Kirkland & Ellis LLP has added a partner to its corporate practice group in Houston who brings with him more than 20 years of experience with securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate work in the energy industry.
Sean T. Wheeler joined the firm from Latham & Watkins LLP on July 30.
"Sean is a leader in the Houston legal community and a decorated veteran in energy M&A and capital markets," Jeffrey C. Hammes, chairman of Kirkland's global management executive committee, said in a statement. "His significant experience assisting clients on sophisticated securities and M&A matters makes him a perfect fit for Kirkland's Houston office at a time of increasing demand from our energy clients and will add further scale to our market-leading energy capital markets practice."
Wheeler said he has watched the Houston office since it opened in 2014 and has seen "phenomenal growth" and admires what the firm has accomplished in that time, increasing to 140 attorneys on staff.
"Watching [Kirkland's] growth and seeing what I thought their trajectory was over the course of the next five to 10 years, I really thought it was just an opportunity that I couldn't pass up," he told Law360 on Tuesday.
Wheeler — a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham — served as co-chairman of Latham & Watkins’ oil and gas industry and vice chairman of the corporate department and acted as managing partner of its Houston office.
With more than 30 initial public offerings in the energy industry under his belt — including Athlon Energy Inc., BJ Services, Inc., Enduro Royalty Trust and K-Sea Transportation Partners LP, among others — Wheeler said he plans to focus on building Kirkland & Ellis' capital markets practice.
"I hope to join with them and build something truly special here on the capital markets and strategic M&A front," he said.
He also has a number of accolades as a mergers and acquisitions and capital markets lawyer, and Law360 recognized him as an Energy MVP in 2013.
Wheeler added that he is looking forward to continuing his work at Kirkland & Ellis.
"I'm excited about the opportunity at Kirkland. I think it's a unique law firm in many ways. I think it's got a unique and positive culture," he said. "I really admire what they've accomplished not only here in Houston, but across the firm. I'm thrilled to be a part of it."
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUGUST 14, 2018 EDITION OF LAW360 © 2018 PORTFOLIO MEDIA INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FURTHER DUPLICATION WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. WWW.LAW360.COM