Timothy L. Chandler

Partner, Sidley Austin LLP, Houston
9 FortyUnder40 feat. Chandler, Tim

When Sidley Austin LLP opened its Houston office in 2012, Tim Chandler was among the first associates to walk through the doors. He was brimming with hope about the firm’s future and determined to make it a great place to work while delivering top-notch service to some of the oil and gas industry’s biggest players. 

Chandler—who has since made partner—has today realized those goals. He has built a reputation as a lawyer who works hard to get deals done for clients. He also led the development of an associate assignment system for the office that is credited with keeping associate attrition at the Houston office low. 

“I was in a position to build something that I could be truly proud of—both on the client service side and with respect to the culture of the office,” he says. “One of the things I did, and continue to do as a partner, is encourage others to work very smart and hard to meet client goals, but also to make time for their families and friends. I believe we have created an environment where we’ve brought together very talented people who really enjoy working with each other.” 

He continues, “This positive culture is what keeps me happy, and it allows us to deliver superior work product to clients. Our clients see this difference.” 

On the job: Chandler’s practice principally involves representing companies, funds and management teams in their investments in hard hat industries throughout the world. This includes energy, infrastructure, minerals and manufacturing, including assisting clients in private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development and financings. 

“I find the greatest professional satisfaction in helping clients solve complex problems,” he says. “When the going gets tough, you should run directly at the problem rather than shy away from it. True success comes from achieving what you once thought improbable.”

“When the going gets tough, you should run directly at the problem rather than shy away from it. True success comes from achieving what you once thought improbable.” 

Before joining Sidley, Chandler was an associate attorney at Vinson and Elkins LLP, where he represented clients on mergers and acquisitions, project development, financing, private equity investments and more. 

He previously worked as a research assistant at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he received his law degree. Chandler also has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young. 

An international career: Chandler’s portfolio spans nearly every corner of the globe. He’s worked on transactions related to more than 35 countries throughout six continents. From Asia Pacific to Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, Chandler has advised clients on a range of oil and gas, power and other infrastructure projects. 

“Technology allows me to be connected across the world, and I have a tremendous team of lawyers and administrative support,” Chandler says. “I am lucky to be able to manage multiple projects across time zones with ease. Having a supportive family helps, too.” 

He once worked on a complicated transaction involving the U.S. and Brazil, which had numerous involved parties and facets. It was his most challenging project to date, and one he was able to close with some clever strategizing. 

“The transaction seemed destined to fail because it was so unwieldy and complicated,” Chandler says. “However, by breaking it down into manageable aspects, I was able to lead the team that solved each aspect and reached a successful conclusion.” 

The energy appeal: Chandler’s fascination with the energy sector began during his childhood; his father was a power plant developer who traveled to Houston regularly. 

“I love that being involved in the energy sector requires you to understand complicated technologies, processes and machinery,” Chandler says. “One of the things my clients appreciate most about me is that I like to get my hands dirty in understanding how things work so that I can best serve them in connection with transactions.”