Bill Nelson



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Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1997

M.A., Brown University, 1994

B.S., University of Texas at Austin, 1992, with honors




Bill Nelson has more than 20 years of experience helping clients successfully close complex mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, financings and other securities transactions across a wide range of industries.

Bill co-chairs the firm’s Capital Markets and Securities Practice Group, and he routinely leads teams of lawyers who work collaboratively, across offices and practice groups, to efficiently structure transactions in a manner that maximizes his clients’ strategic interests.

He has earned substantial recognition for his work on many innovative transactions. The Global M&A Network named him the 2017 Americas Middle Market Deal Lawyer of the Year and also awarded him two Atlas Awards in 2017 for leading teams that worked on transactions that were named the “Oil & Gas Industry Deal of the Year” and the “USA M&A Deal of the Year” ($250 to $500 million category). In addition, Bill led the team that worked on a unique transaction named the 2016 “Out-of-Court Restructuring Deal of the Year” by The M&A Advisor.

Bill handles public offerings; private placements; monetization transactions; cross-border securities offerings, including those involving Multijurisdictional Disclosure Systems (MJDS); proxy contests; securities law compliance and corporate governance.

Bill’s clients include private equity firms and their portfolio companies, United States, Canadian and other foreign oil and gas exploration and production companies, master limited partnerships (MLPs), oilfield services companies, insurance companies, restaurants/hospitality companies and investment banking firms. He recently successfully handled complex, high-profile transactions for KMG Chemicals, Inc., Endeavor Energy Resources, L.P., Alta Mesa Holdings, LP, and Callon Petroleum Company, among other companies.

Given the breadth and depth of his experience, Bill is regularly sought out to speak to state and national media outlets and to industry audiences on M&A, securities, finance, and corporate governance topics.

Bill has long played a leadership role at Haynes and Boone, in Houston, and in the Texas legal community, including serving on the Haynes and Boone board of directors, as treasurer and member of the board of The Houston Police Foundation, and as a member of the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee of the University of Texas System. He also is active in The National Association of Corporate Directors, Tri-Cities Chapter and The General Counsel Forum, Houston Chapter.

Firm Honors


Landry’s Names Haynes and Boone Its 2017 National Law Firm of the Year

Landry’s, Inc., a privately owned, multi-brand dining, hospitality and gaming corporation that operates (through various subsidiaries and affiliates) more than 600 restaurants, hotels, casinos and entertainment destinations across the United States, has selected Haynes and Boone as its 2017 national law firm of the year.

Selected Client Representations

Capital Markets Transactions

  • Represented a private E&P company in a $300 million Rule 144A note offering and subsequent $150 million tack-on offering.
  • Represented an MJDS issuer in a $280 million public offering of stock and convertible notes.
  • Represented an insurance company in a $300 million public note offering.
  • Represented an upstream MLP in its $90 million initial public offering.
  • Represented a chemical company in a registered direct offering.
  • Served as underwriter's counsel in the $75 million equity offering for an oilfield services company.
  • Conducted an offer to exchange the target company's Rule 144A notes for those of the acquirer as part of a $200 million acquisition.
  • Represented a public technology company in the restructuring of its public debt.
  • Represented a privately held hospitality company in a $1.7 billion refinancing that included a Rule 144A offering.
  • Represented a privately held hospitality company in a $250 million senior note Rule 144A tack-on offering.

Public Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Represented a public oil and gas company in a $1.1 billion public company merger.
  • Represented a privately held hospitality company in its $180 million acquisition of a company operating high-end steakhouse restaurants.
  • Represented a private oil and gas company in the $150 million acquisition of a public company and associated financing.
  • Represented private equity funds in the $700 million acquisition of a public E&P company.
  • Represented a NYSE-listed company in a $1.2 billion management led-buyout.

Private Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Represented a private equity fund in its acquisition from a private E&P company of $750 million of oil and gas properties.
  • Represented an NYSE listed E&P company in its acquisition of the subsidiary of a Malaysian national oil company operating offshore Equatorial Guinea.
  • Represented a public hospitality company in the sale of more than 120 restaurants to a venture fund.
  • Represented a private biotech developer in the sale of its business to a large public company.
  • Represented a public chemical company in multiple acquisitions of chemical plants, including acquisitions in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia.


Bill Nelson Named Americas Middle Market Deal Lawyer of the Year

The Global M&A Network has named Haynes and Boone Partner Bill Nelson as the 2017 Americas Middle Market Deal Lawyer of the Year. The honor was bestowed on Nelson at the organization’s annual M&A Atlas Awards, which were celebrated Nov. 2 at the Intrepid Museum in New York City.

Professional Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Houston Business Journal's list of Who's Who in Energy, American City Business Journals, 2013
  • Chosen by Houston Business Journal, American City Business Journals, as a Top Legal Dealmaker, 2013
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2010

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • “Buyer, Seller Perspectives in Current Climate,” M&A Insight 2013, Houston, TX, May 2, 2013.
  • “Corporate Law & Governance: Emerging Best Practices for Corporate Governance,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston, TX, August 14, 2012.
  • “Let’s Go Shopping,” co-author, Lexology, January 18, 2012.
  • “When Less Can Be More,” Houston Business Journal, August 23, 2011.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Panel, TIPRO Summer Conference, San Antonio, TX, August 5, 2011.
  • “What is a Special Committee of the Board of Directors and When Does Our Company Need One?,” co-author, Lexology, July 15, 2011.
  • “Top Ten Initial Considerations in a Going Private Transaction,” co-author, Lexology, June 15, 2011.
  • “Developments Involving Shareholder Access And Proxy Statement Disclosure,” co-author, Journal of Securities Law, Regulation & Compliance, Volume 3, Number 3, April 26, 2010.

Professional and Community Activities

  • The Houston Police Foundation, Founder; Board Member; Secretary/Treasurer
  • Houston Livestock and Rodeo, Wine Committee; Committeeman
  • YES School, Oil & Gas Poker Tournament, Board Member
  • Brown Club of Houston, Board Member
  • University of Texas System's Chancellor's Council Executive Committee
  • National Association of Corporate Directors, Tri-Cities Chapter, Advisory Committee Member
  • The General Counsel Forum, Houston Chapter, Director
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association

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