham is admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor before the High Court of New Zealand and as a solicitor before the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

“Shaun, Simon and Dan have well-established practices with clients in key industries such as energy, infrastructure, telecom, health care, consumer and finance and we are confident in their ability to contribute to the firm’s growth in those areas,” said Keith Fullenweider, head of V&E’s Corporate Department. “All three are outstanding attorneys who have demonstrated a high commitment to excellence. We couldn’t be more pleased to have them on our team.”

The additions of Lascelles and Rootsey and promotion of Graham are the latest in a series of moves V&E has made to expand its London-based corporate practices. Private equity partner Paul Dunbar and finance partner Ian Frost joined the firm earlier this year. The firm’s London office also recently relocated to 20 Fenchurch Street.

V&E’s Private Equity group advises sophisticated private equity funds in their most complex transactions, leveraging the firm’s global footprint across major financial centers to execute its clients’ most important deals. The firm’s broad private equity client base consists of many of the world's leading private equity funds, including buyout, growth, debt/special situations and venture capital funds.  


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