James Matthews, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Denbury Resources Inc., is using Vinson & Elkins for the Plano-based company’s pending purchase of energy assets in Montana and North Dakota from a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips for $1.05 billion in cash.

ConocoPhillips is using in-house lawyers on the transaction, which was announced on Jan. 15.

The agreement calls for Denbury to acquire producing property interests in the Cedar Creek Anticline (CCA) of Montana and North Dakota from the ConocoPhillips subsidiary, along with some additional interests in other fields in the CCA. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and to customary title and environmental due diligence.

It is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2013, with a Jan. 1, 2013 effective date.

V&E partner Marc Rose and associate Thomas Laughlin, both of Dallas, led the deal team for Denbury. Others are finance partner William “Billy” Young, energy transactions/projects partner Fielding “Tres” Cochran III, tax partner Todd Way, employment, labor and OSHA partner Vanessa Griffith, all of Dallas; and Houston environmental partner Christopher Amandes. Also, Dallas associates Robert Derivaux, Russell Oshman and Julia Pashina are assisting.

Rose says the CCA acquisition is the second major deal V&E has handled for Denbury in the last few months. “It went pretty smoothly. I’ll say the parties involved had a very good working relationship, so the negotiations went smoothly — no unexpected hiccups or anything like that,” he says.

Matthews, Denbury’s GC for the last year, is a former partner in V&E.

Rose says ConocoPhillips in-house lawyer Ronald Schultz led the Houston energy company’s deal team. Schultz did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

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• Deal of the Week: Deal a Go Despite Stock Market Swoon