Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represents Sanchez Energy Corp. of Houston in its pending acquisition of Eagle Ford Shale assets in South Texas from wholly owned subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell for about $639 million in cash.

At Shell, in-house lawyers are handling the deal.

On May 21 Sanchez Energy announced a definitive agreement, effective Jan. 1, to buy the assets named Catarina—located in Dimmit, LaSalle and Webb counties—from the subsidiaries of Shell. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter, subject to regulatory filings and other customary closing conditions.

Energy partner David Elder of Houston leads the Akin Gump team representing Sanchez Energy. Others, all from Houston, include energy partners Michael Byrd and Patrick Hurley, counsel Shubi Arora and associates Cyril Jones and Chase Armbrust. Also, partner Bill Morris and counsel Kate Huggins handled financing aspects of the deal, and partner Thomas Weir did tax work.

According to Elder, in-house lawyer Melanie Larson of Houston led the Shell team. A call to the Shell media relations department in Houston was not returned, but Larson identifies herself on her LinkedIn page as senior legal counsel at Shell Oil Co.