Vinson & Elkins LLP began in Houston, Texas, as a two man partnership in 1917, when James A. Elkins and William A. Vinson joined professional forces with a studied eye to the future. Both men were ambitious to establish a law firm that would endure, and offer other lawyers the opportunity to prosper and achieve their goals. Vinson recalled the founding partners' fateful decision to merge in this way: "We chatted awhile, and a sudden thought struck me-Here is your man!" Vinson asked, "How would you like to come to Houston?" Elkins replied: "That is the ambition of my life, make me a proposition." The proposition was a partnership, and Elkins' response was unhesitating: "I accept."
Thus, Vinson & Elkins was born.
In those days, the oil boom was already transforming Texas and the world, and Houston was home to much of the energy industry's activity. V&E "cut its teeth" on oil and gas matters, and today remains one of the world's leading energy law firms, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Washington, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Influenced by the strong personalities of its founding partners, V&E 's early hallmarks were stability, adaptability and a congenial informality among its lawyers. Those traits are still in evidence today, even as Vinson & Elkins has grown into a worldwide operation with over 700 lawyers in 13 offices across the globe.