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March 11, 2010 5:28 PM

Linklaters, Vinson & Elkins Advise on $7 Billion Energy Deal

Posted by Brian Baxter

Six law firms--including Linklaters and Vinson & Elkins--are advising on BP's announced $7 billion acquisition of assets in Azerbaijan, Brazil, and the Gulf of Mexico from oil and gas producer Devon Energy.

The all-cash deal will enable BP, the world's third-largest integrated oil company, to increase production and expand into new regions for energy extraction.

Linklaters M&A partner Joshua Berick, corporate partner Stephen Griffin, and associates Colin Greenspon and Graham Phillips are advising BP on the acquisition. The Magic Circle firm is a longtime adviser to London-based BP. The firm represented the oil giant on its $110 billion merger with Chicago-based Amoco in 1998. (Berick was unavailable for comment.)

Devon turned to one of its regular outside counsel, Vinson & Elkins. M&A partners Robin Fredrickson and Jeffrey Munoz in Houston and M&A partner John Connally IV in New York handled the deal. (Fredrickson declined to comment when reached by phone on Thursday.)

Under the terms of the announced deal, Devon will also buy up to half of BP's Kirby oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, and divest itself of deepwater drilling assets off the coast of Brazil.

Patrick Maguire, coleader of the energy practice group at Bennett Jones, advised Devon on Canadian legal aspects of the deal. Tozzini Freire served as the company's Brazilian outside counsel.

Michael Hurst, managing partner of the commercial practice at Fraser Milner Casgrain in Calgary, served as Canadian counsel to BP. Monique Mavignier, Sergio Rocha, and Mariana Santos from Barbosa, Mussnich & Aragao advised BP on Brazilian law aspects of the transaction.

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