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Two of Dallas’ most prominent big-deal lawyers, Alan Bogdanow and Lawrence Stuart Jr., joined Vinson & Elkins in Dallas on May 2, bringing decades of experience to the firm’s corporate securities practice. Bogdanow comes from Hughes & Luce, where he has practiced for 25 years, while Stuart has been a partner in investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. for the last six years. Prior to that, Stuart was managing partner in Dallas for Weil, Gotshal & Manges. “These are two of the best lawyers period, anywhere, certainly in Texas or beyond,” says Michael Wortley, a partner who heads V&E’s corporate securities practice in Dallas. “And to have them both decide to come [here] at the same time is very lucky.” Wortley says Bogdanow and Stuart also bring some gray hair to the firm’s corporate securities group in Dallas, which is comprised primarily of younger partners and associates. With the two new lawyers, 785-lawyer V&E has 128 lawyers in Dallas. Bogdanow, 53, says he was ready to try something new when lawyers from V&E approached him a few months ago and broached the idea of joining the firm. He says it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Hughes & Luce. He has practiced at the firm for 25 years and was its managing partner for seven years, ending in 1996. He declines to discuss his clients, but Bodganow worked on several large deals in recent years that were included in Texas Lawyer‘s “Deals & Suits” column. Bogdanow represented a special independent committee of the board of Austin’s Capstar Broadcasting Corp. in 1998 in its acquisition by Chancellor Media Corp. of Irving, Texas, in a deal valued at about $4.1 billion. He also represented Wal-Mart in 1999 in a $5.75 billion corporate debt offering, and represented Harte-Hanks Communications Inc. in 1997 in its sale of media properties worth up to $775 million to E.W. Scripps Co. William McCormack, managing partner of the 160-lawyer Hughes & Luce, says Bogdanow will be missed. “Good firms lose good lawyers from time to time, but Hughes & Luce will be a net winner in the free agent market,” he says. MAKING THE MOVE Stuart also says he was ready for a change. He says he decided in January to retire from Hicks Muse, but at age 56, isn’t ready to quit working. He says word about his imminent retirement got around in Dallas, and lawyers from V&E and a couple other firms contacted him. He says his longtime working relationship and friendship with Wortley was a major reason he decided to join V&E. Stuart declines to name the other firms he considered. Glenn West, partner-in-charge in Dallas for Weil Gotshal, Stuart’s former firm, says if Stuart isn’t talking about other firms he considered, he won’t say if Weil Gotshal asked Stuart to return. “He’s a terrific lawyer. It’s a great catch by V&E,” West says. Stuart started his career at Dallas’ Rain, Harrell, Emery, Young & Doke (a predecessor to Locke Liddell & Sapp) in 1969 and moved four years later to the firm that eventually became Johnson & Wortley. Johnson & Wortley broke up in 1995, but Stuart had moved to Weil Gotshal in 1989. Stuart left private practice to join buyout firm Hicks Muse in October 1995, joining Tom Hicks, his client since the mid-1970s. That move benefited V&E. While Weil Gotshal continues to do a lot of work for Hicks Muse, V&E started picking up some of the work beginning in early 1996 because of Stuart’s relationship with Wortley. Stuart says he expects Hicks Muse to continue to turn to V&E for assistance with its deals. While Bogdanow and Stuart both joined V&E on May 2, Stuart says he is taking the summer off for travel.

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