Weil, Bracewell Advise on Kinder Morgan Deal: Business of Law

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Baker Botts LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP worked on the Kinder Morgan Inc. deal, announced over the weekend. In the transaction, Kinder Morgan plans to acquire all of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Kinder Morgan Management LLC and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP in a series of transactions valued at about $44 billion, according to an Aug. 10 statement.

The team from Weil representing Kinder Morgan was led by corporate partner Michael Aiello and also included partners Marc Silberberg and Jared Rusman, both tax; Amy Rubin, employee benefits; Annemargaret Connolly, environmental; Steve Newborn, antitrust; and Joseph Allerhand and Greg Danilow, both securities litigation.

The Kinder Morgan team includes General Counsel David DeVeau, deputy general counsel Adam Forman, and assistant general counsel Angela Teer and Eric McCord.

Bracewell & Giuliani also represented Kinder Morgan. On the firm’s team were partners Gregory Bopp, co-chair business and regulatory section; Gary Orloff, R. Daniel Witschey, Jr., Troy Harder, and Mark Lewis, all corporate and securities/energy; William Dade, corporate and securities/private investment funds; Lance Behnke, tax; Heather Brown, finance/energy; William Wood III, corporate and securities/financial restructuring; and D. Kirk Morgan II, energy.

The team from Baker Botts representing Kinder Morgan Energy Partners included partners Joshua Davidson and Tull Florey, both corporate; Michael Bresson and Don Lonczak, both tax; and David Sterling and Danny David, both litigation.

Vinson & Elkins advised the Conflicts Committee of El Paso Pipeline Partners. The firm’s team was led by corporate partners Mike Rosenwasser, Keith Fullenweider and Stephen Gill. Also involved were partners Michael Holmes, litigation; John Lynch, tax; Jay Seegers, energy regulation; and Larry Nettles, environmental.

The move by Houston billionaire Richard Kinder, who controls the entities through his 24 percent stake in the parent company, runs counter to the industry trend of spinning off pipelines and oil terminals into tax-advantaged partnerships that funnel cash to investors. By simplifying his empire’s corporate structure, Kinder will lower borrowing costs and unify the company under a single stock that he can use as currency to buy competitors, Bloomberg News reported.

For more on the deal, click here.

Law Firm News

Dentons Hires Three from Jones Day in Aviation, Space Practices

Dentons US LLP has expanded its global Aviation Finance practice and created a space business sector team with three lawyers from Jones Day.

Elizabeth Evans, who is joining the New York office as a partner, will serve as global co-chair of the firm’s Aviation Finance practice and lead it in the U.S. Also joining the practice is Deepak Reddy, who will be a partner in the New York office as well.

Additionally, satellite telecommunications lawyer Delbert Smith is joining as senior space business counsel in the firm’s Washington office. He will lead a new space business discipline in which Evans and Reddy will also participate, the firm said in a statement. The space business team will focus on transactional, insurance, intellectual property, regulatory, import/export and litigation and arbitration issues in the commercial satellite and space area.

While at Jones Day, Evans was a partner, Reddy was counsel and Smith was senior telecommunications counsel.

Jenner & Block, Seward & Kissel, Steptoe See Lateral Moves

Daniel Rozansky has joined the Los Angeles office of Jenner & Block LLP as a litigation partner in the firm’s content, media and entertainment practice. Rozansky will focus on disputes in areas including entertainment finance, profit participation, partnership disputes, trade secrets, reality television, anti-SLAPP, rights of privacy and publicity and First Amendment issues. Rozansky, was previously a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

Finance attorney John Imhof has joined the maritime and transportation finance practice of Seward & Kissel LLP. Imhof was previously a partner at Watson, Farley & Williams LLP. According to a statement from the firm, Imhof works on domestic and cross-border financings of transportation assets for major banks and other financial institutions, including private equity funds in the maritime space.

Patent litigator John Molenda has joined the New York office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP as a partner. Molenda, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, is the co-chair of Steptoe’s healthcare & life sciences industry team. He focuses on patent litigation at the federal district court and appellate levels, as well as post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Two other lawyers have joined the team as well. Robert Greenfeld, who specializes in intellectual property litigation is joining as of counsel, while Jeff Lee, who focuses on patent litigation and counseling in the biotech/pharma and medical device industries, is joining as an associate.

All three previously practiced together at Mayer Brown LLP. Molenda was a partner there, while Greenfeld was counsel and Lee was an associate.

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